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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. Common foot and ankle problems treated by podiatrist are arthritis, bunions, heel pain, spurs, hammer toes, arthritis, nerve entrapment, posterior heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, corns and calluses. Most podiatrist also treat sprains, fractures, ankle instability, infections, and injuries of the foot, hind foot and ankle. For more information check out our blog!


What are the most common issues that podiatrist treat?

Common foot and ankle problems treated by podiatrist are arthritis, bunions, heel pain, spurs, hammer toes, arthritis, nerve entrapment, posterior heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, corns and calluses, sprains, fractures, ankle instability, infections, and injuries of the foot, hind foot and ankle. For more information check out our blog!


Why does my heel hurt in the morning?

Symptoms for plantar fasciitis are typically characterized by sharp, stabbing, aching pain at the bottom of the heel which is worse with the first step out of bed in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest. Typically, symptoms improve after stretching out or “walking off” the pain but may not completely get rid of it. While the pain is often times located at the inside (medial) portion of the heel it can be located anything on the plantar surface. Many patients report that throughout the day their symptoms are tolerable but the longer they are on their feet the worse the symptoms become by then end of the day. For more information check out our blog post.


How can I manage heel pain?

Often times heel pain can be managed by stretching and wearing better shoes. If these measures do not resolve the symptoms you may need to see a specialist. To schedule an appointment, click on the contact link above.


What causes ingrown toenails?

Causes of ingrown toenails vary and can stem from poor/irregular anatomy, nail fungal changes (nail dystrophy), trauma, shoes that are too small, or an overly aggressive pedicure to name a few. Generally speaking, the causes fit into one of two broad categories: 1. a misshapen nail that impinges on the nail fold as it grows out or 2. inflammation or swelling of the surrounding soft tissue that causes the tissue to swell and push itself up against the nail causing an "ingrown". For more information check out our blog.


Do I have toenail fungus?

Onychomycosis is a condition where a fungus infects the nail leading to discoloration, thickening and disfiguration of the nail. This condition is estimated to affect between 10-12% of the population and is transmissible between members of the same household. Fungal nails can be a source of pain, ingrown toenails, and self-consciousness regarding the look of the nail. For more information check out our blog.


How does a nail laser work?

Lasers increase the rate at which is natural processes of nail remodeling occur. This increases the recovery of the infected, misshapen nail and promotes clearing. Additionally, the lasers increase the oxidative stress on fungal cells leading to their death.


What causes bunions?

A bunion is a mechanical mal alignment of the big toe joint which causes the 1st metatarsal to deviate away from the foot and the big toe to encroach on the 2nd toe. This is better known as Hallux Abducto Valgus (HAV). For more information check out out blog.


What causes Arthritis?

Generally speaking, arthritis can be broken down into 2 categories – 1. Autoimmune related such a rheumatoid arthritis or 2. Wear and tear arthritis which is the result of many years of use or the end result of a distant injury from long ago. Joint destruction and loss of cartilage generally leading to painful arthritis. For more information check out our blog post.


What causes Neuromas?

A Neuroma is a swollen nerve surrounded by scar tissue in the ball of the foot. The most commonly affected nerves are the plantar common digital nerves which supply sensation to the web space between the toes. Neuromas are usually caused by impingement of one of the nerves as it passes under the deep transverse metatarsal ligament, a supporting ligament that links the metatarsal heads together. Major factors contributing to this impingement include tight fitting shoes, localized trauma, unsupportive shoes, prolonged standing on toes or ball of foot, high arched feet and hammer toes. For more information check out our blog post.


What causes Athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is fungal infection of the skin that can cause itching, burning, flaking, and blistering. The species of fungi that most often associated with these infections are T. mentagrophytes, E. floccosum, and T. rubrum. In general fungus prefers dark, damp and moist environments making shoes and socks the ideal place for them to survive and thrive. For more information check out our blog post.


What causes Stress fractures?

A stress fracture, sometimes known as a “hair line fracture” occurs when a crack forms in a bone with the overall structure remaining intact. In most cases stress fractures are caused by low level, repeated strain across a bone that leads to eventual fatigue of the bone and failure. For more information check out our blog post


What causes Ankle instability (weak ankles)?

Ankle instability (weak ankles) is the incompetency of the medial and lateral supporting ligaments and tendons. This leads to a failure to maintain proper joint alignment when challenged with an external force. Instability can occur on either side of the ankle though medial ankle instability occurs far less commonly than lateral ankle instability. While lasting instability does not occur after most ankle sprains, there is a 10-15% chance after each ankle sprain that a ligamentous incompetency or a functional deficiency will persist. For more information click here.


Are flat feet normal?

If you were born with flat feet then yes, a flat foot is considered a normal variant of foot structure. If you didn’t used to have a flat foot and now you do, then that is not normal. Whether your foot is flat or not, pain is never normal. If you are experiencing foot pain, contact us to make an appointment.


What are orthotics?

A foot orthotic is a device that fits into the shoe which serves to correct or augment the function of the foot during walking and as a device that can more evenly spread the weight across a larger surface are on the bottom of the foot.


How long to orthotics last?

There are many factors that determine the life span of orthotics but generally speaking accommodative orthotics last anywhere from 3 months to one year, functional over the counter orthotics last anywhere from 3 to 6 months and custom functional orthotics last 15 years or more.


What does high risk foot care refer to?

High risk foot care refers to routine matai Nance of calluses and nails in conjunction with providing off loading devices in people who limited or diminished blood flow in their feet or a relative loss of sensation in the feet or ankles. In the U.S. the bulk of this population is made up by diabetes but anyone who meets this criteria may apply. This A lack of blood flow and sensation significantly increases the risk of ulceration, infections and possible amputation. At risk foot care serves to mitigate this risk.


When is foot or ankle surgery needed?

Outside of the obvious broken bones and infection, there are many reasons why someone may need to have foot or ankle surgery. Surgery because a reasonable options when the patient has under gone conservative treatments with little or no improvement and the symptoms are starting to interfere with the patient’s daily life or ability to do the things they want to do. As I say in the clinic – “if you are planning your life around your painful foot, surgery may be needed.”


Do you accept new patients?

Yes! We are currently scheduling new patients and accept a wide variety of insurance plans.


Is my office visit covered by insurance?

If you find an in-network provider with your insurance plan then chances are yes, your office visit is covered by insurance. There may be a few road blocks to consider however. Some plans require a referral from your primary care doctor before you can see the specialist otherwise your insurance may not cover any of the visit. This information may be found on your insurance card or by a phone call with your insurance company. You should also consider how much of your deductible is unmet. While your plan may cover the services, you are typically responsible for a portion if not all of the costs prior to your deductible being met. To help with this process, Select Foot and Ankle Specialists will verify your insurance information prior to your visit.


Why does my foot hurt?

Great question! There are many reasons why someone may have pain is the foot or ankle. To help localized down exactly what in your foot hurts check out our blog post on surface anatomy and hopefully it will help you zero in on the cause. Then check out our other blog posts for more information!


How does a pain laser work?

Increased energy in the cells serves to speed up the cell's natural functions for reduction in pain and inflammation. This stimulates healing and when class 4 lasers are used increased heat and blood flow. For more information check out our blog.

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