Sports Podiatry

Sports podiatry focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of injuries to the feet and lower limbs, sustained during sports and other physical activities.

When you consider that a quarter of the bones in our entire body are located in our feet you can easily understand why they might be more susceptible to injury.

sports podiatry brisbane

Add to this the fact that sport and other high impact activities can subject our feet to loads and forces of up to 10 to 15 times our body weight, it’s easy to see how serious damage can occur – from a sprained ankle, to black bruised toenails, hamstring strains, and painful foot fractures.

As a keen enthusiast of activities such as surfing, hiking, skiing, bike riding, touch football and indoor soccer myself, I have developed a particular interest in the field of sport podiatry.

Common Sports Injuries

At our clinic in the bayside suburbs of Brisbane, we see a lot of clients suffering from sports injuries. Here are five of the most common:

1. Sesamoiditis

How can something as small as your toes, cause so much pain?!

The sesamoids are two small bones beneath the joint of your big toe, within the tendons; sesamoiditis is the name given when there is an inflammation in these bones.

High intensity physical activities like jumping, lunges, or activities with a heavy push off or loading – like what you’d do at boot camp style training – can all lead to a flare up of sesamoiditis.

If you are experiencing a painful big toe following this sort of strenuous activity, it is important to visit a podiatry clinic for diagnosis and treatment. Serious long term damage can result if the bones have fractured, or blood flow has been disrupted.

2. Stress Fractures

Sports and exercise can also cause stress fractures – tiny hair like fractures in the bones – usually in the five long metatarsal bones of the foot. While you can’t see if the bone is fractured, you may notice symptoms like swelling on the top of your foot, and pain when walking.

Stress fractures are associated with repetitive activity, or a sudden increase in training level and intensity. Other factors may include ageing footwear, an unforgiving training surface (eg concrete, tar, grass, artificial turf). People suffering from reduced bone density – osteoporosis – are at a much greater risk of foot fractures.

The good news is, stress fractures usually heal on their own, following periods of rest and reduced activity. However it is still wise to consult with a podiatrist with a special interest in and understanding of sports podiatry.

3. Turf Toe

This painful injury occurs when the forefoot catches on the ground (usually grass or artificial turf) while you are in a forward motion, causing the toe to bend upwards, outside of the normal range of movement. Ouch!

Your podiatrist may recommend wearing footwear with a stiffened toe box, toe strapping, and/or reduced activity, for a period of time.

4. Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain which improves over the course of the day, is generally caused by plantar fasciitis. Patients often report that the first couple of steps out of bed in the morning are the most painful.

Although plantar fasciitis is common in runners, dancers and people who jump, it also affects people with reduced flexibility (eg those born with a reduced calf length).

While high heels are not the usual footwear associated with the field of sports podiatry, we sometimes see this condition in women with a high heel habit. It often develops in flight attendants for example, after years of wearing heels at work. This is because over time the calf muscles shorten to adapt to the heel height – and the calf becomes so tight that it is no longer possible to wear flat or low heels. This places additional strain on the arch of the foot, resulting in plantar fasciitis.

Your local podiatrist can prescribe treatment such as ice, heat packs, exercises, and specific footwear.

5. Black Bruised Big Toenail

most common sports injuries

If you have been shocked to find a black bruised big toenail when taking off your shoes after a day of hiking or a game of netball, this is a sign that either:

  • The shoe doesn’t fit properly, and your toes are repeatedly knocking on the toe box.
  • Or, your feet are moving forward in the shoe. Generally patients with this problem have a narrow foot, and a lacing technique called a heel lock helps to pull the foot back into the rear two thirds of the shoe.

Often seen in runners, hikers, snow skiers and tennis players, a black bruised toenail is caused by a bleed under the nail (called a hematoma). It can be quite painful, so it’s a good idea to visit a podiatry clinic, where they can relieve the pressure under the nail.

Eventually the damaged nail will come away, but it may take as long as 6 to 12 months to fully recover.

Sports Podiatry Brisbane

If you live in the Redlands or in the south-east of Brisbane, make an appointment at our Birkdale clinic on 3207 4736 for any concerns relating to sports podiatry. 

Using digital gait analysis we can pick up any potential problems with your biomechanics, advise on the most supportive footwear, as well as recommend strengthening exercises and other preventative strategies.

And if you do have the misfortune to sustain a sporting injury – whether you are a professional athlete, enthusiastic amateur or just enjoy kicking a footy around the backyard – we can assist you with techniques like Foot Mobilisation Therapy to get you back to what you love to do!

Does My Child Need Orthotics?

While we can definitely help with kids orthotics at our Redlands podiatry clinic, the fact is that flat feet are relatively normal in young children.

And yet when parents bring their child to our podiatry clinic, it is often due to concerns about flat feet and whether orthotics are needed. So I would like to set parents’ minds at ease – it is usually not until your child is five or six that orthotics may be considered.

Most babies appear to have flat feet, and it is only when the child starts to walk that their arch begins to develop. Even after that, the soles of a child’s feet may look flat, but this does not necessarily indicate a problem.

does my child need orthotics

Is it a Case of Flat Foot or Excess Pronation?

The term “flat foot” is a fairly broad term covering a number of foot alignment issues.

True flat foot is a condition where the longitudinal arch of the foot has not yet developed normally; however excess pronation can also make your child’s foot look flat, and cause parents to worry.

“Pronation” describes the natural inward rolling movement of the foot and ankle when they are in motion (eg walking, running). At times it can roll in excessively – and so you might hear it called excess pronation. As the child walks or runs, excess pronation causes:

  • the arch of the foot to flatten;
  • the fore foot to splay outwards;
  • and the ankle to pull upwards.

In a true case of flat foot there is no change in the arch contour (ie it remains flat), regardless of whether the child is standing or sitting.

A pronated foot on the other hand, will seem flat when the child is standing, but there is a fully developed arch profile when the child is seated.

Excess pronation is quite common in children from birth up to about age eight or nine, and is not usually painful. (Important note: if your young child is complaining of aching legs, that they can’t sleep due to leg pain, or have been pleading for you to rub their legs to give them some relief, this merits further investigation for hidden pathologies.)

It happens because bone grows faster than soft tissue, creating a (temporary) muscular imbalance. The child’s foot subsequently pronates to compensate; in some children, it might result in knock knees or bow legs for a time.

There are other factors which may contribute to a change in the arch of the child’s foot – such as limb length discrepancies, or curvature of the lower back.

When are Kids Orthotics Likely to be Needed?

By the age of five or six, your child’s foot bones have positioned themselves, and all they have to do is grow and get bigger.

At this stage if the arch does not appear to be developing, it’s worth visiting your local podiatry clinic to find out if orthotics may be of benefit. Before making a diagnosis we will likely send your child for x-ray and/or ultrasound, to make sure there’s no congenital abnormalities (eg bony fusions, ligament or tendon damage, non-development of particular structures).

kids orthotics

In a true case of flat foot, there is no arch – so there is no point in using an orthotic to support an arch that does not exist. In this case, it would simply hurt the patient.

We find that in the majority of cases, children visiting our podiatry clinic are presenting with excess pronation. Treatment for this condition may include advice on footwear choices, exercises, or possibly orthotics.

What sort of Orthotics?

Should your child need insoles or orthotics, there are two types to consider: off the shelf, or customised.

Off the shelf are cheaper, but provide only a certain degree of correction. If there is a marked deformity, a podiatrist will have no choice but to prescribe custom orthotics, because one foot is functioning quite differently to the other.

You can find out more about the different types of orthotics and what is involved, in this post.

If you live in the Redlands, Trevor Lane Podiatry is your local family podiatry centre – so if you have any concerns about whether your child needs orthotics, you can book an appointment now using our secure online booking system.

My Sprained Ankle Still Hurts After 3 Months!

I often encounter clients that say things along the line of: “My sprained ankle still hurts after 3 months!” or; “Ever since I had that sprained ankle, my foot has never been quite the same”.

sprained ankle still hurts after 3 months

Usually, they are having difficulties with things like wearing high heels or climbing stairs, or perhaps while exercising eg squatting or trying to get a good calf stretch – all because the ankle feels like it is “stuck”.

A sprained ankle is one of the most common sporting injuries, particularly within certain sports such as touch football, netball and basketball. Watching my daughter play netball one weekend recently, I noticed several players experience this terrible traumatic event.

When we sprain or roll our ankle, our immediate reaction is to catch our breath from the pain.

Often it will seem to swell up before our very eyes, or the area will become quite bruised over the next few days, making it quite clear that we’ve sustained some sort of ligament or muscle damage.

But My Sprained Ankle wasn’t even that Bad!

For others, however, there may be no visible signs of injury and they may be able to walk normally pretty much straight away, not realising the damage that’s been done.

It’s only further down the track they gradually realise that their ankle just hasn’t been the same ever since –  3, 6, 12, or even 18 months afterwards!

There are two main reasons why these individuals are experiencing pain and discomfort so long after they sprained their ankle:

  1. Twisting, rolling, or spraining your ankle places incredible abnormal forces on the bones and joints in your foot and surrounding structures. With 26 bones and 43 joints in the foot, there is a lot of potential for something to go wrong!
  2. Spraining your ankle can disrupt the neurological pathway connecting your foot to your brain. Normally, we don’t need to think about being able to walk; our brain automatically knows the position of our feet, and how to move them. However, an ankle sprain can interrupt these messages between the brain and foot.

As a result, the individual begins to realise that the ankle is still hurting months after the event.

In the immediate aftermath of rolling or spraining your ankle, applying ice will help to reduce swelling and bruising – if it is particularly painful, x-rays may be called for determine if there have been any foot fractures. For many people, a day or two of resting the ankle may well be all that is required to get them back to normal.

If Your Ankle Still Hurts After 3 Months

If pain or discomfort persists however, further treatment may be required. You may find yourself limping in high heels, struggling to sit on the ground with crossed legs, or or even experiencing secondary problems such as sore knees and lower back pain, ever since you injured your ankle.

Fortunately, there is a treatment option: Foot Mobilisation Therapy, a fairly recent development in the field of podiatry. It is a simple process incorporating gentle traction or stretch, while placing the joint through the normal range of movement.

your local podiatrist

The foot mobilisation technique allows the joint to simply realign itself. Sometimes, the patient may be lucky enough to hear a click or a pop when this happens, though not always. It’s not painful, and the pop or click does not indicate any form of damage – rather, that full range of movement in the joint has been restored.

Treatment for Persistent Ankle Problems

At Trevor Lane Podiatry we are proud to be the first (and currently only) podiatrist in the Redlands providing Foot Mobilisation Therapy.

Once the ankle joint has been gently persuaded back into place, the focus is on restoring the electrical pathways between brain and foot (and vice versa). Your podiatrist may apply kinetic tape, to remind your body how the foot is supposed to function; and you may be prescribed certain exercises to help you regain balance and muscular strength in the affected foot and leg – for example, stretches using a resistance band (or theraband).

Suffering with a sore ankle for several months following a sprain, isn’t something you should just “put up with”, or dismiss as part of “old age”.

If you are suffering any pain or difficulties with movement in the months following an ankle sprain, call for an appointment today on 3207 4736. Although this type of podiatry treatment is not covered by Medicare, at Trevor Lane Podiatry we strive to keep our fees affordable for all.

Coronavirus Measures at Trevor Lane Podiatry

We hope that you and your family are staying well through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The situation is changing so rapidly that we have created this webpage to keep you updated on the latest arrangements at our clinic to contain the spread of coronavirus.

At this stage, Trevor Lane Podiatry remains OPEN, however with some new measures in place.

The health and wellbeing of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance, so below we have outlined the changes we have implemented.

coronavirus measures

Disinfecting

Although we have always been vigilant when it comes to handwashing and hygiene, we have stepped up our activities to include:

  • wiping down of the waiting room chairs, treatment benches, reception counter and front door handle after each patient.
  • If you are member of a private health fund, we ask your permission to lodge the Hicaps claim on your behalf.
  • We encourage our patients to use tap to pay. If a PIN is required, we wipe the terminal after each use.

Social Distancing

To comply with social distancing regulations, we are aiming to have only one visitor in our clinic at any one time.

Only the patient is to enter the premises (minors may be accompanied by one parent/carer). We ask that other family members or carers please wait outside or in the car. If the patient needs assistance to leave the clinic, we will let you know when they are ready to leave.

Bookings and Appointments

When you phone for an appointment: You will be advised about our new social distancing rules, and asked a few questions such as:

  • have you recently travelled overseas;
  • are you displaying any cold or flu like symptoms.

If the information you provide indicates that your visit may place others at risk, please do not be offended if we cannot proceed with the booking.

When you book online: A staff member will call you to ask the same questions. Depending on your responses, your booking may be postponed for at least 14 days.

When You Arrive

Upon arriving at our practice, you will notice a few things immediately such as:

  • Posters and other public health information to raise awareness of the importance of hand washing etc to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Most chairs removed from the waiting room, with a couple added out on the balcony to comply with social distancing regulations.
  • We have also removed the bell and pens from the front counter.

Please Respect our Schedule

We ask for your assistance and understanding particularly with regards to keeping to scheduled appointment times.

If you are late for your appointment, we will ask you to reschedule as there will not be sufficient time to treat you and ensure thorough cleaning takes place before the next patient arrives.

While many of our patients visit so frequently they feel like friends, we regret that we are unable to enjoy social chats at this time. If you do have any other concerns, we will help you to make another appointment.

Rules for Staff

Please be assured that:

  • All our staff practise social distancing in their time away from work as much as they can.
  • When a staff member feels unwell they are not allowed to come to work. This also applies if one of their family members at home has flu like symptoms – we ask that they not return to work until they have consulted their doctor to rule out COVID-19.

We do apologise for any inconvenience, but want you to know that we are taking this threat to our community’s health and safety extremely seriously. We will continue to monitor the situation and update our procedures and this webpage as required.

Trevor Lane, 26 March 2020.

What to Look for in Running Shoes

While our social and sporting activities are temporarily off the agenda due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s never been a better time for solitary pursuits like running and walking in the great outdoors.

Keeping active will also help your physical and mental health during these trying times.

Make sure your shoes are up to the job, otherwise running and walking may actually have a negative impact on your entire body – not just your feet!

what to look for in running shoes

Common questions include: Do I need professional shoe fitting? How often should I replace my running shoes? And which brands are the best?

Do I Need New Running Shoes?

Before you lace up your old faithful running shoes, consider if they are actually up to the task.

The Upper: Is the stitching coming apart? Are there any holes, or are your toes sticking out? Does the shape of the shoe look normal, or does it lean to one side (whether in or out)?

The Outer Sole: This is the treadlike layer on the bottom of the shoe, primarily used for grip and durability. Again, check for holes and signs of uneven wear.

The Mid Sole: The most important area of your running shoe however, is the part you can’t really see – the mid sole, which is usually made of EVA foam. Brands tend to use different names for this important layer: ASICS call it gel; Nike call it air; Brooks call it hydroflow – but essentially they all do the same thing.

The primary function of the mid sole is to absorb the shock of the foot as it strikes the ground; it is also designed to control the inward roll of the foot (or pronation as your local podiatrist is likely to call it). Pronation has been linked to conditions such as shin splints, kneecap problems, hip and lower back pain.

running shoes to control pronation

Unfortunately, the mid sole foam breaks down over time – as you clock up mileage, it becomes thinner and stiffer, losing its ability to control shock and the mechanics of your foot.

On the outside of your running shoe, the mid sole may be a different colour or pattern. If you notice any creasing, it may be time for a replacement.

Another way to test the condition of your mid sole, is how your shoes feel when you wear them. If you are running on the road or on gravel, and can feel that surface under your feet, the mid sole is tiring or has collapsed.

As a general rule, your local podiatrist will recommend that if you exercise regularly, you should look at replacing your running shoes on an annual basis.

What to Look for in Running Shoes

Tried and Tested: As with many things in life, tried and tested is best. If you have a brand that you are comfortable in, that you have been walking and running in without problems, then stick to it. Don’t change your running shoe because somebody in a shoe store or a certain brand is promoting something different.

Find an Assistant Familiar with your Sport: When you walk into a shoe store, try to find an assistant with relative knowledge. If you’re a runner, try to find a sales assistant who also likes to run. If you are a tennis or netball player – do they play tennis or netball?

Professional Shoe Fitting: Of course you won’t always be able to find help from somebody experienced in the same sport. However, you should make sure that your assistant measures the length and width of your feet with a Brannock, to get a truly professional shoe fitting.

what to look for in running shoes

Try Different Brands: Different brands cater for different foot dimensions, so again don’t get caught up in trends or marketing hype. Try on two or three pairs of shoes that offer the same features, and see which ones you think feel best, and most comfortable, under your feet.

If you are having problems with finding the right running shoe, your local podiatrist can help by looking into your specific needs and issues.

In the Redlands, Trevor Lane Podiatry is your local podiatrist, offering professional shoe fitting and footwear. Call us today on 3207 4736 for personal assistance with what to look for in running shoes.

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Foot Fractures

Participating in sports such as football or basketball, or activities such as gymnastics or dancing, are the main culprits when it comes to foot fractures.

foot care tips for fractures

That’s why there’s a whole branch of our profession, dedicated to sports podiatry!

However even if you’re not into sports, you could sustain a painful foot fracture:

  • in a car accident;
  • falling from a great height;
  • or even after a simple stumble.

And some trivia for you – men tend to be more often affected by foot fractures, than women!

The Foot Care Professionals

Podiatrists are the foot care professionals, undertaking four years of training so that they can provide expert diagnosis, treatment and management of all concerns relating to the feet – toes, ankles, toenails, heels and lower limbs. In order to practice, they must also be registered, which entails keeping up to date on all the latest developments in the foot care field – including the treatment of foot fractures, sprained ankles and the like.

A correct diagnosis is crucial if you are to receive the right treatment – that’s why we recommend a trip to your local podiatry clinic if you have sustained an injury to your foot and are experiencing pain and/or swelling, and suspect a fracture or sprain. Most people think of going to a doctor or hospital Emergency Department, not realising that a podiatrist is the expert when it comes to all things feet.

Sadly, we often see patients at our podiatry clinic, who have already visited a GP or physiotherapist regarding a foot injury – but have not received the correct diagnosis. Often this is because they were never sent for an x-ray, which would have revealed that a foot fracture was present.

You do not require a referral to visit a podiatry clinic, and just like a GP, we can give you a referral for an x-ray to determine if there is a fracture present. Currently there are no out of pocket expenses for these x-rays, as they are covered by Medicare.

Recovering from Foot Fractures

Once your podiatrist has arrived at a diagnosis, they can prescribe the best treatment and rehabilitation options – so you will be running around again in no time!

If you suspect that you may have a foot fracture, or just want some advice on another aspect of foot care, call us today on 3207 4736.Save

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Kids School Shoes: A Parent’s Guide

It’s almost back-to-school time and that means sorting out uniforms, book lists, labels and kids school shoes.

Perhaps you have never thought of talking to your local podiatrist about school shoes – yet we are the experts in all things foot care!

professional fitting for kids school shoes

As your local family podiatrist clinic, we can help answer your questions, such as:

  • Why are good school shoes so important?
  • Are leather school shoes better?
  • Should we choose velcro fastening or lace up school shoes?
  • What shoe will best suit a wide foot?
  • Does my child need orthotics?

In addition to providing valuable advice, at Trevor Lane Podiatry we offer a range of quality school shoes – for the littlest preppie, right through to the adult sizes needed by the end of high school – as well as a professional fitting service.

We recommend parents check their kids’ school shoes in early to mid January, as there can be a bit of a rush at the end of January and stocks can run low.

Why are good school shoes so important?

As a parent myself, I’m quite particular about the features I want in my kids school shoes! So you can be assured of quality, stability and support in the range we offer. Here are just some of the reasons why good school shoes are so important:

  • Your child’s feet can grow up to 17 sizes in the first 11 or 12 years – expertly fitted school shoes allow for correct bone and muscle development, preventing potential problems down the track.
  • Poorly fitting school shoes can actually cause damage, or increase the risk of injury such as a sprained ankle.
  • A quarter of the bones in your child’s body are located in their foot – they deserve to be looked after!
  • Your child will be wearing their school shoes for at least 30 hours a week.
  • School shoes aren’t just for studying! You want to be sure your child has a good quality, supportive shoe for playing and running around.

Kids school shoes by Ecco

Professional Fitting for Kids School Shoes

It is worth visiting our Redlands podiatry clinic to check your kids’ school shoes before the new school year begins. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • We are the foot doctors! Our podiatrists have trained for many years and are fully qualified foot care professionals. Unlike shop assistants, with only a brief training session under their belts – we are the experts.
  • A podiatrist can pick up any potential problems or foot conditions in your child, and ensure that they are fitted with the best school shoes for their individual needs.
  • Our professional shoe fitting service includes measuring the length, width, and arch length of your child’s foot, as well as gait scan analysis to check for any abnormal foot function.
  • Feet aren’t always the same size! If your child has feet of a different length or width – we can adjust the shoe precisely to each foot.

In short, not only do you get great, professional service, you can be confident we stock only the best school shoes, with full money back guarantees. We also make a point of stocking shoes with are suitable for kids orthotics.

School Shoes Brands

We stock Clarks, Ecco, and also school sports shoes, and can recommend the best for your child:

  • Clarks: Clarks have a great reputation. Their shoes consist of a good quality rubber sole and leather upper, and are built to offer maximum stability to support your child’s knees and back. Clarks caters for children with wide feet, with school shoes made up to F, G and H widths.
  • Ecco: This European brand offers very high quality in kids school shoes. They are a little more expensive, but I find they are particularly suitable for the senior years, eg students in years 11 and 12 that have finished growing. Older students find that they will get at least 2 years out of these shoes. Ecco school shoes are available predominantly in one width, but it’s a very generous sizing, around a B or C.
  • School Sports Shoes: Our school sports shoes range includes Orthaheels in white and black, and Saucony, which also caters for medium and wide feet.

At our Redlands podiatry clinic, we offer foot care for the whole family – and would love to help with advice and professional fitting for kids school shoes. Call us today on 3207 4736.

Summer Foot Care Tips

The summer holidays are almost upon us, a time to go footloose and fancy free!

However, summer is also a time when our feet are more exposed – and that can lead to all sorts of problems.

Put your best foot forward, with these tips for summer holiday foot care …

summer holiday foot care tips

Pedicure Season

For the ladies, summer means pedicures – and a good excuse for a bit of pampering.

As a foot care professional, I recommend being selective about where you get your pedicure done and choose a salon where hygiene is a top priority. I’m not a fan of the popular foot spa chairs, mainly because I can’t help but wonder what sort of bacteria could be lurking in the jets – even if basins are disinfected after each use.

Summer Footwear

One of the delights of summer is ditching the constraints of everyday life, and that includes your footwear. It’s a time to slip on a pair of thongs, or even go barefoot!

Some people find they get sore feet and calf muscles after wearing thongs for a few days. This is usually because their feet are accustomed to a more supportive shoe (eg school shoes or fully enclosed footwear for work). The foot has to work a lot harder when wearing thongs, leading to muscle fatigue, aches and pains.

You may find it more comfortable to wear thongs by Orthaheel or Vionic, both of which you may find stocked at your local podiatrist clinic.

Happy Holiday Feet

Wearing open backed shoes such as thongs, slides and sandals, also allows the fat pad on your foot to spread, which can cause cracked dry heels. To avoid this painful as well as unsightly condition, apply a moisturising lotion such as sorbolene with Vitamin E cream before bedtime .

And while we’re talking about lotion, don’t forget your feet whenever you use sunscreen – there’s nothing fun about sunburnt feet!

Long Haul Travel

Maybe you’re lucky enough to be taking a summer holiday overseas!

To avoid puffy sore feet after a long haul flight, drink lots of water and make a point of doing a couple of simple exercises every hour or two to keep the circulation flowing. You can try ankle flexes and toe wiggles while seated – or go for a walk around the plane and stop for a couple of calf stretches.

We also recommend wearing compression socks to protect against DVT (deep vein thrombosis), especially if you are 40+. Not all compression socks are the same, so at Trevor Lane Podiatry we measure, fit and supply you with the ones that are most suited to your needs.

Let’s Get Wet

We all know it’s a good idea to avoid going barefoot when showering in the amenities block at the caravan park.

However I also encourage the use of footwear even around the pool at your luxury resort, to reduce the risk of picking up an unwanted souvenir like the plantar wart virus or tinea …

The humidity at this time of year means that tinea and other nasties can thrive, so it’s important to dry your feet thoroughly after showering or swimming. Make sure you dry in between each toe, and don’t share towels.

Beach Feet

There’s nothing like the feel of wet sand between your toes – but it pays to be careful even at the beach, to avoid injury. Cuts and scrapes from coral often become infected, and can take weeks or even months to heal.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy summer fun and avoid foot problems – because no matter how much you may like your local podiatrist, I’m pretty sure that you’d prefer not to have a reason to visit them during your holidays!

Is Podiatry Covered by Medicare?

People are often surprised to learn that a bulk billed podiatrist is the exception rather than the rule here in Australia.

This is for a number of reasons.

When Does a Medicare Rebate Apply?

Podiatry is an allied health service, which means that in the majority of cases a Medicare rebate – and therefore bulk billing – won’t apply.

The exception is for patients with a chronic health condition and complex care needs, for example:

  • a diabetic experiencing problems with ulcers on their lower legs; or,
  • a person with severe arthritis, unable to take proper care of their feet.

In cases like these, a referral from your medical practitioner is essential to access a Medicare rebate for your podiatry treatment. Medicare contributes to a maximum of five allied health services (not just podiatry) per calendar year, which could be quickly used up if you have a condition such as diabetes which may require sessions with a dietitian, a diabetes educator and a psychologist, as well as a podiatrist.

is podiatry covered by medicare

As you can imagine, there is a lot of administration work associated with these types of referrals, including your podiatrist being required to write a report for your GP.

This is why many podiatry clinics are unable to offer bulk billing in these cases. However the Medicare rebate does make it much more affordable.

A lot of GPs don’t fully understand how the Medicare rebate works for podiatry, and in particular, that bulk billing rarely applies – so when we receive a referral from your GP, we make every effort to contact you to explain the process and the small gap fee required.

Your Local Foot Care Professional

While we don’t have any bulk billed podiatrists at Trevor Lane Podiatry, we take care of our clients in other ways with:

  • a concession rate for patients that provide us with their pension, health care, or seniors card;
  • HICAPS for those in participating health funds, for on-the-spot claims processing;
  • the convenience of a secure online booking system;
  • modern equipment to provide superior diagnosis and treatment, such as digital gait analysis;
  • professional fitting and a range of shoes suitable for wearing with orthotics;
  • and we are particularly proud to be the only podiatry clinic in the Redlands offering Foot Mobilisation Therapy.

All of this in addition to our friendly, professional podiatry services for all the family.

So unless you have a chronic health condition with complex care needs, you can avoid the hassle of seeing your GP for a referral and make an appointment with Trevor Lane Podiatry today – your local foot care professional in the Redlands, for over 20 years.

For more information on podiatry and Medicare rebates you can visit the relevant page on the Australian government website; or find out about concessions, DVA, WorkCover, fees and referrals on our FAQ page.

What is a Partial Nail Avulsion?

In our last blog post, we discussed the painful condition known as onychocryptosis – or ingrown toenail.

If recurring ingrown toenail is a problem for you, your podiatrist may recommend a procedure called a partial nail avulsion or PNA.

Most people wince at the thought of surgery for an ingrown toenail, because for many years treatment involved cutting into the groove at the side of the nail (the sulcus), scraping the nail bed and being stitched afterwards. However in the majority of cases this is no longer warranted.

considering partial nail avulsion

These days, your family podiatrist may suggest a partial nail avulsion, where phenol is used to cauterise the nail. This is a less invasive treatment, using a local rather than a general anaesthetic which means:

  • that PNA is a lot more affordable as it doesn’t require an anaesthesiologist;
  • recovery is less painful and more rapid;
  • and it can be performed at your local podiatry clinic.

Behind the Scenes at a Partial Nail Avulsion

Before the procedure: You will be carefully assessed to ensure suitability for PNA. For example, it is not usually recommended for diabetics, people with kidney or liver problems, or if you are taking blood thinners. Your podiatrist will explain the procedure to you, encourage you to ask questions, and provide you with pamphlets to read at home.

The room is well prepped and instruments are sterilised.

During the Procedure: Two podiatrists are required by law – one maintains a sterile field and performs the procedure; the other is non sterile (to reduce any chance of cross infection), and is there to monitor your comfort levels and step you through the process. The whole procedure usually takes less than an hour.

You will be given instructions on aftercare, and the nail should be dry and you should be feeling comfortable by the time you leave the clinic.

Because a local anaesthetic has been administered, we ask that a family member, relative or friend take you home. We also supply data about the amount of anaesthetic used, just in case you are involved in an incident (eg car accident) and need further anaesthetic in the next 24 hours.

Recovery and Aftercare

We recommend you keep the nail dry for two days, and keep your foot elevated. Usually paracetamol is all that is required for pain relief, as there has been no cutting or stitching.

A follow up consultation 2 days post procedure is part of the initial fee, and allows your podiatrist to check for infection or any other problems. At this appointment you will be given dressings, antiseptic and further instructions on follow up care. Of course if there are any problems, please call us immediately, at no extra charge.

As with any medical procedure there are potential risks, the main one being infection. There is a very slight chance of regrowth; for the small number of clients who do not respond well to phenolisation (ie the nail regrows), your podiatrist will refer you to the appropriate practitioner for an excision procedure .

It might sound scary, but a partial nail avulsion should cause minimal disruption to your life, and provide an effective permanent solution (1).

Call us today to discuss treatment options if you are having problems with an ingrown toenail – phone 3207 4736.

Source:

    1. https://ebm.bmj.com/content/5/1/26 – viewed 22.08.19