Did you know that Foot and Ankle Specialists of The Woodlands’ doctors make special trips every other day to care for those who are unable to leave their home for medical care? Here are the 5 W’s:
Many of their house visit patients are under the care of a Home Health company that is taking care of them for any number of reasons. However, any patient who has difficulty leaving their home due to muscle weakness, difficulty walking, having to use a walker or wheelchair can qualify. Many Hospice patients are also unable to leave their home for medical care. If you or a loved one may need this service and you are uncertain if they qualify please contact our office for help.
What does a house visit consist of?
During these 15-25 minute visits, the doctors conduct a thorough examination of the feet. This includes, but is not limited to examining the nails and skin for signs of infection, wounds, pressure sores, dryness and overall wellness. Blood flow and circulation are examined by checking the pulses at the ankle and foot, and can by looking for signs of decreased circulation like decreased skin temperature, loss of hair and color changes. A simple nerve test is conducted to make sure the patient has proper sensation to 10 different points of the foot and can discriminate between sharp and dull sensations. This is important as many patients have nerve loss, leading to inability to feel when stepping on something or irritating their skin. Other problems like bunions, hammertoes and general foot pain is also thoroughly examined. After the exam, most patients require a very quick and painless treatment for fungal or thickened toenails, hard calluses, dry heels or even a quick shot for arthritis or inflammation. There are many other services that can be done at the home including x-ray imaging, but most people are unaware that these options exist.
Doctors are scheduled to arrive at the home between the hours of 9am-1pm or 1pm to 5pm. This allows the doctors to follow a very specific route from one patient to the next. Patients will also receive a call when the doctors are on the way. Appointments are available M-F, 9am-5pm and occasionally Saturdays. Patients are usually seen within 7-10 days of first contacting our office for the appointment.
Where do the doctors travel?
Drs. Vaclaw and Conley spend 3 days a week at their clinic in The Woodlands and then every other day they travel all across north Houston. They cover as far west as Katy and Cypress, north to Willis and even Huntsville. They see patients east of Lake Houston and everything in between.
Why would someone need this visit?
The wide majority of these visits are conducted to examine and evaluate the feet and treat the patients for Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of toenails. These infections often cause the nails to rapidly grow into very long, thickened, discolored and painful nails. Many of the house visit patients are unable to take care of these painful nails. Lack of fine motor skills, impaired vision or poor sensation make this a dangerous task as they could actually cut more than toenails. Many patients have suffered strokes, have had hip or knee replacements or have decreased hand strength which prohibit them from being able to take care of these nails. The traveling foot doctors are able to come examine and treat this problem in a quick, professional and painless manner. The doctors often prescribe medicare approved medication to be used in a foot bath that is delivered directly to their doorstep.
For family members trying to find someone to care for their loved ones’ foot problems, having a house call Podiatrist could bring significant relief. There are many more services that are offered and covered by insurance via home health companies that most caregivers are unaware of. If you or someone you know would benefit from having a specialized foot doctor at your doorstep, please do not hesitate to call Foot and Ankle Specialists of The Woodlands today to learn more.
Dr. Marcin N. Vaclaw
Dr. Brian J. Conley