Because medical conditions involving feet can progress to cause problems throughout the entire body, two local Access Health Louisiana doctors say foot health should be a priority for everyone.
“When combined with medical conditions like diabetes and poor circulation, the consequence of not paying attention to your feet may prove disastrous,” AHL Dr. Yacara Tabb said, adding that a variety of common health problems can be avoided when people pay attention to the feet. “The podiatry clinic is equipped to meet a full range of foot health needs, from painfully elongated toenails to infected foot wounds.”
Tabb said the AHL podiatrists have over 20 years of practical experience in addressing problems affecting the foot and ankle.
“Most patients arrive at our clinic with life-limiting foot issues then leave enjoying an immediate reduction in pain and walking difficulties,” she said. “Our comprehensive treatment plans are customized to help patients achieve lasting relief.”
Health problems commonly treated in AHL’s podiatry clinics include toenail fungus, callused skin, athletes foot, heel or arch pain, ankle sprains and foot injuries.
“We are diabetic foot specialists,” Tabb added. “Our clinics evaluate patients for participation in diabetic shoe programs that discourage wounds which can lead to amputation. When needed, our podiatrists consult with vascular clinics, wound care centers, physical therapy clinics and other healthcare teams to provide a team-based approach to healthcare.”
Anthony G. Perry, a doctor of podiatric medicine with AHL, said the health system has excellent integrated care between different providers in different specialties.
“The primary care doctors assist me in many ways to keep the patient’s overall health improved,” he said. “A foot cannot be healthy if it is not attached to a healthy body. They really are great help when working with the diabetics. They also directly help in patients with gout, fluid retention and other systemic diseases that present with foot complications. They help me greatly and I also feel that I help them greatly for the overall care and well-being of the patient.”
And while the coronavirus pandemic has changed practices and procedures in health care, Tabb said the safety of patients is a top priority for AHL.
“Considering the COVID crisis, routine safety measures for podiatry were enhanced to safeguard the health of our patients and staff,” she said. “Podiatry patients benefit from an initial telehealth visit with their doctor either during a voice call or using video on a smart phone. Patients can rely on assistance from a podiatry team member when using their available technology to connect with the doctor … patients are often surprised at how much can be done using our telemedicine resources.”
Appointments for face-to-face visits are scheduled as advised by the podiatrist when hands-on care proves necessary, she added.
Perry said may surprise people at how many things can be diagnosed via telemedicine.
“I have surprised myself now that telemedicine is routine … I was very skeptical at first,” he said. “One of the biggest parts of the medical diagnosis is the patient’s history, which can be obtained just as well remotely. Really the only thing that is lacking is the hands-on examination, because visual examination is possible remotely.”
Perry said many common foot problems have classic stories that give away the diagnosis without even seeing the foot.
“Plantar fasciitis and painful diabetic neuropathy are probably the two most common diagnoses that I handle remotely,” he said.