| Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral to see the doctor?

Generally speaking, if you have a “PPO” type health insurance, you do not need a referral. Most “HMO” patients do require a referral. Examples of HMO’s in Phoenix include HealthNet, Aetna, and others. BCBS HMO, however does not require a referral, while Mercy Care Advantage does. All patients with insurance that requires a referral will need to obtain authorization prior to scheduling an appointment.

Can you take x-rays in your office?

Yes. Our offices are equipped with digital processors so that your x-ray images will be displayed on a computer monitor. Your x-rays are stored in digital format on a computer and can be easily copied to a CD or JPEG file.

Will I be required to pay a co-payment at your office?

That depends upon your particular insurance contract. Most PPO and HMO policies require the insured to pay a co-payment each time they visit a physician’s office, whether it is primary care or specialty. It is best to check your benefit booklet prior to visiting our office. If you have a copay per your insurance contract, then you will be expected to pay the copay prior to seeing the doctor. Our office accepts cash or credit cards.

Do you only treat adults?

No. Our practice is not limited to adult patients; we treat people of all ages who are in need of podiatric care. There are actually a wide range of problems specific to children that we can treat.

When should I seek treatment by a podiatrist?

Usually, this is determined by your primary care physician if you have an HMO policy. Many PPO, indemnity and Medicare policies allow you to self refer to a specialist. If you are having any problems or concerns about anything below the knee, then you should seek advice and treatment by a podiatrist.

What expectations should I have when I visit your office?

You can expect to be treated with respect and kindness. Our patients are important to us and we want them to feel welcome. You can expect us to work with your insurance company to resolve claims issues. We can often see patients the same or following day, so you can get immediate care. Most importantly, you can expect to be treated with top-tier care.

Is there anything you can do for toenail fungus?

Yes. Years ago, the standard treatment for toenail fungus was a topical anti-fungal agent. Unfortunately, it yielded poor results. Now, there are oral medications that are available to rid the fungus from within the body. Additionally, there are small surgical procedures that can be performed in the office to permanently remove part or all of a fungal nail.

Should children be treated by a podiatrist?

Yes. It is important to remember that pain is not normal. Your child should not have pain. Your family physician may describe your child’s discomfort as “growing pains,” which may actually be a sign of something more serious. Dr. Brewer and Dr. De La Cruz are well-trained in pediatric-specific foot and ankle disorders. The most common disorders involving our pediatric patients include heel pain, flat feet, ingrown nails, warts, and sprains/fractures. We treat children of all ages.

I have a heel spur. Do I need to have it removed?

No. Most people who have heel pain caused by a “heel spur” do not need surgery. The plantar fascia, a  ligament-like structure on the bottom of the foot, courses the arch and connects into the heel and, at times, may become inflamed. As a result, the body responds in a way that calcium may build up and create a heel spur. The pain comes first and the spur comes later; the spur generally does not cause the pain. It is important to remember that there are some people who have heel pain without a spur as well as others who have heel spurs, but no pain. Dr. Brewer and Dr. De La Cruz can show you how heel pain can be treated without surgery. Heel pain is one of the most common foot ailments, and 95% of those who receive treatment for plantar fasciitis make a full recovery without needing surgery.

My child has flat feet. Should he/she be treated?

Yes. Flat feet in children are common. In fact, all children have flat feet until the age of 5 or 6 when the arch develops. Many times “flat feet” are not painful. However, if your child is having pain, is clumsy when running, or chooses to sit on the side lines when others are playing, then there may be a problem. Also, if you see your child’s ankles “rolling in,” especially when viewed from behind, then you should take him/her to be examined. Often, doctors will prescribe orthotic devices, custom made inserts to be worn in the shoe to help realign the bones and joints of the foot. This allows the foot to mature in a good position. In rare instances, your child may need reconstructive surgery. Dr. Brewer and Dr. De La Cruz have extensive training in reconstructive flatfoot surgery.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are custom-made devices that are worn in your shoes. Dr. Brewer or Dr. De La Cruz will either take a mold of your feet with plaster or use a computerized digital scanner to obtain “impressions” of your feet. This makes an identical picture of your foot. We then send the molds/scans to an orthotic laboratory for fabrication. Orthotics are more than arch support. Orthotic devices are used for a variety reasons; they control and help to realign the structures of the foot, while having an influence on the spine, hip, knee, and ankle. Orthotic devices are useful in treating a myriad of disorders that cause pain or dysfunction of the lower extremities.

What type of surgeries do you do?

The most common foot and ankle surgeries include fixing bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, fractures, removal of bone spurs, and surgical care related to infections and ulcers.

Less common surgeries that Dr. Brewer and Dr. De La Cruz perform include flatfoot (pediatric and adult), high-arched foot reconstructions, fusions or joint replacements for arthritic joints, Charcot reconstruction, tarsal tunnel and other nerve decompressions, ankle ligament repair, and tendon repair (i.e. achilles ruptures).

Dr. Brewer and Dr. De La Cruz have received specialized training in revisional surgery as well as complicated reconstructive surgery. They are a referral source for other foot and ankle surgeons who do not perform these types of surgeries.

What is the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon?

An orthopedic surgeon is a doctor that treats the entire musculoskeletal system, head to toe. A podiatrist has specialized training in and is limited to treating disorders of the foot and ankle. Podiatrists have the ability to treat in a conservative fashion in the office as well as performing surgery at your local hospital if necessary.

What is peripheral vascular disease?

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), also known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD), is a condition where there is diminished blood flow to your legs and feet caused by narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Common symptoms may include cold feet, calf pain when walking short distances, and/or slow to heal wounds on your feet. Diagnosis usually involves testing your circulation with a doppler ultrasound and/or an angiogram. Treatments include certain medications, an exercise program, and sometimes surgical procedures. Our office can perform vascular testing that is non-invasive and coordinate consultation with a specialty-trained peripheral vascular physician. It has been estimated that 12 million people in the U.S. have PAD, and more than half of those people are asymptomatic. This condition is seen more often in diabetic patients and those who smoke.

Is the doctor board certified?

Yes. Dr. Brewer and Dr. De La Cruz are board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.

I don’t have health insurance. Can I still see the doctor?

Yes. Our office understands that some people lack insurance, have high deductibles (major medical only) or want to be seen even though Oasis may not be contracted with your insurance company. We give a generous discounted rate, usually a 25% discount of Medicare allowed rates. A payment plan can be arranged if necessary.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. We accept cash, credit (MC, Visa, and AMEX).

I am diabetic. How often should I be seen by a podiatrist?

All diabetic patients should have a podiatrist. In your initial exam, your podiatrist will tell you if you are at low or high risk for complications in your feet. Generally speaking, a diabetic patient that has good circulation and no neurological deficit (numbness/burning/tingling) can be seen on an annual basis. However, if the patient is at higher risk with poor circulation and/or numbness in the feet, then exams/treatments should be done every 2-3 months.

Do you perform diabetic would care?

Yes, we are a referral source for both wound care and diabetic ulcer care. A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that most commonly occurs on the bottom of the foot in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes. Of those who develop a foot ulcer, six percent will be hospitalized due to infection or other ulcer-related complication. At Oasis, we are committed to getting you better and will do everything in our power to make sure that you do not need to be hospitalized.

Most Insurance(s) Accepted at Both Our Phoenix and Scottsdale Podiatry Centers. Call us today at (602) 993-2700!