Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions that we get at Family Foot & Ankle Centers.
Questions About Our Office and Visits
Where are the locations for Family Foot & Ankle Centers?
What insurances do you take?
If we listed all the insurances we take it would fill this whole page. We accept almost all insurances and most insurances do not require a referral. That means you can schedule an appointment yourself. As a courtesy, we will verify your insurance at your time of appointment so you will know your coverage. In almost all cases, we will be covered the same as any other doctor visit.
Can I download New Patient forms and bring them to my office visit?
Yes, new patient forms can be found at the top center of each page. Just click on the green button that reads “Patient Forms“.
Do you accept Medicare as full payment?
Yes, we have been a Medicare consignment doctor since 1998. Medicare pays 80% and the patient is responsible for 20% for all doctor visits. If you have a secondary insurance, this normally covers that 20%. This is the same for all doctors.
How many podiatrists work at Family Foot & Ankle Centers?
What technology does Family Foot & Ankle Centers Have On-site?
We use the most advanced technology available at all 3 of our locations. We have on-site digital x-rays that take less than 2 minutes and can be viewed in each room with the patient. We have multiple digital ultrasounds to view the soft structures in the foot. A Xi-scan is available to aid in-office surgical procedures. Stryker surgical equipment that is equivalent to hospital operating rooms saves our patients time and money. Our newest technology is a Zimmer EPAT machine which our patients have loved. It painlessly treats tendon problems and inflammation and has helped some of the greatest athletes in the world heal more quickly.
How long does it take to get an appointment?
Many times we are able to schedule patients for the same day or for next day appointments. Our goal is to try to schedule each appointment within 3 days of the request.
How Long Has Family Foot & Ankle Centers Been Open?
Patients have trusted the podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Centers for 20 years. Our first location was opened in Corsicana in 1999 as Corsicana Foot Clinic. We are certainly been blessed with great patients. Currently, well over 1000 patients per month put their feet in our hands.
What information should I bring to my visit?
We ask that you bring a list of (or be able to write down) your medicines that you take. We also ask that you bring your insurance card and license.
Do you have Spanish speaking doctors or assistants?
Yes, we have several people that speak fluent Spanish at Family Foot & Ankle Centers.
General Foot Questions
What causes pain in the ball of my foot?
The most common cuase of pain in the ball of the foot is due to a condition called Morton’s neuroma. This is a pinched nerve in the bottom of the forefoot. Sometimes it feels like walking on something or that the sock is wadded up in the shoe. Many times, pain or cramping can be felt into the middle toes. Treatment includes oral anti-inflammatory medicine, cortisone injection, custom orthotics with padding in this area. Surgery is rarely needed but the foot specialists at Family Foot & Ankle Centers are trained in the newest techniques.
Why does my heel hurt? Is it Plantar fasciits?
Heel pain in adults is most commonly caused by a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia ligament supports the bottom of the foot. It is common for this ligament to become strained and inflamed under the heel from daily stress. Symptoms are pain in the bottom of the heel when getting up in the morning and pain with walking at the end of the day.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis includes rest, stretching, oral anti-inflammatory medicine, cortisone injection, orthotics, night splint, and our new EPAT machine. On the extremely rare occasion that conservatory therapy fails, then surgery may become an option. We are trained in all the latest techniques for heel surgery if needed.
What foot problems can benefit from orthotics?
Custom orthotics are specially-made to your foot to support your feet and control abnormal foot motions. These prescription orthotics are hand made by a certified pedorthist made from a cast from your feet. This orthotic is made only for you and is not an orthotic you get off of a shelf and called “custom”. It takes several hours to make your orthotics over a peroid of days.
The Podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Centers use various types of orthotics to treat a number of foot problems. Examples of these problems include plantar fasciitis, neuromas, bursitis, ankle pain, tendonitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and general foot pain. Clinical studies have shown that podiatrist prescribed custom orthotics not only improve the function of the feet but also decreases pain.
What is this bump on the back of my heel ?
Haglund’s deformity is a bump on the back of the heel bone due to shoe friction. The back of the heel can become irritated, inflamed and reddened when the bump rubs against the back of the shoe. This is sometimes referred to as a “pump bump” because it occurs most commonly in women who wear shoes with stiff backs but it can occur in anyone.
Treatment for this condition is to remove pressure from the back of the heel by wearing open back shoes or shoes with soft heel counters. Icing the back of the heel to reduce inflammation is also helpful. Surgery can also be used to remove the bony bump from your heel.
What exactly is a bunion and what causes it?
A bunion is a “bump” at the base of the big toe joint. This causes the big toe to drift toward the little toe. Many times this “bump” can become painful from rubbing against the inside of the shoe and may become red and swollen.
Bunions are caused by abnormal foot mechanics that put too much pressure on the big toe joint. This foot type can be inherited where family members are more prone to developing bunions. Other causes of bunions are due to conditions that cause too much pressure at the big toe joint. Examples are wearing high heels, wearing tight or pointed shoes or boots, low arches and foot injuries.
If you can still walk on your foot it is not broken. Is this true?
No, life is rarely that simple. Most patients with a broken foot walk into our clinic and many are surprised when they see the broken bone on the x-ray. If you have unexplained swelling in your foot or pain when walking, a stress fracture is always a possibility that needs to be ruled out.
Are fip flops bad for my feet?
Flip flops are everywhere. On a recent trip to the mall, I was amazed at how many people were wearing them. Flip flops do not have the needed heel control, foot support or shock absorption that the foot requires for extensive walking. Although convenient to slip on at the beach or for short periods of time, try to avoid situations that require prolonged standing or walking in them.
Why are my heels cracked?
The skin around the heels is under extreme pressure when walking. This skin is also very dry and thick and small cracks can quickly become deep, painful fissures. Both the heel pressure and dry skin needs to be addressed together. It is important to wear shoes with good heel cushioning that absorb shock for the heel. A cotton blend sock is also recommended.
Avoid flip flops and sandals as much as possible. Next step is apply a good heel moisturizer. Dr. Petty suggests petroleum jelly applied at night. It is an occlusive moisturizer allowing for up to 98 percent water retention in the skin. During the day a less greasy lotion is recommended. A few good other the counter morning and day moisturizers are Amlactin Foot Repair, Eucerin Advanced Repair and CeraVe Renewing SA Foot Cream. There are also prescription moisturizers available for this problem.
How often should I replace my running shoes?
Running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles. This can also depend on the type of surface you run on. If the bottom of the heel tread on the shoe is worn significantly more than the rest of the tread, the shoe should be replaced. It will no longer absorb shock correctly and can cause foot and leg strain. Dr. Petty recommends having 2 pairs of running shoes to be alternated for runs. This gives time for the upper in the shoes to completely dry out from the perspiration that occurs during running.
Why does my ankle feel so weak and twist easily causing ankle sprains?
Weak ankles, known as ankle instability, is due to damaged tendons or ligaments that support the ankle. Pain or soreness can occur in ankles after walking or exorcising. The most common cause seen at Family Foot & Ankle Centers is an old sprain or injury that has not healed correctly. This can leave the ligaments and tendons damaged and weakened. Physical therapy aimed at strengthening and specific braces used for protection is the key to allowing the damaged tendons and ligament to heal.
Children’s Foot Problems Questions
Do Children get ingrown toenails?
Unfortunately, children do get ingrown toenails. At Family Foot & Ankle Centers, we have treated patients as young as 3 months old for an ingrown toenail. Children can genetically be prone to developing ingrown toenails. Other children can develop ingrown toenails from shoes that are too small, trauma and improper toenail trimming.
Does my child need orthotics?
This is a controversial question among doctors. At Family Foot & Ankle Centers, we evaluate a child on an individual basis. Depending on the age of the child, orthotics are considered if the the child is having foot or leg pain. Parents are often concerned about flat feet in their children. Most kids will outgrow this and never develop any problems. It is best to allow the foot to strengthen naturally if possible.
What causes pain in the legs at night in children?
The most common cause of leg pain in children at night that we see at Family Foot & Ankle Centers is from leg fatigue. This is from running, jumping and playing throughout the day and can wake a child up in the middle of the night. This has been referred to many times as “growing pains”. The first treatments consist of stretching the calf muscles throughout the day by pulling the toes upward toward the leg. These stretches should be done several times a day and are very important. At times, a cushioned insert is added to the stretching and strengthening exercises. Massages and warm compresses can also help alleviate discomfort.
What causes pain in the heels when playing sports? Is it Severs Disease?
The most common cause of heel pain kids and teenagers is Sever’s disease. This is also called Calcaneal apophysitis which is an inflamed growth plate in the heel. This condition is commonly seen in active young people that play sports. It is caused by ligaments and tendons pulling on the growing child’s growth plate causing pain and difficulty running.
Treatment is aimed at resting the heel and stretching the calf muscle that attaches into the heel. This keeps the tendon from pulling too hard on the growth plate. A heel cushion is also helpful, especially in athletic shoes and cleats. On occasion, we will place the child into a walking boot to allow the area to heal more quickly.
What is the correct way to fit my child for shoes?
Children’s feet grow so fast that it is important that they are correctly fitted for shoes. Dr. Petty recommends having your child stand on a piece of cardboard and trace around the foot with a pencil. This can then be cut out and taken to the shoe store to be placed in the shoes before buying. If the cardboard is too tight in length or width then the shoe will not fit. There should be a thumbnail width between the longest toe and the end of shoe. After purchasing, make sure to check the child’s feet for any redness or blisters over the next week.
Children have a tendency to grow in spurts, so time between buying shoes will vary. Dr. Petty has seen kids outgrow a pair of shoes in less than 2 months during a growth spurt.
My child has flat feet. Should I get them treated?
Flat feet in children can cause concern for parents but fortunately most children outgrow the condition by adulthood. If the child’s flat feet is painless and causes no difficulty walking or playing, no treatment is necessary. If a child complains of pain or difficulty running, a pediatric orthotic will be considered along with physical therapy to help strengthen the foot.
Toe & Toenails Problems
Does toenail polish cause fungus toenails?
Toenails need to be moisturized and exchange oxygen and water just like skin. Toenail polish if left on the nail too long keeps this from happening. This damages and dries out the nail and makes it susceptible to a fungus infection. Toenail polish needs to be removed every two to three weeks to allow the toenail to “breath” for a couple of weeks.
Lighter colored polish has less pigment than darker colors which can be less damaging to the toenail. There are also toenail polishes such as Drs. Remedy, available online, that are infused with natural ingredients that help hydrate the nail, which adds an extra layer of protection.
Why is my toenail turning yellow or thick?
A toenail fungus is a common problem. Most people will notice the toenail starts to discolor and turns yellow or white and may begin to thicken. The great toenails are commonly the first to be infected with a fungus. The fungus gets into the toenail after trauma from rubbing the shoe or a pedicure or for any number of reasons. Athletes foot fungus can also spread into the toenail.
The medical term for nail fungus is onychomycosis. The toenail fungus can spread from one toe to another. If your nail fungus is painful and has caused the nails to thicken, topical or oral medications may help. But even if treatment is successful, nail fungus often returns. Newer prescription topical medication has greatly improved cure rates.
Are ingrown toenails caused by cutting them wrong?
Yes, cutting the toenails too short or too rounded are a leading cause of ingrown toenails. Even properly cut toenails can become ingrown though.
Is this new bump on my toe a corn or a wart?
In adults, the most common cause of thickened skin on the toe is a corn. These can be painful when they the shoe rubs against them or when they are touched. Corns are similar to calluses in that they develop in areas of friction from shoes or where the toes rub together. If you stop the friction, the corn slowly fades away. Dr. Petty recommends a softer shoe that does not rub the toe or padding between the toes. Avoid using acid on a corn as it can irritate and cause infection.
Is it true that there is no treatment for a toe fracture?
A broken toe from dropping something on the foot or stubbing the toe is a common injury. It can many times be treated by splinting it to the next toe for a month or so. The problem with this is that without an x-ray it is impossible to tell where the fracture is located. A break at the joint can lead to arthritis and stiffness in the toe. If the break is not correctly aligned, the toe may heal in the wrong position and not function properly. Sometimes broken toes need to be manipulated and immobilized.
If the fracture is in the great toe it should ALWAYS be evaluated by a podiatrist with an x-ray. This toe has a tendency to more difficult to heal and complications increase. A fracture shoe or fracture boot is often required.
What causes burning and peel skin between my toes?
Athlete’s feet is a very common condition. It usually starts between the toes and causes burning and itching. A rash may develop between the toes. This fungal infection is from the feet staying too moist in shoes. The fungus grows well in dark, warm, moist areas and shoes create that perfect environment. Athletes foot spreads from person to person on floors, towels and clothing. There are many topical medications to treat athletes foot. If that is not successful, prescription medicine kills the fungus quickly.
Does athletes foot spread?
Patients have trusted the podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Centers for 20 years. Our first location was opened in Corsicana in 1999 as Corsicana Foot Clinic. We have certainly been blessed with great patients. Currently, well over 1000 patients per month put their feet in our hands.
Do you remove an ingrown toenail in the office on the same day as my appointment?
We know your time in valuable and we want you to walk out of the office on the road to recovery. Yes, unlike many doctors, we do the procedure on the same day as the visit if at all possible. We schedule our patients very meticulously, which is why we can offer this convenience and still stay on schedule for over 1000 office visits per month. Patients come first!
How often should toenails be cut?
Toenails do not grow near as fast as fingernails. They should be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.
Is it safe to get a pedicure at a salon?
Yes and no. If you are a diabetic, slow to heal, or have poor circulation then I would recommend seeing your podiatrist for a medical pedicure. If you are healthy with no medical conditions, a salon that is licensed to sterilize their instruments could be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. There is always a risk for infection where sharp instruments are being used on people’s skin and nails. Pedicurists are not doctors. If they are digging at your toe and it hurts, tell them to STOP. If they want to cut out an ingrown toenail, tell them to STOP. Dr. Petty has treated hundreds of patients with salon caused infections. Not all salons are equal in their quality control. Call your local podiatrist for a list of recommended local salons.
As one of the premier podiatry centers in Waxahachie, TX, our doctors and team at Family Foot & Ankle Centers also provide 5-star podiatry care to patients from Corsicana, Ennis & Mexia, TX, and surrounding areas.