What will happen on my first visit?
You will be given a thorough podiatric medical evaluation to diagnose your foot problem. The doctor and her staff will take your medical history, conduct a foot and ankle exam and perform necessary tests as needed such as an x-ray. Once a diagnosis is made, you will be given a thorough explanation of your condition. The doctor will then work with you to design a treatment plan that accommodates your needs, relieves your discomfort and corrects the foot problem.
What is a podiatrist?
A podiatrist or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) is a specialist in the care of the feet and ankles. A podiatrist is responsible for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders by medical and surgical means.
What are the requirements to become a podiatrist?
After completing a 4 year bachelor's degree program, a student goes on to a 4 year podiatric medical school to earn a D.P.M. degree. Further education is then received for 1 to 3 years in a residency, internship or post-graduate training program. To become licensed, one must then pass the National and State Board Exams and complete 100 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) classes and seminars every two years in order to renew state licenses.
What conditions are treated by a podiatrist?
- Athlete's Foot
- Bone Spurs
- Cold Feet
- Diabetic Feet
- Diabetic Ulcers
- Enlarged Joints
- Foot Deformities
- Foot Fatigue
- Foot Imbalance
- Foot Odor
- Foot Weakness
- Fungal Nails
- Heel Spurs
- High-arched Feet
- Infected Toenails
- Ingrown Toenails
- Metatarsal Pain
- Numb Feet
- Poor Circulation
- Poor Posture
- Shin Splints
- Skin & Nails of Hands
- Skin Rashes
- Swollen Feet
- Varicose Veins
When shoud I see a podiatrist?
We encourage you to have regular check ups. We recommend that you have your feet checked at least once a year. After all, your feet are the foundation for your health. So, see your podiatrist for pain relief or corretive treatment at the first sign of any foot or ankle trouble. Especially if you sustain an injury.
If you suffer from a more serious condition such as diabetes, you should have your feet checked much more frequently. Any problems or soreness should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to avoid further problems.
What is the Medicare Diabetic Shoe Program?
In 1993 Medicare approved a therapeutic footwear program for people with diabetes. The program was designed for people with diabetes to be fitted with shoes and inserts to not only help provide proper fitting shoes, but also to help alleviate pressure areas in shoes that sometimes can lead to corns, calluses or open sores. Diabetic patients can qualify for one pair of shoes and three pairs of custom inserts per calendar year. Medicare pays 80% of the total cost. After your deductible If you have a secondary insurance, they will likely pay the balance.
Under the Medicare guidelines, the patient needs to be seeing a physician on a regular basis for their diabetes in order to qualify for this program. A certification form must be signed by your family physician so that Medicare will cover the approved shoes.
How do I select shoes that fit properly?
- Purchase shoes at the end of the day for the best fit. Your feet are smaller earlier in the day and you may purchase shoes which are too tight.
- Have both feet measured. No two feet are the same size. Purchase shoes for the larger foot.
- You should be able to wiggle your toes in the shoes.
- Walk around the store to ensure comfort.
- Try on shoes with the socks or hose you will wear with the shoes.
- Shoes should feel good when you try them on. Don't rely on the shoe "stretching" to fit.
- Shoes should fit snugly in the heel and provide ample room in the toe area. Shoes should not cause redness or irritation to any part of the foot.
What are foot orthotics?
Foot orthotics are custom-made inner soles which are made from a mold of both feet and then placed in your shoes. They are used to control or alter foot function and often relieve pain caused by disorders such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain). Orthotics are compatible with many shoe styles and to work effectively should be worn daily. So, whatever shoes you decide to wear, before you put them on, don't forget to insert your customized inner soles.
Foot care recommendations.
Although many foot problems are hereditary, there are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of foot trouble. Preventative care can make a big difference, especially if you have diabetes.
- Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in color and temperature. Any growth on the foot is not considered normal and ahould be evaluated by a podiatrist.
- Make sure you wear properly fitting shoes and socks. These items are available in our office and we are always glad to measure your shoe size.
- Wear cotton socks or the new material "Cool Max" that absorb moisture and pull the wetness away from the bottom of your feet.
- Trim your nails carefully with a toenail clipper. If you have difficulty, consult a podiatrist for this service.
- Exercise your feet. Walking increases your circulation in the feet and legs. Whatever the activity always make sure you wear the appropriate shoes.
- Use warm water to wash your feet regularly and be sure to dry your feet completely. We recommend moisturizing your feet with a product such as Aquaphor (lanolin, petroleum jelly, mineral oil mixture), which is available in our office to keep the soles from cracking and keep callused skin soft.
- Avoid crossing your legs often since it may affect your circulation. Also avoid tight hosiery that interferes with the veins in your legs.
- Avoid walking barefoot especially outdoors.
- ALWAYS CONSULT A PODIATRIST IF YOU EXPERIENCE PAIN OR PROBLEMS WITH YOUR FEET OR ANKLES. After all, your feet have to last you a lifetime and they are the foundation of your body.
Fun foot facts.
- The 52 bones in your feet make up about one quarter of all the bones in your body.
- The American Podiatric Medical Association estimates a person takes between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day adding up to 115,000 miles in a lifetime. That is the equivilant of walking more than four times the circumference of the globe throughout one's life.
- Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon. Your feet tend to swell during the day and it is best to buy shoes to fit them then.
- 75% of Americans will experience foot health problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another in their lives.
- The skin on the soles of your feet is 20 times thicker than anywhere else on your body.
- The pressure on your feet when running can be as much as four times your body weight.