Frequently Asked Questions

asa-foot-and-ankle-center-frequently-asked-questions

What is a podiatrist?

The word “Podiatrist” comes from the Greek words “pod,” meaning foot, and “iatros,” meaning healer. So a podiatrist is, literally, a “foot healer.”
A podiatrist is a licensed physician and surgeon, specializing in the examination, diagnosis, and treatment, both medically and surgically, of foot and ankle conditions.
Hundreds of millions of dollars is spent each year on over-the-counter foot care products such as foot powders, corn pads, bunion pads, insoles, and other remedies. These, along with proper home care and preventive measures, can help some foot problems. However, many injuries and serious foot problems must have professional treatment.
The foot is vulnerable to sprains, fractures, and other types of trauma which may require emergency care. Most hospitals have podiatrists on staff to care for these patients.
The foot is a sophisticated system with 26 bones and 55 joints. Diagnosing and treating foot problems requires a thorough background in the anatomy, physiology and biomechanics of the foot, in addition to the normal medical school curriculum.
The problems treated by podiatrists include corns, calluses, bunions, plantar warts, hammer toes, ingrown nails, gout, arch pain, heel pain, infections, parasites, circulatory problems, tumors, sprains, fractures, congenital foot deformities, degenerative changes … and a host of other problems that commonly affect the feet.
The treatment of children’s feet is an important part of podiatric practice, since early treatment will often forestall a lifetime of problems.
Older people often need specialized foot care. Arthritis, circulatory, and skin conditions often result from degenerative changes. Proper foot care for diabetic patients is particularly important.
The major goal of the podiatrist is to keep the patient’s feet in healthy condition. Methods include recommendations for proper shoe selection, advice on effective home care, and orthopedic devices such as orthotics, padding, and shoe balancing. Topical and systemic medications and physical therapy are prescribed. When necessary, surgical intervention is utilized.
Having a regular annual foot check-up … just as you have your teeth checked … may mean easy walking for life.
Can a podiatrist help you? We make it easy it find out. Here’s how…

The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities and provide 24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file all necessary insurance forms and make every effort to assure you of maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expense.

You are invited to make an appointment today to relieve your foot problems by calling us at 970-493-4660 or 970-667-0769.
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Why should I see a podiatrist over a regular MD?

The goal of the podiatry profession is keeping America on its feet. As we grow older, we accept the fact that our teeth wear out, our eyesight diminishes, and our hearing weakens, but somehow we expect our feet to keep on going.

Your feet are the foundation of your body and must last a lifetime. Our goal is to correct your foot problems whenever possible, rather than temporarily relieving your symptoms.

On your first visit, every effort will be made to relieve any acute discomfort you may have.

The podiatric physician is concerned with your total well being. An acute symptom may be the body’s signal of a more serious problem. In treating the foot, like any other part of the body, if the underlying cause can be found and corrected, many chronic conditions can be helped. Therefore, it is to your advantage to allow us the opportunity of making a thorough examination of your feet and lower legs, including x-rays and lab work if needed, and to give us a complete medical history.

Painful problems such as hammer toes, corns, bunions, fractures, infections, calluses, sprains, ingrowing nails, tumors, fungus, and other skin disorders of both children and adults are treated daily by podiatrists.

Modern podiatric techniques have largely eliminated the need to suffer with chronic foot pain. Under most circumstances, these problems can be controlled or corrected once and for all, eliminating the need to seek temporary relief month after month, year after year.

Diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are often first detected in the mirror of your foot. This emphasizes the importance of a periodic thorough examination of your feet.

As foot specialists who care for the feet as a specialty, not as a sideline, we are trained and equipped to diagnose and treat problems involving the foot, ankle, and lower leg.

On your first visit, our goal is to relieve your pain as much as possible, and also to determine from your health history and a thorough examination what type of care is needed to give you the healthiest, most comfortable feet possible – for life.

Can a podiatrist help your heel pain? We make it easy for you to find out.
The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities and provide 24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file all necessary insurance forms and make every effort to assure you of maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expense.

You are invited to make an appointment today to relieve your foot problems by calling us at 970-493-4660 or 970-667-0769.
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What causes heel pain?

Pain beneath the heel bone is an extremely common and debilitating condition. In our modern society, with its unyielding artificial floors, occupations demanding long hours of standing, and shoes of ill-design, it’s no wonder that heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints.
There are many causes of heel pain including trauma, heel spurs, heel tumors, bursitis, gout, arthritis, diabetes and strain due to standing and walking improperly.
People with heel pain usually complain of a “stone bruise.” The most frequent symptom is that of “pain in the morning with the first few steps.” This is due to inflammation with swelling around the ligament on the bottom of the heel. This inflammation may be due to any of the causes mentioned above. The most common cause of this type of heel pain is faulty foot function, which causes a rubbing or stretching of the ligaments. This is referred to as “plantar fasciitis” or “heel spur syndrome.”
If you should be bothered by any or all of the symptoms mentioned, the first step in treatment can be tried at home. Often, relief can be attained by :

  1. Padding the heel with a soft, foam-rubber material
  2. Wearing supportive shoes with a thick rubber heel
  3. Placing ice against the bottom of the heel to reduce swelling
  4. Stretching the calf muscles

If these measures fail, it is time to consult your podiatrist. A careful medical history, a complete clinical examination of your feet, and sometimes x-rays are used to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
Treatment of the “heel-spur syndrome” – or plantar fasciitis is two-fold. First, the inflammation responsible for the discomfort needs to be reduced, and secondly, the abnormal motion of the foot needs to be controlled. Reduction of the inflammation can sometimes be accomplished simply by reducing the amount of motion. This can be achieved temporarily with taping or strapping the feet.
If symptoms resolve fairly quickly, then many times no further treatment is needed unless there is another flare-up. Oral anti-inflammatory medications often are helpful in reducing this inflammation and occasionally an injection of local anesthesia and cortisone into the inflamed area is needed to calm it down.
Controlling the abnormal motion is the key to preventing reoccurrence of this syndrome, and the most effective means of doing this is with the use of a custom-fitted orthotic device.
When the condition has existed so long that these methods of treatment fail to resolve the symptoms, surgical treatment is sometimes necessary to afford permanent relief. Fortunately on October 12, 2000, the US Food & Drug Administration granted approval to market the OssaTron, a new device that uses shock waves to treat chronic heel pain. This is a 15 minute procedure that allows you to immediately walk in your regular shoes after the procedure and has over a 70% success rate.

Can a podiatrist help your heel pain? We make it easy for you to find out.

The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities and provide 24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file all necessary insurance forms and make every effort to assure you of maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expense.
You are invited to make an appointment today to relieve your foot problems by calling us at 970-493-4660 or 970-667-0769.
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How do I make an appointment?

You can call either of our offices during our normal working hours or you can request an appointment through the Patient Portal and someone will get back with you no later than the next working day. We can usually get you in within a day or two.
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Where can I find your office?

Both of our offices are located on the map at the bottom of every page on our website.  You can click on the Google Maps markers (the red balloons with black dots in the middle) to find more information, such as our address, phone number and directions.  Our addresses are also listed on the bottom left corner of every page on our website.
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Does my insurance cover podiatry?

Most insurances cover podiatry but depends entirely upon your insurance plan. Each plan and policy is different.
The best way is for you to call your insurance company and ask them exactly what they cover.
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Do you accept new patients?

Absolutely. In fact, we can usually get you in within a day or two.
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What if I need a second opinion?

Call your other physician and request records and x-rays which will help us diagnose your problem and possibly save you some money. If you need a second opinion after your visit with us, we will supply you with any pertinent records & x-rays.
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Do you accept Medicare or Medicaid?

We accept both Medicare and Medicaid.
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Do you offer financing?

We offer CareCredit if you don’t have the means to pay for your treatment. CareCredit® is a personal line of credit for healthcare treatments and procedures for your entire family, including your pets. It works like a credit card but it has two advantages. It can only be used for healthcare services and you can get No Interest financing every time you use it. Simply pay your minimum monthly payment and pay off the entire balance by the end of your promotional period and you pay No Interest or finance for a longer period of time with interest. Just click CareCredit® to be taken to their website.
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