(262) 544-0700

New Office Location!



David Guhl, DPM
Amy Miller-Guhl, DPM
20700 Watertown Rd
Ste 200
Waukesha, WI 53186







Sooner or later, we must decide whether to keep some things or let them go. Some of these decisions aren’t so life-altering. That collection of state-themed soaps was probably never going to amount to much.   


Some choices, however, are much more a part of you. In the case of bunions, that statement is literal! 


You may have had a bunion for a long time. It might have grown larger or more prominent over the years. It might be painful at times. It might not. 


But you’ve likely thought about whether you should have surgery to remove the bunion—or if there is anything you could or should be doing at all. It can seem like a very tough decision, but we would be happy to help you make it with confidence! 


A General Stance on Surgery 

When we as podiatrists consider surgery, it is typically only as a last resort. That counts for bunions, hammertoes, tendons—anything. 


This is because surgery is, in itself, a form of trauma. It is controlled trauma with good intentions, yes, but it still has effects on the body. For surgery to be a worthy consideration, you must weigh all the potential good effects of a procedure against the potential negative effects. 

But if there is a way to relieve symptoms and provide comfort without surgery, we’ll strongly consider that option. 


Bunion surgery is an option best reserved for patients who are in pain and have not benefitted from other conservative forms of treatment. If a bunion is preventing you from enjoying life, then surgery becomes a consideration. 


Some people may have never considered going to a podiatrist for bunion treatment for the belief that surgery is the only real option they have. However, this is far from the truth in most cases! 


The primary goal of bunion treatment is not to eliminate the bump. It is to eliminate the pain and discomfort that can arise as a complication of a bunion. 


Does this mean that, if a bunion is not causing you any pain or problems, nothing needs to be done about it? 

When it comes to direct treatment, yes! At the very least, you are not going to need surgery! 


Does that mean you should ignore it, though? No.  


Part of conservative management is taking action toward avoiding problems from developing. So even if your bunion is not bothering you, keeping it from progressing is still important. 


But what if your bunion is hurting you? What if it has been hurting you for a long time? 

In this case, we will still first see whether conservative treatments can provide you the relief from symptoms that you need.  Effective bunion management is always preferred over effective bunion surgery, and there are several methods that might yield results. 


Custom orthotics can help keep excess weight off painful areas, as well as help prevent calluses and corns as a result of rubbing against a shoe. The footwear you choose to use can also have a significant impact on your comfort. As long as it provides enough management and relief, a conservative treatment or set of treatments will almost always be the recommendation. 


If Surgery is Needed 


Whether you’re North, South, West, or call another Waukesha school your home turf, you’ll want your kids starting this school year off “on the right foot.”

Yes, we know that those feet have been growing and changing quite a bit, and likely still are! From the ages of 3-4, shoes sizes can increase a half-size or even more every 4 months or so. At ages 5-6, the growth tends to slow down a little, to a half-size every 6 months.

The beginning of the school year is a good checkpoint for your kids’ foot health, as well as a good time to buy new shoes. Here are some tips on what to look for, and finding shoes that provide the support and fit your children need.

A Foot-based Progress Report

It never hurts to check up on your family’s general foot health. When you have the opportunity, check your child’s feet and nails for signs of sores, spots, blemishes—basically anything that looks out of the ordinary.

If you find something and it does not look like an immediate concern, keep track of it over the next several days. If it does not show any signs of improving, give us a call. If there’s a problem in need of addressing, it will always be more effective to take care of it sooner than later.

Also take time to examine how your child walks. Do they walk with toes shifted inward or outward? Do they seem to show signs of limping or pain at times?

A child’s arches do not tend to fully develop until age 5 or 6, so seeing flat feet before then is not necessarily a cause for concern. This is especially true if you see their arches when they are sitting, but they disappear when standing or rising onto their toes. This is known as “flexible flatfoot” and frequently resolves itself.

However, any case of flatfoot should be examined and monitored over time to ensure it does not turn into a rigid, painful problem. It is always worth calling us regarding any case of flatfoot you see, but a child who is 5 or older who still has it should have special attention.

Finding the Right Back-to-school Shoes

Like we noted above, shoe sizes can change very quickly in childhood. Before seeking out a good pair of shoes, you should always perform a foot measurement.

A measurement can be done at home with a ruler or tape measurer, then converted into a shoe size. But really, the best way to ensure a good measurement is to have it done by a trained associate at a shoe store. They have the know-how to do it best, and they may also spot additional qualities of your child’s feet that could benefit from different styles of shoes.

However, that does not mean that your child’s measured shoe size is always gospel truth. A size 6 in one brand may be more of a size 5 or 7 in another. Use the sizes as general guidelines, but always check for proper fit:

  • All judgements should be made with your child standing up and normally bearing weight on their feet. As feet tend to swell to their largest sizes toward the end of the day, shopping in the afternoon is preferred.
  • Feel for space between the end of the longest toe and the front end of the shoe. There should be about half an inch, or the width of your thumb, that is unoccupied.
  • Be sure to press along the top and sides of the front of the shoe to locate all the toes. Toes should not be crunched together, but should have room to move freely within the shoe.
  • Insert a finger between the heel and back of the shoe. It should fit snugly within.
  • Have your child walk around the store for a short time with the shoes on. The heel should not slide dramatically against the back of the shoe (a little slide is acceptable). When finished, remove the shoes and check your child’s feet for marks left behind. Such marks are a sign that the fit is not correct.

There is no such thing as “breaking in” a new pair of shoes. Either shoes fit immediately or they do not. Period.

The structure and composition of a shoe are also important. A good shoe should be flexible enough to freely move, but also provide enough stability and balance. Based on your child’s arches, more or less cushioning may be recommended. We can help you determine the ideal kinds of shoes to look for.

Your kids will be in their shoes 8 or more hours per day, so make sure they’re made from a breathable fabric such as leather, canvas, or cotton. Synthetics are not always terrible, especially if they’re in a mesh pattern, but stay away from rubber and vinyl whenever you can.

Buying shoes that are a few sizes too big to “grow into them” is not a great idea, as the initial improper fit may cause problems. It’s better to buy a less expensive pair of shoes and replace them in half a year, if they fit properly.

Waukesha Foot Specialists wishes all returning students a spectacular school year, and all parents ease of mind as well. If you have any questions about your child’s foot care, or see something that seems suspect, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (262) 544-0700. Our office on Watertown Road is happily accepting new patients.

Whether you're a committed athlete who hits your favorite routes several times a week, or a casual runner who joins in events like September's Procrastination Run, there's one thing that will always ring true: you never want something to get in the way of your running!

Sometimes that means fudging your schedule to get a run in. Other times that means donning whatever lucky charm you have to avoid hitting that one long stop at a crosswalk.

But when the hindrance comes from your own body, such as from heel pain, it can be one of the most frustrating problems you'll face!

What's responsible for a runner's heel pain and, even better, what can be done about it? Let's not keep you waiting.

Person with an ankle sprain holding their foot

What Can Cause Heel Pain in Runners?

While heel pain is a rather simple symptom, its causes can be many. Whne it comes to runners and other athletes who are quick on their feet, however, there tend to be a few prime suspects.

Perhaps the most common cause of heel pain in runners is plantar fasciitis. This is irritation and injury to the thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs along the underside of each foot. This band connects the heel bone to the base of the toes, and faces a lot of forces in its supportive and functional role.

Another potential cause of heel pain is stress fractures. These are tiny surface cracks that develop along the surface of the bone. In this case, it may likely be the heel bone itself.

Yet another possible cause of heel pain is Achilles tendinitis, irritation or injury to the tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle.

These are three different sources of heel pain, targeting three different parts of the foot. However, when it comes to runners and other athletes, they do tend to have one thing in common.

Many times, an athlete will develop plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, or Achilles tendinitis as a result of overuse. In other words, the body is being pushed farther or harder than from which it can recover.

This can be a problem for those who are trying to hit their goals as fast as possible, or trying to hit personal bests before a race. In the effort to push oneself, and not listening to the needs of the body to recover, they ultimately end up delaying their progress with an injury.

It can be a tough, frustrating line to walk between excellence and injury prevention, but a planned steady increase in intensity of no more than 10% per week, combined with proper, supportive equipment and a cross-training plan that switches up focus on different muscles go a long way toward keeping a runner off the sidelines.

But What If It Happens Anyways?

Even with the best laid plans, heel pain can still strike. There may be additional factors outside of one’s control, such as an abnormal foot shape or gait that places excess stress on the heel. Or, sometimes, things simply line up in just the wrong way.

If and when that happens, your response can go a long way toward both the speed of your recovery and your risks of developing more chronic problems down the road.

In many cases, the best immediate reaction to heel pain in athletes is to employ the RICE method:

  • REST – Especially if your heel pain has suddenly developed during activity. Do not try to "push through it."
  • ICE – Apply for no more than 20 minutes at a time; otherwise you risk harm to your skin and your recovery time.
  • COMPRESSION – Wrap the area site with an ACE bandage for support, but not tight enough to restrict blood flow.
  • ELEVATE – Raise your foot above the level of your heat, propping it on pillows or furniture to reduce pain and swelling.

Now, this is good general first response advice, but it may not be the most effective overall heel pain treatment for your case. Ultimately, the cause of the heel pain should be identified so the most direct and effective steps can be taken for its care.

In some cases, heel pain treatment may involve addressing imbalances with the use of orthotics. In others, recommendations may include stretches, medications, or injections. It will all depend on the cause of one's problem, as well as individual needs and lifestyle.

Person putting ice on their ankle in pain

OK, we know what you really want to know: how long do you have to stay away from running or whatever else you like to do? Depending on the case, that may be up to weeks!

We know, we’re sorry—but it’s not as bad as you might think! Even if you might have to hang up running as much as you want to for a bit, there are still other ways to work out that can keep you moving in the interim—and not risk your injury worsening. Swimming, cycling, and walking may be useful, low-impact alternatives, as is weight training!

We can help you figure out the best uses of your time as you recover, but one thing you should never do is try to push back to a normal routine before you’re ready. You’re only delaying your return to 100% efficiency this way. Not only that, but you risk making repeat injuries more likely!

When it comes to athletes, trust us when we say we want to get you back to form as quickly as possible—but also as safely, as well. Keeping the long game in mind is the key to an optimal recovery.

If you need help with heel pain issues—whether training for a marathon or just enjoying walks around the block—come see the experts at Waukesha Foot Specialists. Call us at (262) 544-0700 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

Perhaps citizens down in Florida, Texas, and Arizona cities might take warm weather for granted, but in Southeastern Wisconsin we only get a couple months of warmth every year. 

And for our summer months, it’s only natural you want to enjoy everything the season has to offer!

Of course, “everything the season has to offer” can mean anything from catching a ballgame at Miller Park to watching your kids swim at Buchner Pool or the Horeb Springs Aquatic Center here in town to having a picnic with loved ones at any of our city’s award-winning parks.

Summer Fun

No matter which summertime activities are your favorites, one of the best parts of the season is being able to air out our feet – especially after keeping them encased in socks, shoes, and winter boots for so many months of the year!

Sure, it simply just feels good to let your feet breathe, but it’s also worth noting the fact that those other months contribute to increased frequency of fungal toenail infections and athlete’s foot (which is also caused by fungus). 

The increased risk comes from the fact fungus thrives in warm, damp environments and—even when the air outside is cold-to-downright-frigid—this is the exact condition you find with feet that are covered.

Now, there are certainly ways to reduce fungal infection risk even in our colder months, but they cannot compare to avoiding the problem by sporting sandals and open-toed shoes during the summer.

Appropriately, you don’t want issues keeping you from wearing your favorite seasonal footwear – and this can be the situation when ingrown toenails are in the picture!

When it comes to ingrown toenails, the simple fact is that you can potentially develop them no matter who you are.

See, certain demographics have a greater predisposition for some foot issues. If someone is going to get a bunion, that person is most likely to be female. (And same with osteoarthritis and elderly people.)

That is not the case for this condition.

As long as you have toenails, there’s a chance one of them—usually the nails found on big and small toes—could become ingrown.

When this happens, it can be quite painful. And beyond any pain or discomfort, the soft tissue flanking the nail can become irritated, reddened, and inflamed as the skin is pressed (and eventually pierced).

Along with the other symptoms, an ingrown nail also increases your risk for various bacterial and fungal infections. In fact, a significant number of fungal toenail cases actually begin this way.

Essentially, microorganisms have an easy path into the body when skin is pierced. And if they do find their way inside, the infection can potentially lead to the development of pockets of pus – which causes even more pressure and pain for the infected toe.

Fortunately, severe infections tend to be rare.

Summer Feet

The reason for that is because most people will feel the pain and then take appropriate measures, including applying antibacterial cream or ointment.

Not everyone has the ability to feel physical sensations in their feet, however. Such is the case with diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetes is a very serious medical condition, one which causes systemic damage in the body. This can impair normal function for several of the body systems, including the nervous system.

If elevated blood sugar levels have started to damage your nerves, you will likely start with neuropathic pain (which includes sharp, burning, and tingling sensations). When enough time has lapsed—with continued heightened glucose levels and no measures to properly address the disease—those sensations cease and areas become numb.

It might sound better not to have pain, but this isn’t the case at all!

A diabetic individual cannot rely on the sense of touch to know when problems exist, which means he or she is probably not going to take measures to resolve the problem.

Left untreated, wounds—including ingrown toenails—can break down and become dangerous diabetic foot ulcers. This is particularly concerning because these ulcers have a 5-year mortality rate that is worse than the ones you can find for several prominent types of cancer, including colon, breast, and prostate cancers.

(And that illustrates a major reason why responsible diabetic foot care—such as having our office perform nail trimming services for you—is so important!)

Even if you don’t have diabetes, you still will want to have the problem resolved if you have a toenail that has become ingrown.

For cases that are mild-to-moderate and aren’t recurring, we will probably be able to handle this for you in a very conservative manner. In that best-case scenario, we may simply need to take measures to soften the nail, gently lift it over the skin, and then provide instructions for how to prevent it from becoming ingrown again. Further, these initial steps are typically followed by applying topical ointment or cream (to reduce infection risk).

Regarding pain management, you may find benefit by taking recommended or prescribed pain relievers, and potentially with over-the-counter options you can pick up at the store.

That’s the basics of conservative treatment, but—as with just about anything in life—“best case” scenarios obviously don’t always happen. (After all, there would be no need for the “best case” label if they did!)

In some cases, more aggressive treatment is needed.

Usually, we reserve surgery (nail removal – either partial or complete) for ingrown toenails that are either causing severe pain and/or recurrent.

Between the two situations—which are not mutually-exclusive—it is more likely we need to recommend surgical intervention to address a recurrent ingrown nail. This is simply because the core issue typically is an unusually-curved nail structure that will cause it to continually become ingrown.

We understand that it might seem as though removing a toenail, or part of one, would be painful, but this is not the case. Prior to the procedure, we use anesthesia to numb the area (provided there are no issues preventing us from doing so).

In the case of complete nail removal, we may perform another procedure to keep the toenail from growing back. The reason for this is because we’ve determined the same problem will keep arising over and over again, and we don’t want you to keep dealing with pain and discomfort continually.

The second procedure is one which renders the nail matrix—which generates your new nail tissue—inoperable on a permanent basis.

Naturally, the affected nail will be covered with antibacterial ointment and gauze following the surgery.

For optimal healing and reduced infection risk, it is imperative you follow all postop instructions, including measures for keeping the area clean.

Patients typically want to know what they can expect from the procedure and we normally start by noting that it is done on an outpatient basis – which means you will leave the same day. Since anesthesia is used, plan on having someone drive you to and from the appointment. And during the recovery period, you will probably have a bit of discomfort for the first couple of days, but this will start to fade in time.

Choose Properly-Fitting Shoes

Unless you have an inherited nail structure making you susceptible to this condition, there are some measures you can take to reduce your risk. These include things like:

  • Keep your toenails at a proper length. Ideally, you should keep your nails roughly even with the edge of their respective toes. If you trim them too short, it can potentially result in pressure from footwear – and this can direct a nail to start growing into surrounding tissue.
  • Clip the nails straight across.Whereas people usually round fingernails when trimming them, toenails should be clipped with a straight cut. Doing so reduces the risk they will dig into the sides as they grow.
  • Choose properly-fitting shoes.Though not as common a root cause as people may think, tight-fitting shoes can possibly lead to the condition. This is particularly true when toes are pinched by footwear that does not have enough room in the toe box. To avoid this—and other foot issues—always opt for comfortable shoes that fit well.
  • Protect your feet at work (and at home).Some cases of ingrown toenails develop on account of physical trauma, often by dropping something heavy on the toes. If your job requires you to move heavy items, make sure you wear steel-toed shoes or boots. And if you are moving something heavy at home, ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to help. (Not only does that lower your risk of dropping the object on your foot, it can also potentially save your back!)

Hopefully you are able to prevent a case of ingrown toenails from happening in the first place, but if you do find yourself with this common condition and want to enjoy the couple months of summer we actually get, contact our team at Waukesha Foot Specialists and request an appointment for professional treatment!

You can connect with us by calling (262) 544-0700 and one of our team members will be happy to answer any questions or assist you in scheduling an appointment

There are plenty of opportunities to have fun in town this summer, but today let’s focus on some Milwaukee activities you might want to participate in or check out with friends and family.

Naturally, any conversation about summer fun in Milwaukee has to start with “The World’s Largest Music Festival” – Summerfest.

This year, the “Big Gig” kicks off on June 27th and runs through July 8th. You know you can catch some big acts on the main stage, but don’t forget to check out the action on the secondary stages. (After all, there are over 800 bands performing at the festival.) (According to Summerfest; we didn’t actually count them all!)

If we’re talking about big events, we’d be remiss not to include the Wisconsin State Fair, which takes place from August 2nd through August 12th this year.

Young child eating a donut at the Wisconsin State FairSure, the Waukesha County Fair (the oldest county fair in the state!) is a great place for food, entertainment, and fun right here in town, but it does pale in comparison to the State Fair. (That said, be sure to keep your calendar open for July 18th through July 22nd so you can stop by the county fairgrounds!)

Now, if you’re going to the State Fair, make sure you wear some comfortable shoes—more on this shortly!—since checking out all the events, displays, and demonstrations will put a lot of steps into your Fitbit (or other activity logging device).

At present, the Brewer season is going pretty well and we certainly don’t want to jinx that. Still, another great option for enjoying the summer is to head to Miller Park and watch the Brewers as they look to improve on last year’s results and qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2011. If the bullpen holds up and the team stays healthy, there’s a good chance they can make it happen!

For a more active experience, you may want to take advantage of any of the walking or running trails found throughout the city, or load up your bike and spend a day cycling around town. Activities like these are great ways to keep your feet—and the rest of you!—healthy and in shape.

Perhaps one of the best ways to have fun this summer is to stop out at the Milwaukee County Zoo with any younger family members (sons, daughters, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc.). Sure, you could enjoy viewing and learning about the animals yourself, but it is so much better when children get excited seeing the over 3,100 different mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

At Waukesha Foot Specialists, we want you to have every opportunity possible. We’ve only barely scratched the surface on ways to have fun in the “Great City on a Great Lake,” but you might have to pass on these extracurriculars if you have foot pain or dysfunction.

To keep your feet healthy and safe this summer—so you can enjoy those outstanding activities throughout the entire season—here are some tips to help:

  • Wear comfortable shoes. If you are attending Summerfest or any of the other Milwaukee festivals this year, you are probably going to spend a lot of time on your feet. When you do, you want to make sure you are wearing shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and functional.
  • Wear activity-appropriate footwear. Sure, if you’re watching the Brew Crew at Miller Park, you don’t need to sport baseball cleats, but if you participate in any of our local softball leagues make sure you do! Even if you play more for fun—or beverages with the team afterwards—and aren’t super competitive, you still want to protect yourself from injury.

That example is certainly applicable, but keep in mind this tip pertains to any kind of physical activity you might do. So if you enjoy going for a run here in town or driving out to the lakefront and training there, make sure you are wearing running shoes that fit appropriately and work with your particular pronation pattern. And if you head to any of the basketball or tennis courts for some competitive summer fun, wear basketball or tennis shoes (respectively) to lower your injury risk.

  • Wear moisture-wicking socks and shoes made from breathable materials. We don’t have to tell you that our summer months can bring more heat than a Josh Hader fastball. When temperatures start rising (like the Brewers’ playoff chances this year!), your feet start to produce more sweat to stay cool. This is natural, but there’s a slight problem – fungi and bacteria love damp, warm, and dark environments.

Reduce your risk of fungal and bacterial infection—and keep your feet and footwear from smelling outright funky—by choosing footwear that wicks away moisture and allows feet to actually breathe.

  • Ease into new activities. Hey, we know it can be exciting to participate in fun, summer activities or take advantage of the nice weather to start a running program, but always take the time to ease into new physical activities. Remember, trying to do “too much, too soon” is almost always a recipe for injury!
  • Warm up and stretch. Before you head out for a run or take to the court for the game of pickup or rec league basketball, spend a good 10-15 minutes warming up and stretching first. For your warmup, brisk walking or light jogging will start get your cardiovascular system ready for action. When it comes to stretching, perform dynamic stretches—not static ones (where you hold a stretching position for 30 seconds)—to prepare your musculoskeletal system and reduce your risk for orthopedic injuries.
  • Stay hydrated. One potential problem that can develop during summertime activities is cramping in legs and feet. A smart way to avoid this is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water during hot days, and especially if you are staying active.
  • Eat well. When you think about the benefits of healthy eating, you probably don’t consider foot and ankle health. Well, the fact of the matter is that a nutritious, healthy diet keeps your lower limbs healthy and strong. This is absolutely essential if you have diabetes and strongly recommended if you suffer from gout. At the same time, every person on this planet benefits when he or she makes smart dietary choices.

One way to do so is to practice “clean eating.” This is simply a matter of eating food as close to its natural form and state as possible. If this is something you are interested in practicing—and we certainly recommend doing so—you might want to consider shopping at the Waukesha Farmers Market for the best fresh produce around. The market is open now through October 27th on Saturdays from 8 AM – noon.

  • Don’t push through pain. We hope you are able to stay safe, healthy, and injury-free this summer (and the rest of the year, too!). Of course, we also know that injuries happen. That is simply a risk that’s always present when our bodies are in motion. If you do feel pain in a foot or ankle—or anything doesn’t seem right as you move—contact our Waukesha office for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Pain is your body’s way of letting you know there’s a problem, so let us provide the treatment you need to resolve the problem.

In the event you do have an issue that develops in your lower limbs and you need expert care and treatment for a foot or ankle, contact Waukesha Foot Specialists at the earliest opportunity. Let us help you find relief from pain and restored functionality!

Contact us today by calling (262) 544-07000 for more information or to request your appointment.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Questions or Comments?
We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest or concern about our services.

Call Today 262-544-0700

20700 Watertown Rd.
Waukesha, WI 53186

Foot Specialists - Waukesha, David Guhl, DPM, Amy Miller-Guhl, DPM, 20700 Watertown Rd, Waukesha WI, 53186 262-544-0700