Answers to Your Austin Foot & Ankle Injury Questions

If you have questions about foot and ankle injuries in central Texas, the Austin Foot & Ankle Specialists has the answers. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to treat your injury and get you back to the activities you love. Call us today if you have been injured.

 

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  • What foods should I avoid with gout?

    Gout is a painful arthritic condition, commonly felt in the big toe, that can be triggered by eating foods high in purine content. Your body breaks down those purines into uric acid during digestion, but too much uric acid (either from overconsumption or from kidneys that are unable to filter the acid effectively) can lead to painful gout episodes.

    If you struggle with gout, foods you should cut out of your diet include:

    • Alcohol
    • Anchovies
    • Asparagus
    • Consommé
    • Herring
    • Meat Gravy
    • Mincemeat
    • Mushrooms
    • Mussels
    • Organ meats (e.g. liver, kidney, heart, etc.)
    • Sardines
    • Seafoods
    • Sweetbreads

    Foods that should be limited to only small, occasional portions inculde:

    • Cauliflower
    • Dried Beans
    • Dried Peas
    • Fish
    • Lentils
    • Oatmeal
    • Red Meats
    • Spinach
    • Whole Grain Cereal
    • Yeast

  • Are there ways to treat nerve pain?

    When you are experiencing nerve pain, it can seem like a hopeless situation. We are happy to inform you that there are ways to treat nerve pain. Traditionally, conservative options like medications and therapies have been available. These have had a certain degree of success, but advancements in technology have now provided a new option – Neurogenx treatment.

    Neurogenx is an innovative, FDA-approved method of combining electrical and chemical therapies to decrease pain, improve balance and stability, and even lead to better sleep. This process entails electronic signal treatment (EST) and a low-dose anesthetic. If you would like additional information, our specialists will be happy to provide it for you.

    Don’t let nerve pain disrupt your life! Here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists we offer various treatments, including Neurogenx, to provide the relief you need. If you are ready to put the pain to rest, contact our Austin, TX office by either calling (512) 328-8900 or using our online form to schedule your appointment today.

  • What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat decompression sickness in scuba divers, but has many other applications, too: serious infections, air pockets in your blood stream, burns, gangrene, radiation injury, skin flaps at risk for tissue death, and treating wounds that won’t heal. That last one is something we foot doctors see quite often, so oxygen therapy is a helpful treatment option.

     

    It consists of breathing in a chamber where the air pressure is three times higher than normal. This increases the ability of your lungs to absorb oxygen and send it through your body to help fight bacteria and increase the amount of growth factors and stem cells that are available to you for healing. The treatment is typically done in a hospital outpatient center.

     

    There are slight risks associated with this treatment, such as injury to the middle ear, temporary eyesight changes, and the possibility of lung collapse or seizures, but it is generally considered to be a safe treatment.

     

    At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists we pride ourselves on having referral access to effective technology and knowing how to use it. Trust your foot problems to us and be assured of the highest quality of care you might expect from expert podiatrists. Call us at (512) 328-8900 today for an appointment.

  • Is it safe to get a pedicure with a fungal nail infection?

    You absolutely can get a pedicure with a fungal infection, but it is important to honestly address the situation with the salon ahead of time. When doing so, find out if the salon has the proper sterilization practices and necessary tools to handle fungal nails. Keep in mind that you may be asked to bring in your own polishes and tools.

    If you find yourself wondering whether it is safe to get a pedicure while having fungal nails, it might be time to look into treatment options to eradicate the fungus and restore your nails to their natural, healthy condition. Our practice offers laser therapy using the HyperBlue 1530, which is an FDA-approved machine, to eliminate toenail fungus at the source. This is a safe, effective, and painless procedure to clear up your nails. We also offer other treatment methods for dealing with this embarrassing condition.

    Schedule an appointment with our Austin, TX office by calling (512) 328-8900 or use our convenient online form. Start taking the steps to healthy, clear nails today!

  • Why does my second toe hurt?

    When you experience pain in your second toe, there are a variety of possible root causes. One of the potential explanations for your pain and discomfort is a rare condition known as Freiberg’s disease. This ailment is marked by dull pain behind the second toe, in the ball of the foot, which becomes worse with walking. There may be swelling and redness in the affected area. The metatarsophalangeal joint (where the toe meets the foot) often becomes stiff and results in limping.

    This condition may not cause pain or issues for the patient, or it may resolve spontaneously on its own. When this is not the case, conservative treatment methods are often successful, especially if the disease is diagnosed in early stages. Surgery is often unnecessary, but remains an option for atypical, stubborn cases.

    Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists place a strong emphasis on constantly raising your bar for expectations in podiatric care…and then exceeding them. Whether your issue is Freiberg’s disease, or any other foot or ankle condition, we will provide an expert diagnosis and administer effective treatment for you. Contact our Austin, TX office by either calling (512) 328-8900 or scheduling with our online form today.

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  • Is blood sugar all I need to monitor with diabetes?

    When it comes to monitoring diabetes, most people know that blood sugar (glucose) levels need to be carefully tracked. There are, however, other things to take into consideration that should be given attention, too.

    Checking your feet on a daily basis is important to catch problems before they get worse. Look for signs of excessively dry skin, calluses, and foot ulcers—these can put you at risk for infection and serious complications.

    In addition, it is important to monitor blood pressure. This should be the same in your arm as it is down by your feet. If it is significantly lower in the foot, this means that you are experiencing circulation issues that need to be addressed.

    You should also maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly and eating a proper diet.

    If you need further help with regard to the important act of monitoring diabetes, the experts at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists are here for you. Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS and Dr. Shine John DPM, FACFAS are Austin, TX, can help with all of your diabetic foot care needs. Call us at (512) 328-8900 to schedule an appointment today!

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  • I'm having a MRI performed; what should Iknow?

    What is an MRI?
    MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a noninvasive diagnostic tool used to identify and treat various medical conditions. These exams provide unparalleled views of internal body structures including the organs, soft tissues and bone, which cannot be seen using conventional X-rays or CT scans.

    How does MRI work?
    MRI technology uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the human body. As the radio waves pass through the body, images are created on a computer screen for radiologists to analyze. These precise images allow radiologists to view soft tissue (muscles, fat, internal organs, blood vessels and tendons) and bones without the use of X-rays or surgery.

    Is an MRI safe?
    The MRI imaging technique does not involve exposure to radiation.  However, women should always inform their technologist if there is a chance they could be pregnant. Medical and electronic devices may interfere with MRI exams and pose a potential risk. Patients with any kind of metallic implant should not have an MRI unless their physician is aware of the device and has approved the procedure. Patients with pacemakers should not undergo an MRI.

    Can children receive an MRI?
    Yes, children can receive an MRI. Typically, the facility will have a specialty radiologist perform the procedure.  

    Who do I contact to schedule my MRI?
    Dr. Thomajan will select the facility that is best required for your MRI. You will leave with your MRI prescription order; all orders have the contact information provided. We utilize the following:
     a. River Ranch Radiology: (512) 454-9597
     b. Austin Radiological Association: (512) 453-6100
     c. Austin Health Imaging: (512) 451-8595

    I do not live in Austin; can I go anywhere else to receive my MRI?
    Although we prefer to use whom Dr. Thomajan has referred you to you do have the right to visit any facility for your MRI procedure. You can always take the referral we have already written to any facility or please just contact our office to write a generic MRI referral.

    When should I arrive for my MRI?
    Patients typically are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment. This allows time to complete any necessary paperwork, answer any medical history questions, change clothes for the scan if necessary and ask any questions for the technologist.

    What do I bring with me to my MRI?
    Please bring your insurance card, identification card and your MRI order.

    How should I dress for my MRI?
    Patients should dress in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing (i.e. sweatshirt and pants without metal snaps or zippers). All valuables will be removed so we recommend leaving them at home. We also recommend not wearing cosmetics as many brands contain metal.

    What happens during my MRI?
    When you are ready for your scan, a technologist will bring you into the MRI scan room and help you get comfortable on the padded examination table. The table will then move slowly into the opening of a large cylinder-shaped tube that houses the MRI magnet. You will hear a continual knocking noise while the machine takes pictures. Earplugs are provided and significantly reduce the amount of noise during the scan. It is important to lie completely still while the images are being taken because motion will affect the sharpness of the image. The technologist will talk with you throughout your scan and keep you informed of what you can expect. You can expect for your MRI to last somewhere between 20-60 minutes.

    What happens after my MRI?
    Patients may leave immediately following their MRI scan and go about normal activities. If you have requested the use of a mild sedative you will be required to have a responsible adult drive you home.

    When can I expect my results?
    Results are usually available and submitted to our office within 24-48 hours. Our staff will contact you as soon as they are available and interpreted by Dr. Thomajan. You will be required to schedule an office visit to receive your results. An office visit is required to discuss findings and develop a plan of action for your recovery.

    I scheduled my results visit; do I have to pay a copay?
    Yes, all visits are considered with your contract with your insurance company as an office visit. Any time you are seen and treated by Dr. Thomajan and his staff your insurance is billed. Part of your billed service is your copay; which is due on each date of service. 

    Do I need to bring my results or copies of the MRI to my visit?
    We do not require that you provide results. We will have access to your results. Should we require to see the physical scans we can access River Ranch Radiology and Austin Radiological Association online. Any other facility that does not provide scans online we will request the hard copy as a courtesy.

    Contact our office with questions or concerns: (512) 328-8900. After hours press “0” for our answering service to page Dr. Thomajan.

  • I have a question regarding a prescription?

    Dr. Thomajan is faxing or calling in my first prescription; when can I pick it up?
    All prescriptions and refill requests will be filled by the end of business. If you are seen for a 9am appointment time your prescription will be available no later than 5:30 pm with your chosen pharmacy. Dr. Thomajan is always as accommodating as possible and most times prescriptions are sent right away. Please call ahead to your pharmacy to see if the prescription has arrived prior to visiting.

    Dr. Thomajan wrote me a pain prescription; how do I get a refill?
    Please have your pharmacy fax a prescription refill request to (512) 328-8903. We do not call in prescription refills. A total of 3 pain prescriptions will be filled (one initial prescription and up to two additional refills). If you are still experiencing pain after we have prescribed three rounds of pain prescription you are required to schedule a follow-up visit to assess for any changes in your diagnosis. At this time consideration will be taken to find you a pain management specialist should there be no significant changes to your diagnosis.

    Can I drive while on pain medication?
    No, we recommend that you have a responsible adult drive you while you are taking pain medication(s). You should never attempt to operate any machinery while on pain medication. If you should ever have any questions regarding your prescription please contact our office at (512) 328-8900 or consult your pharmacist.

    Can my surgeon call in my prescription for surgery?
    Should Dr. Thomajan prescribe pain medication he will write the prescription on the day of your surgery and this will be in the possession of the post-operative nurse at the facility that will be charged with your care. You will receive a paper copy of your prescription to deliver to any pharmacy of your choice. We do not call in or prescribe any medications prior to your surgical procedure.

    When do I take my medication? How do I take my medication?
    Dr. Thomajan will touch upon this on your visit. However, we do recommend upon receipt of your prescription from the pharmacy that you speak to your pharmacist regarding any additional questions. Please speak with your pharmacist regarding how often to take your medication and how you should take your medication. Your pharmacist has a plethora of information and their purpose is to supply you with as much information regarding your specific prescription. As well, medication directions are always printed on the medication bottle. Should you require any additional information please contact our office at (512) 328-8900.

    Do I stop taking my other medications?
    Please contact your prescribing physician or PCP to check if you should stop any other medications. As always, we welcome any additional questions you might have as well (512) 328-8900.

    You prescribed a medication a friend of mine has; can I just take that?
    Unfortunately, no. We are not in the practice of sharing medications. Please fill the prescription that Dr. Thomajan has prescribed for you as this quantity, dosage and shelf-life were specifically formulated for you. Should you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to ask.

    Dr. Thomajan prescribed me a medication a year ago; can I refill it?
    Please contact our office at (512) 328-8900 to schedule an appointment. We do not refill prescriptions over 60 days without another consultation to facilitate any changes in your diagnosis.

    Is my prescription covered by insurance?
    We make every effort to supply you with as much coverage information as possible regarding your specific insurance plan. However we do not have access to coverage in terms of prescription drug plans. Please contact customer service with your insurance company to check for coverage of your specific prescription.

    Dr. Thomajan referred me to pain management; what is this?
    Pain management is a branch of medicine employing an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those living with pain. We will refer you to a preferred pain management specialist that is in-network with your insurance company. We will provide you with their contact information and provide all of your medical records as a courtesy.



    Contact our office with questions or concerns: (512) 328-8900. After hours press “0” for our answering service to page Dr. Thomajan.

  • What do I need to know about FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)?


    1. What is the Family Medical Leave Act as it applies to my foot health care?
    The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to: 

    Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
     • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth; 
     • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year    of placement; 
     • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; 
     • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
     • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;”

    2. How do I request FMLA?
    Contact your Human Resources representative or your direct supervisor to obtain necessary paperwork for the FMLA process.

    3. I have my paperwork now what I do with it?
    Please provide your paperwork by dropping it off in person or faxing it to our office (512) 328-8903. Dr. Thomajan and his office staff reserve 48 hours for FMLA turnaround. This provides our staff with sufficient time to reference your chart, answer all questions thoroughly, and provide your medical records as well. Our office staff will send your paperwork directly to the requesting entity. For quality control purposes we do not however provide this paperwork back to the patient.

    4. How long will I be out of work?
    Dr. Thomajan will determine the proper amount of time excused from work. This can range anywhere from three weeks to eight weeks. Your HR department may request additional FMLA paperwork numerous times to gauge your recovery.

    5. I need to get back to work now what?
    Dr. Thomajan will determine when you may return to work. An assessment of your job description will be performed in conjunction with your ability to perform those tasks and at what rate (i.e.…full time versus part-time).

    6. My boss/HR say I need a FCE or MMI test; what is this and why?
    FCE (functional capacity evaluation) and MMI (maximum medical improvement) are synonymous with one another. Both tests are referred out to a physician that is certified and credentialed to determine how well you have improved since day one of your chief complaint. Armed with this information the physician will report back to Dr. Thomajan and your representative what level of improvement you have and how that incorporates with your job description. From this point we will all have a better understanding of how well you will be expected to perform your job duties.

  • What do I need to know about my pathology specimen?


    1. Dr. Thomajan took a pathology specimen; where does it go?

    Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists utilize two pathology services. The first is Podiatric specific and is the most commonly used, Bako Pathology. The second is located in town and utilized only when Bako is out-of-network with your insurance plan; Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL).
    2. When can I expect my results?
    Dependent upon the type of testing performed most results are available within one week following removal/excision. Dr. Thomajan’s office staff will contact you when these results are available. At that time you will be scheduled to receive your results.
    3. Do I have to pay a copay for pathology results?
    Per your insurance plan receipt of any type of results is a billable service. Yes, your copayment is due on every date of service including receiving pathology results. As well, your insurance company will be provided billing for an office visit as well. Please contact your insurance company to verify that this is a billable service.
    4. Can’t Dr. Thomajan just call me with the results?
    At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists we strive to be as fair as possible. Our main goal is to provide services of the highest standard. In an effort to actively pursue these endeavors we are committed to being consistent. We have every patient follow the same practice guidelines. Visits are geared toward and structured to maximize your time with the doctor. Phone calls for results do not fit within this practice goal. We provide results in person and schedule you for an extensive visit to not only discuss what the pathology points to but also to thoroughly discuss epidemiology and treatment protocols. As always we appreciate your commitment to our practices and should you have any questions please contact our Practice Manager, Rhiannon at (512) 328-8900.
    5. I received a bill from Bako or CPL; why?
    Our team at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists will keep your treatment in-network with the specific pathology service we send your results to; however, if you receive a responsibility statement please contact your insurance first to find out why. Your insurance company will be able to explain to you any amounts not covered or applied to deductible or co-insurance. After contacting your insurance company all billing questions should be directed to the specific pathology company (i.e.…Bako or CPL). Our staff at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists does not have access to the billing systems or protocol for these specific pathology services including information on what service was billed, how it was billed or setting up payment plans.