fREquently asked questions
WHAT DO PODIATRISTS DO?
Podiatry is the branch of medicine related to foot and lower limb disorders. The role of the podiatrist is to prevent or correct deformity and maintain normal mobility and function. Podiatrists can manage any discomfort and problems of the lower limb. They also relieve pain, treat infections and skin, nail, soft tissue and connective tissue problems. Podiatrists can also give expert advice on footwear, so it is a good idea to take a pair of shoes with you when you next see your podiatrist.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL TO SEE A PODIATRIST?
No, most patients, who come to the clinic as a private patient or who claim through their private health cover, do not require a referral. A referral is only necessary if:
• Your doctor has recommended treatment as part of an Enhanced Primary Care Plan, which can allow up to 5 allied health visits. (You will need to contact your GP to have an Enhanced Primary Care Plan first put into place BEFORE you make an appointment)
• You are a returned service veteran seeking treatment under a GOLD or WHITE card.
• You are seeking treatment under a work cover or TAC claim.
DOES MEDICARE COVER PODIATRY?
In some circumstances, yes. If you have a chronic and complex medical condition, such as Diabetes, Arthritis and may be eligible for bulk billed consultations under the Medicare Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program. You need to consult with your GP and note Foothealth First Podiatry as your treatment provider to be eligible for bulk billing. If you have further questions regarding EPC care plans, please contact us for information.
WILL MY DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS (DVA) CARD COVER THE COST OF MY CONSULTATION?
Yes. DVA Gold Card holders will be covered fully for podiatry consultations and other treatment related expenses with a valid referral from their GP. Please contact us prior to seeking a referral to receive the necessary information for your GP. For other forms of Veterans’ Affairs Cards (such as Green or White cards) please contact DVA on 133 254 to check your podiatry related rebates.
CAN I GET A REBATE FROM MY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?
Yes, we offers HICAPS facilities which process health fund rebates for patients insured with eligible health funds on the spot. We advise patients to contact their health fund for further information regarding rebates. We will require payment upon the day of your consultation.
ARE THE INSTRUMENTS STERILISED?
Yes! All instruments at our podiatry clinics are cleaned, packaged & sterilised in an autoclave for each and every patient in accordance with infection control guidelines.
WHAT IS ORTHOTICS?
Orthotics are custom-made or semi custom-made devices to correct your foot posture. They can fit into different footwear to help aches and pains in feet, knees, hips and lower back. If you require custom made orthotics, our podiatrists will conduct a full biomechanical assessment and use a 3D foot scanner and software to prescribe custom made orthotics.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED BY ORTHOTICS?
There are many conditions, which may be treated by wearing orthotics:
• Heel pain/ Heel spur syndrome
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Flat feet
• Stabilising high arched feet
• Help with Ankle, Knee and Hip Pain
• Intoed feet (pigeon toed) in children
• Lower back pain
• Forefoot pain
• Excessive shoe wear
• To redistribute pressure to decrease callous & corns under reduced fatty padding areas.
I HAVE DIABETES, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT I SEE A PODIATRIST?
Very Important, if you have either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, you should consult with your Podiatrist at least annually for a Neurovascular Assessment. Further treatments may be required if other issues are identified to put your feet at high risk. We help to prevent ulcerations and it’s related amputations. If you are experiencing any of the following, you should call for an appointment immediately.
• Pain in legs or feet, even when resting
• Skin colour & temperature changes
• Tingling, pins & needles or numbness
• Open sores
I HAVE SOME WARTS UNDER MY FEET, CAN A PODIATRIST HELP?
Plantar warts are skin lesions on the feet or toes caused by the human papillomavirus. These lesions often appear as small, raised areas of skin that may be discoloured, painful or possibly itchy. These lesions can spread if left untreated. Plantar warts can often be mistaken for callus (hardened skin) or corns (heloma durum) and therefore it is important to have any lesions inspected by your podiatrist for appropriate treatment.
IS THE TREATMENT PAINFUL?
Most likely no, patients are often surprised they feel little or no pain during treatment, yet they were putting up with unnecessary pain for a long time before seeking treatment.