I have a small open area on my ankle. What should I do?

Question:

I just received my new brace last week and now I have a small open area on my ankle. What should I do? Sally N.

ANSWER:

Getting a new orthosis or prosthesis is very exciting, but can also present some challenges as your body gets used to the new device. When you get a new device from us it is important to carefully follow the break-in schedule provided to you by your practitioner. Normally we will recommend breaking in your new device over 1-2 weeks until you can work up to a prescribed full-time wear. It can be tempting to wear the new device all day but to avoid causing problems, follow the break-in schedule closely! This can help to stop small problems from becoming big problems.

Something else to look for when using your new device after you have taken it off, is to see if there are any red areas on your skin. Some redness is OK and expected, but if the redness doesn't go away in about 30 minutes and remains, stop using the device and get in touch with our office to schedule a follow-up with your practitioner. 

If you have been following the break-in schedule carefully and monitoring your skin, but still have an open area or some skin breakdown occurs, we normally recommend you stop using your device and contact us for a follow-up appointment. If possible, take a picture so that we can track the problem area together after we make adjustments and as it heals. If your sensation is not completely intact, make sure you have a mirror so that you can inspect your skin visually from all angles if you are not able to feel an area that is rubbing or uncomfortable.

If you have an open area on your skin, do not ignore it, especially if you have circulation problems or diabetes. The area can get larger, or infected if not cared for properly, and this can set you back in achieving your rehabilitation goals. Taking a short break to let a small area heal is more effective and safer than having to take a long break to let a larger area heal. Keep the area covered if it opens up and do your best to keep pressure off of it. Oftentimes, taking a short break from using the device until the wound heals, having an adjustment made, and restarting the wear schedule will alleviate future problems in that area. 

- Nina Bondre, Certified Prosthetist Orthotist

 Do you have a question you would like to Ask Us? Email us at info@dankmeyer.com.

As a prosthesis wearer, why should I "Check My Foot"?

The start of spring is a good time to review this question…..

Question:

Why should I check my prosthetic foot, and how do I do that? - Carolyn M.

ANSWER:

After a mild winter, spring has arrived in full force. Many of us will start to become a little more active in the warmer months.  We are busy fertilizing yards and mowing grass, preparing our gardens or taking walks in the community.   This means we are on our feet a lot more frequently than in the colder months. 

Spring is a great time to “CHECK YOUR FEET”.    Our feet are our foundation, much like the foundation of a house.  If the house foundation is cracking and in poor condition, the building upon it will not hold up well.  Your prosthetic device is part of your walking foundation and it is a good idea to have your device checked out.

Prosthetic feet wear down from daily use.   Some feet are a completed design, meaning the inner mechanics are enclosed by a foam foot casing.  Other feet have foot shells and protective socks, which can be removed to inspect the carbon foot design.   When your foot begins to wear down, your walking pattern, or gait, may be affected.   You may also hear noises such as a metal “click” or “squeaking”.

Spring is an excellent time to schedule an appointment with your prosthetist.   We will inspect your prosthetic foot for signs of wear or damage and advise you of any recommended repairs or possible replacement.   Sometimes repairs may be completed on the same day you are seen or, may require us to order appropriate parts for your prosthesis.   Either way, it should help you start off your spring on the right foot, or possibly your left!!!

- Mary Reedy, Certified Prosthetist

 Do you have a question you would like to Ask Us? Email us at info@dankmeyer.com.

How do we know if the office is closed in wintry weather?

It is that time of year again, when we might face ice and snow!

QUESTION:

Now that winter is upon us, what is the best way to find out if one of your offices will be closed due to inclement weather?   - Ellie B  

ANSWER:

There are several ways to find out about our office closures due to inclement weather.  You can call our main office, 800-879-1245, to listen to a recorded message which will state if the office is on a delayed opening or is closed that day.  If you do not hear a message regarding office closure due to inclement weather, you can expect our offices will open at their regular 8:00 am time for all scheduled appointments.

Another option is to visit our website where any office closure information will be posted on our main page no later than 6:30AM that morning.   

You can also check out our Facebook page (check it out by clicking here) for posted office closure information.   

Should one or all of our offices be closed due to bad weather, we will call you as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

Please note, our offices will be closed on Monday, January 21, 2019 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and on Presidents Day, February 18, 2019.

- Kristin Boswell, Director of Patient Services and Billing

Do you have a question you would like to Ask Us? Email us at info@dankmeyer.com.

 

Your First Appointment in the New Year

QUESTION:

My next appointment is scheduled in your office after the first of the year.  Do I need to bring anything with me?  Is there anything new I should know before coming to my appointment?

 - Karon M.

ANSWER:

Thank you for the great question!  The first of the year can be tricky for medical offices, as it is when most insurance policies renew. It is also the time of year when brand new insurance plans go into effect.  Unfortunately, a change in insurance can sometimes cause problems for patients since not all medical providers participate with all insurance plans. 

For example, we often see patients who were previously enrolled in traditional Medicare who have signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan during the open enrollment period.  Changing over to a Medicare Advantage plan can potentially affect coverage with your current healthcare providers, as some providers may not participate with a particular Medicare Advantage plan.  This means you would no longer be able to see that provider without having an out of pocket expense.  This is one reason we encourage our patients who have made any change to their insurance to contact our office prior to their appointment to let us know of the change.  At this time, we can also confirm whether or not we are an in-network provider with your new insurance plan. 

Speaking of out of pocket expenses, since most insurance policies run calendar year (Jan 1 – Dec 31), deductibles and out of pocket costs also renew the first of the year - so there may also be a possibility you will have a share for a service early in the new year.  We will certainly let you know of any financial responsibility you may have prior to providing the service.  Also, please don’t forget to bring any new insurance cards with you to your appointment! 

One last thing, so we may have the option to effectively communicate with you in regards to the care you receive from us, we will be asking for your current email address, as well as your permission to use it as a method of contacting you regarding the medical care you are receiving from us. 

 Happy New Year!

 - Kristin Boswell, Director of Patient Services and Billing

 

Do you have a question you would like to Ask Us? Email us at info@dankmeyer.com.

End of Year Benefit and Scheduling Planning

This is question that comes up close to the end of the year, so we thought it was worth reposting.

QUESTION:

Hello, with the holiday season quickly approaching and winter just around the corner, I’m concerned my prosthesis will need repair or I will need supplies and I might not be able to get an appointment.  Do you have any recommendations to ease my concerns?

 - Peyton K.

ANSWER:

We certainly understand your concerns, Peyton, and highly recommend scheduling an appointment with your practitioner prior to the holiday season and end of the year.  Many insurance policies renew January 1st, which may translate into your annual deductibles and out of pocket costs starting all over again.  This is something you certainly want to keep in mind as the end of the year approaches.  We are more than happy to review your benefits and provide you with the anticipated cost difference for services you receive prior to January 1st compared to after January 1st.  Just give us a call and one of our patient service coordinators will be happy to verify your benefits and answer your insurance questions.  In most cases, receiving repair to or supplies for your prosthesis prior to the end of the year will help keep cash in your pocket!  Make your appointment now for November or December.   We look forward to hearing from you soon!

 - Kristin Boswell, Director of Patient Services and Billing

 

Do you have a question you would like to Ask Us? Email us at info@dankmeyer.com.