Foot and Ankle Center Blog

Posts for: July, 2014

The Sexy Toes Contest that was co-sponsored by the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois and Neuhoff Radio was the talk of the town in June. Radio announcements were blasted over the Neuhoff Media stations in Springfield and Decatur for the past four weeks. Applicants were required to send their Toefie (a self-photo of their toes) to a panel of judges. 

Sam Madonia’s interview of Dr. John Sigle on his Sports Radio 1450 AM show also made quite a splash. Dr. Sigle explained that the Sexy Toes Contest would be an excellent way to promote the laser services for toenail fungus and pain therapy and a new nail restoration treatment called KeryFlex. Dr. Sigle told Sam that the new nail restoration service could make his toenails look like they did when he was 16 years old. That’s all it took for Sam to whip his shoes and socks off and put his leg on top of the broadcasting table as he asked Dr. Sigle for an on-the-air house call for his nagging foot problem. 

“Here it is Doc. Right here! It’s killing me!” Sam said. Within seconds of looking at Sam’s foot as he laid it on top of the broadcasting table and locating the tender trigger points, Dr. Sigle made an assessment.  “It is an intra-substance Achilles Tendon Tear,” he told Sam. Sam seemed a bit shocked when he learned he had a tear and asked if he needed surgery. According to Dr. Sigle, “you don’t need surgery Sam. Most of the time an intra-substance Achilles Tendon Tear is from overuse and can be treated with conservative non-surgical measures like a custom orthotic, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, heel raises and stretching.” 

Sam was relieved to hear his condition could be improved without surgery. 

The winners of the Sexy Toes contest were announced at the Rock the Dock event Friday evening. First prize was awarded to Barb Granger of Springfield who was given two special VIP tickets to the upcoming Journey-Steve Miller Band Concert in St. Louis on July 11th. Barb and a guest will be seated in the first 20 rows and have an opportunity to mingle with the band members during a photo shoot. Second prize winner Chelsey Hammel was given a free consultation and a Genesis Plus Laser Treatment. Third prize winner Mrs. J. McDaniel was given a free consultation and KeryFlex Nail Restoration Treatment. Fourth was given a free consultation and KeryFlex Nail Restoration Treatment. 4th prize winner Lauren Granger was given a free consultation and two free Cutting Edge MLS Pain Laser Treatments. 

Visit to view contestant Toefies. A short video on the Genesis Plus Laser Treatment and the Cutting Edge MLS Laser may also be of interest to you. Information on the new KeryFlex Nail Restoration System is also available along with several before-and-after photos of clients who have had this treatment. If you suffer from an Achilles tendonitis problems, feel free to call the Dr. John Sigle at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois to learn about non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Dr. Sigle is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon and has clinics in Springfield and Decatur. He can be reached at (217) 787-2700.  Read more

Dr. Sigle Interview with Sam Madonia WFMB-AM Sports Radio 1450, June 25, 2014, to talk about Sexy Toes Contest. Listen Here


Unlike most Americans who cannot wait to come home at night and kick off their shoes, some people with Metatarsalgia actually experience more pain when they walk in their socks or bare feet. Metatarsalgia is a condition characterized by a sharp aching or burning pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. It affects the metatarsal heads, the bones that make up the ball of the foot. The first metatarsal head behind the big toe is the most common area affected, but it can also affect the other toes, the entire foot or both feet. Other symptoms include tingling or numbness in the toes, pain around the second, third and fourth toes or only near the big toe, increased pain when you walk, run or jump, or when you stand or flex your feet. Patients with this condition often feel like they have a stone in their shoe or that their socks are wadded up causing them to walk on the side of their foot to avoid pressure. It commonly presents as one or multiple calluses on the ball of the foot and can also be mistaken for a plantar wart. Prominent Metatarsal heads cause these to form.

Metatarsalgia can affect males and females of all ages. It is primarily related to repetitive stress and impacts on the foot, and often experienced by people who participate in intense physical activities or training such as running, tennis, soccer and basketball. Metatarsalgia generally occurs from a single cause but other factors that may contribute to this condition. These include wearing ill-fitted shoes (high heels), having certain foot and toe shapes (high arches, a second toe that is longer than the first metatarsal), being overweight or old age. It can also be attributed to a stress fracture or other foot deformities like a hammer toe or bunion, or from Morton’s Neuroma (a fibrous tissue around a nerve between two metatarsal heads), diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, fluid in the foot and gout.

There are a variety of home remedies that should be tried prior to contacting your physician or podiatrist. These include wearing proper fitting shoes indoors and outdoors, avoiding pressure and impact loads, resting your feet and keeping them elevated, applying ice throughout the day, taking anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen), using metatarsal pads, sock absorption pads or arch supports.

If your pain persists for a month or so, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist for a diagnosis and proper treatment. There are a variety of problems that can cause symptoms similar to Metatarsalgia. Most likely it will be necessary to do a gait analysis to identify the parts of the foot are receiving pressure, image tests (X-ray or MRI) or ultra sound to confirm if there are fractures, or if the problem is related to a metatarsal drop or improper length. Imaging will also help your doctor determine if the pain is being caused by a Morton’s Neuroma. Blood tests may also be necessary to rule out gout, diabetes or arthritis.

Your podiatrist may also be able to offer you a custom orthotic device to alter the pressure distribution of the metatarsal region and relieve inflammation and pain.

Physical therapy may also be used to increase range of motion, reduce stress on the forefoot and strengthen the toe flexor muscles.

For more severe cases, steroid injections or surgery may be recommended. Surgery may involve a correction of a hammer toe deformity, release or removal of a nerve impingement or reshaping of the metatarsal bones.

MLS Laser therapy is the latest advancement that is being used for patients in the acute phase of Metatarsalgia. The laser reduces pain, relieves inflammation and restores mobility. Specific wavelengths of light have a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-edema effect on tissues and photons of energy penetrate into tissue to accelerate cellular reproduction and growth, thereby speeding recovery.

For more information on Metatarsalgia, laser treatments and custom orthotics, or to find a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, call Dr. John Sigle at (217) 787-2700. Visit to view a video on laser therapy.

By Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois
July 01, 2014
Category: None
Tags: Dry Heels   Cracked Heels  

Cracked HeelsDry, cracked heels are not only unsightly, but they can also be a source of pain and embarrassment. When the fissures in your heel become so dry and cracked that bleeding or pain when walking occurs, it may be time to seek professional care from your podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois.  Left untreated, heel fissures can become so deep and painful that it leads to an infection.   

Cracked heels are most commonly caused by splitting of the skin as a result of severe dryness or thickening of a callus on your heel. Severe cases of dry, cracked heels can occur for numerous reasons, including:

  • Cold winter weather or dry climates
  • Dehydration
  • Having diabetes
  • Scrubbing feet too harshly
  • Soaking in a hot bath or shower for too long or too frequently
  • Not moisturizing the feet
  • Increased weight
  • Walking barefoot or wearing open-backed sandals or shoes
  • Prolonged standing at work or home
  • Chronic skin problems, such as eczema or psoriasis

Here are a few tips for keeping heels from cracking:

  • Moisturize the feet daily
  • Avoid walking barefoot or wearing open-backed shoes
  • Opt for mild soaps that won’t dry out your heels
  • Increase your water intake to keep your body hydrated
  • Limit time in the shower as hot water dries out the skin
  • Use a pumice stone or file as directed by your doctor to gently decrease the thick layer of skin

When to Visit us in Springfield

What may begin as an annoyance or simple cosmetic issue, cracked heels can lead to pain and serious infection if not managed properly. Most cases of dry, cracked heels will get better with a little foot pampering or over-the-counter foot cream.

When heels are severely cracked or painful and conservative treatments aren’t effective, visit our Springfield office. People with diabetes are at an especially high risk for health problems and should not wait to have dry feet cared for. Severely cracked heels need moisture to avoid pain, bleeding and infection. A podiatrist can work with you to relieve your cracked heels with conservative treatment options.