Texas Foot and Ankle FAQs - Victoria Foot
Let Us Answer Some Common Questions!
1. What is a podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), specializing in the treatment of the foot and ankle. Although podiatrists are known as “foot doctors”, they are highly trained health care providers that often are the first to diagnose systemic problems that affect the feet and ankles such as diabetes, gout, arthritis, vascular diseases, and others. After college, podiatrists attend 4 years of medical school followed by residency training in areas of surgery, wound care, and biomechanics.
2. What should I expect at my first appointment?
Upon arriving at our podiatry office, you will first be greeted by friendly people. Our environment is designed to help you feel welcome and comfortable.
When you meet with Dr. Eberly, he will take the time to identify your goals and expectations of your experience at Victoria Foot and Ankle Center. Then he will diagnose your condition by considering your thorough history, examination, and testing. Next, we will educate you on your diagnosis, available treatment options, and prognosis. He will spend time and make sure all of your questions are answered. Depending on your treatment needed, we may even be able to provide same-day podiatry care.
We will have you fill out information about your health, medications and insurance. It is helpful to bring a copy of your medication list for our records. You will also need to bring your Health Insurance or Medicare Cards. The office staff will make a photocopy for our records. If you have test results from other facilities such as X-rays, an MRI or CT scan, or other relevant lab work this will facilitate your diagnosis and treatment.
Overall, your first visit will be informative and helpful, and our goal is to put you at ease.
3. When do I need to see a podiatrist?
If you are in pain, have a wound, or show signs of an infection you should be seen by a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Signs of infection include pain, redness, warmth, swelling, and purulent drainage. Fever (>100 degrees Fahrenheit without any known reason) and chills may also be evident.
Some people are at greater risk of limb or life threatening problems than others. If you are diabetic, have peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular diseases, or other conditions that compromise your health you should be seen on a regular basis to prevent complications.
We all have bumps and bruises that heal within a short period of time. when an injury does not seem to heal despite our “home treatments” you should see a podiatrist.
4. What are orthotics?
Orthotics are custom made devices that fit into your shoes to support the arch. They are also commonly called arch supports. They can be made of different materials depending on the need of the patient. Orthotics are designed to control foot function resulting in improved function, relief of pain, and protection from further injury. Your podiatrist will help recommend an orthotic that best fits your needs.
5. How often should I replace my running shoes?
It is a good idea to replace your shoes every three to four months if you run an average of 25 miles a week. Also keep in mind that a heavier runner should change every 350 miles, while someone lighter is around 550 miles. For regular shoes that are worn for normal daily use, a good rule of thumb is to replace them every 6 months.
6. What is the Diabetic Shoe Program and how can I take advantage of it?
Diabetic patients may be at risk of developing ulcerations or wounds that can be difficult to heal. Too frequently this results in infection, surgery, hospitalization, and loss of limb. Diabetic shoes help to offload calluses and bony prominences in the feet and prevent wounds from occurring. To help prevent these problems our office participates in the Medicare Diabetic Shoe Program. Many patients with diabetes qualify for shoes covered by Medicare. You are welcome to contact our office for more information regarding your benefits with this program.
7. Do you bill my insurance carrier?
We do accept most insurance plans. Please check with our office or your insurance carrier to verify that we participate in your plan. We will bill your primary, secondary and tertiary plan if necessary.
8. What do I do if I need to cancel my appointment?
If you need to cancel your appointment it is important you give at least 24 hours notice by phone or if we are unavailable, please leave a message. Charges may be incurred if proper notice is not received.