Foot and Ankle Center Blog

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Springfield’s Larry Austin Jr. Competes in NCAA 3-on-3 U National Championship Tournament in Minneapolis!

The Foot &Ankle Center of Illinois salutes Larry Austin Jr. as he competes in the NCAA 3X3 U National Championship Basketball Tournament taking place during the Final Four weekend April 4-7, at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Larry was selected along with three other players to represent the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Each NCAA Division I basketball conference selected their top four seniors or players who exhausted their eligibility to play. 128 players will play non-stop on 3-on-3 action during a three day competition. Pool play runs on Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals will air on Twitter from 9:30 AM–1:30 PM. Sunday’s Semifinal Consolation and Championship games will air from 2:10- 4 PM on ESPN2. The winning team earns a $150,000 prize.

Many basketball fans and enthusiasts in Central Illinois remember the outstanding career Larry Austin Jr. had when he played for Lanphier High School in Springfield, IL from 2010-2014. During high school he received numerous All Conference, All-Tournament, and MVP awards. He was a two time All-State Class 3A Team selection and played on the USA U16 National Team. He was a highly ranked prospect by,, and

Austin played two seasons at Xavier University, one season for the Vanderbilt University, and a final season at Central Michigan University. 

This past year was Austin’s banner year. He was the Chippewa’s single season assists leader and holds the single season steals record. Austin was the MAC West Player of the Week and All-MAC Defensive Team. He was selected on the 1st Team NABC All-District, 2nd Team All-MAC, and Member of the 3X3 U MAC Team.

Austin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University and is completing his Master’s degree at Central Michigan. 

Larry has been Dr. Sigle’s patient at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois and Illinois Laser Center for several years. According to Dr. Sigle, “Larry is a premiere athlete with exceptional ability; and we are fortunate to be a part of his medical team. He’s in great condition and very resilient. We have had an opportunity to know Larry as a person and observe his quiet and humble manner. He is a wonderful young man who loves his family and hometown. He’s really well grounded. We wish him the very best in this upcoming tournament and future pursuits. We are pretty confident Larry will take his game to the next level.”




By Grant Gonzalez, DPM

Toenail fungus, medically known as Onychomycosis, (on-ee-ko-me-KO-sis) is a one of the more common foot problems that plague over 40 million Americans. Every day we see toenail fungus commercials on the television, internet and social media platforms, radio, and in print. Even our
highways are plastered with ads. Unless you have been living with this condition, you are not likely to pay attention to all the ad campaigns that claim to offer the best solution to this problem.

I am sure everyone with toenail fungus wishes there was a fast remedy, but there is no quick fix with over-the-counter topical creams, prescription lacquers, or oral medications. It is a long, tedious process that works less than half the time. In fact, buyers must beware because many ads are misleading.

Efficacy rates are not always accurate, risks have a tendency to be minimized, and superiority claims are usually unsubstantiated.

The good news is that toenail fungus can be managed and cured in the majority of cases. Some podiatrists are using a more synergistic approach to ensure success. Here is an innovative treatment protocol that is achieving high efficacy rates:

Confirm the diagnosis
While fungus is a common cause of discoloration and thickening of toenails, there are several other conditions that can present similarly. These include persistent trauma, psoriasis, or eczema among others. Toe contractures (also known as hammertoes) can cause the toenail to persistently contact the ground and cause nail changes. In some cases, nail clippings or debris form under the mail has to be sent to a laboratory for confirmation. If the fungal infection is present, your podiatrist can and work with you to begin appropriate therapy.

When a fungal infection is confirmed, you and your podiatrist can decide on using a combination of both oral and topical antifungals. These can begin safely fighting and killing the fungal infection and start you on your way to clear, healthy nails.

Laser the fungus away
A very effective tool in the armamentarium (ar·ma·men·tar·i·um), or collection of resources available to combat this condition, is laser technology. Some high-powered lasers can kill the fungus instantly. This completely safe treatment heats up the nail, and one to three treatments are normally prescribed to kill any residual fungus as the toenails clear over time. Treatments are generally pain free, drug free, quick, and safe.

Don’t live with ugly nails
A KeryFlex Nail RestorationTM process is being used in conjunction with laser treatments to provide natural looking nails while the nails are growing out during a typical six to 12 month period. This process applies a special resin on top of the existing nail which is hardened with a UV light to form a natural-looking nail. The resin contains an antifungal agent and prohibits fungus from re-entering the nailbed. This process allows the patient to walk away from laser treatment with natural looking nails. KeryFlexTM treatments are repeated until the fully formed new nails are cleared. Patients are able to end the embarrassment of ugly toenails instantly.

Eliminate sources of reinfection
There are several common organisms that cause toenail fungus, and they also can subsequently cause athlete’s foot, which is a fungal infection of the skin of your feet, which commonly affects the soles and spaces in-between toes. Not treating an accompanying skin infection can allow cross contamination of the feet and nails, and can cause reinfection and return of toenail fungus. Treating athlete’s foot with a formidable antifungal cream can give you a leg up in the fight against toenail fungus and prevent a frustrating recurrence.

Your podiatrist can also provide you with other tips to lower the risk of reoccurrence and to eliminate existing fungus. Some of the tips will involve changes in clothing, grooming, sharing
products, avoiding public places that harbor fungus, changing eating habits, and new cleanliness practices.

Stay toenail fungus-free forever
Fungus is everywhere, but tends to thrive in warm, wet, dark places, such as your shoes. Since we often perspire into our shoes and rarely give them time to air out, fungus can grow rampant and cause reinfection of toenails even after successful treatment. A great way to eliminate this mycotic propensity is to use a device known as a SterishoeTM. This UV light powered device can completely eliminate all fungal and bacterial colonization from your shoes in as little as 15 minutes, and allow you to wear sterile shoes every single day. This device also contains a fan, allowing shoes to dry properly, and it eliminates shoe odor.

In the majority of cases, this synergistic approach will effectively kill the fungus and prevent an agonizing recurrence, provide instant gratification, and end the embarrassment of ugly toenails, prevent reinfection, and restore the natural beauty of your nails. Getting rid of toenail fungus becomes more important for individuals who are at risk due to poor peripheral circulation, diabetes, undergoing cancer therapy, or for those who have immunosuppressed systems. It also is of greater concern for those who want to reduce the spread of infection among household members.

Toenail fungus can be a frustrating medical problem to eliminate. Teaming up with a podiatrist who uses a synergistic approach to combat this condition will give you a fighting chance for success. If you are tired of living with embarrassment and ugly toenails, call the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois/Illinois Laser Center at 217-670-2160 for a consultation.
To learn more about laser treatment and the KeryFlex Nail RestorationTM process, visit Short videos are available to view both processes and to listen to
patient testimonials.


By John Sigle, DPM, FACFAS, Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois

Unlike most Americans who can’t wait to come home at night and kick off their shoes, some people with Metatarsalgia (met-a-tar-sal-gia) 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, 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. Also, calluses often form on the ball of the foot because of the friction caused by unequal pressure distribution points.

Metatarsalgia can affect males and females of all ages. It is primarily related to repetitive stress and impacts on the foot, and is 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 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 the digital nerve between two metatarsal heads of the toe), diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, fluid in the foot, and gout.


There are a variety of home remedies that should be tried prior to contacting your podiatrist. This condition is relatively easy to treat if addressed during the early stages. Some of the things that can be done include wearing properly 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, shock absorption pads, or arch supports. If your pain persists for a month or so, schedule an appointment with a 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 areas in the foot that are receiving pressure, image tests (X-ray or MRI) or ultrasound to confirm if there are fractures or if the problem is related to a metatarsal drop or improper length. Imaging will also help your podiatrist 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. An orthotic device can be added to all shoe types (except sandals) and will be particularly helpful for running and athletic shoes. Orthotics is also well suited for individuals who have a high arch because it can prevent the arch from collapsing and relieve stress on the metatarsals. Orthotics is also effective for people with a Morton’s Neuroma because it provides an extension underneath the big toe.

Laser therapy is the latest advancement that is being used for patients in the acute phase of Metatarsalgia. The lasers are designed to reduce pain, relieve inflammation, and restore mobility. These lasers use specific wavelengths of light that have a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-edema effect on tissues. Photons of laser energy penetrate deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth, thereby speeding recovery. Painful conditions accompanied by swelling or inflammation benefit from this technology. Once the inflammation subsides, 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 where conservative treatment and therapies have failed, steroid injections or surgery may be recommended. Surgery may involve a correction of a hammertoe deformity, release or removal of a nerve impingement, or reshaping of the metatarsal bones. If you are suffering from Metatarsalgia foot pain and want relief today, follow some of the home remedies listed above or contact a podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment. If you are seeking assistance from a board certified podiatrist, contact the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois at 217-787-2700. Visit to view a short video on cutting edge MLS Laser Therapy and to obtain information on custom orthotics.

January 03, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged
Fit Feet and Fitbits
By: Grant Gonzalez, DPM
VIA: Capital City Senior;

The Digital Revolution is expanding its impact on our lives every minute. Smartphones, wireless internet networks, biometric authentication devices, virtual personal assistants, wristband gadgets and virtual reality devices are here today – and often gone tomorrow – as new technology redefines our future lifestyle opportunities and business models.

This revolution has had a profound impact on....... (Read the rest of the article HERE)



Five Foot-Care Resolutions Worth Keeping in 2018!

By: The Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois
Dr. John Sigle, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.


    Every time we approach the New Year, I think about the hilarious skit that pop singer Meghan Trainor and funny man James Cordan performed on the Late Late Show called, “All About That Change.” Both Trainor and Cordan reject the popular goals of getting in shape or drinking less and quickly come to a realization that they are worthless and lead to disappointment.  Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common for most Americans,
and they fall short of making positive change.
    Many of my patients subscribe to the more popular resolutions of getting healthier, living life to the fullest, and............
Read the rest of this article from Healthy Cells Magazine, December 2017 HERE.