Parish clinic only one in state with podiatrist on staff
|Photo by Shonna Riggs|
“I’ve been in St. Charles Parish since 2000,” Tabb said. “In the history of my practice, I hadn’t treated so many residents with damaged feet.”
Tabb says residents weren’t taking proper care of their feet and she had to perform more amputations in this parish due to improper foot care than in her entire career as a podiatrist.
“For example patients were going to the doctor for other ailments and although they might have been complaining about their feet, the other health issues took precedence over the foot problems,” Tabb said.
“Because the foot problems weren’t the focus, things were left untreated for so long and by the time the patients got to me, it was almost already too late.”
Tabb says she wants people with foot problems to know that the clinic is in the parish and is available.
“I don’t want to see the patients when it’s already too late and the foot or toe has to be amputated,” she said. “I want to see them early on so we can work on saving the foot or the toe, before it gets to that point.”
Tabb says she’s seen a gamut of patients with a variety of foot problems and has a treatment plan for them all.
“I’ve treated patients with some major foot issues, from ulcers, to deformities, to poor foot circulation, and scores of other problems,” she said. “There’s nothing that I won’t do to help patients and ensure that their feet a being treated properly.”
Tabb says some simple foot care can prevent amputations.
“Cut your toenails regularly,” she said.
“I’ve treated patients that didn’t cut their toenails and one grew too long, cut into the skin on the toe next to it, infection set in and spread to the entire foot.”
Tabb says that athlete’s foot is another simple disease that if left untreated will cause problems.
“Left untreated it gets into the blood stream and patients will have to be hospitalized,” she said. “Some over-the-counter creams to rid the feet of the infection at it’s start could prevent it from causing serious harm.”
Tabb says children are coming to the clinic with the same foot issues adults have.
“It’s becoming more frequent that I’m treating children with adult foot issues because they’re not wearing the proper shoes,” she says. “The high heel shoes, I see parents letting there little girls wear and even some of the popular tennis shoes, aren’t necessarily the best idea for kids.”
Tabb says parents and children are fascinated with the multi-colored clogs or ‘Crocks’ but the shoes cause long term problems to the feet.
“The clogs are terrible on the feet, down the road, a couple of years from now, everyone wearing this popular shoe will need the care of a podiatrist at some point,” she says.
“These shoes cause long term damage to the feet, because they don’t provide enough support for the feet and a lot of people don’t realize that.”
Tabb says she provides patients with total foot care including surgery.
“If someone has a fracture in the foot, we can fix the fracture by resetting it, if a surgical procedure is required then we can handle that too.”
Tabb offers diabetic patients free shoes through the clinic if they meet the right qualifications. “My clinic is here to help support the community through whatever means necessary in order to ensure that they aren’t any long term feet problems.”
Tabb says that improper foot care can lead to back problems and affect a person’s overall general health.
“I hear so many patients tell me when their feet hurt their back hurts, that’s because the feet support the body and if the feet aren’t working properly the person’s alignment is off and will cause other issues associated with feet problems like back pain.”
Tabb recommends parents get their children’s feet checked regularly especially if they’re involved in a sporting activity.
“I’ve had to do foot surgery on some young people who play sports for injuries associated with not wearing proper shoes,” she said.
“I want parents to understand that foot care is important.”
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