This Is What’s New at Tanglewood Foot Specialists

IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION

Our office continues to be open to all new and existing patients. We use hospital-grade sanitizers and are taking measures to ensure patients maintain social distancing by not having anyone wait in our reception room with others. If you prefer to wait in your car, just give us a call and we will call or text you when we are ready to bring you straight into a treatment room. Our entire staff is wearing masks and we encourage you to do the same.

For those patients who cannot or still wish not to visit the office, we are offering private video telemedicine visits. Simply call the office at 713-785-7881 and ask for an e-visit and we will be happy to get you set up for an immediate appointment. You can also request an appointment through our website.

By now you probably have realized that you get an email from me every Tuesday. In fact, every Tuesday I like to share something different with you. At the end of the month we send you our monthly newsletter.

This Tuesday, I was a little bit thrown. Typically, a month has four Tuesdays in it and I know exactly what I’m going to share with you. I do this based on the feedback that you send me about what you most like to see. I have my topics prepared in advance and work hard to make the emails useful and entertaining.

This month I was thrown a curveball…there are FIVE Tuesdays in June!

So I was thinking about what I was going to share with you. I thought it was a good opportunity to discuss how we are improving things in the office that will benefit you. I know you won’t need everything I discuss, but you may know someone who would benefit.

Digital X-Ray

We upgraded our x-ray processor to a state of the art digital x-ray. I will get higher quality images to be able to diagnose your foot and ankle issues in a much more specific way. Also, no more waiting for images to be developed. With our new digital system, the image is available for viewing in under five seconds. If you wish to have a copy of your images, that’s much easier now. We will burn a CD for you.

Diagnostic Ultrasound

Just like our x-ray will provide better imaging of your bones and joints, diagnostic ultrasound will allow me to image your soft tissue. It’s great for looking for inflamed tissue in the heel, Achilles tendon, and forefoot. While not as specific as an MRI, it is a handy tool to have in the office to diagnose soft tissue conditions, such as tendonitis. If I need to treat you with an injection, ultrasound also comes in handy to allow me to place the injection exactly at the point of inflammation.

Dermatoscope

If you’ve been in to see me with a plantar wart recently, you may have caught me using this small device. A dermatoscope is a magnifier using polarized light to better view skin abnormalities. I use it if I’m unsure what a skin lesion is. It’s useful to tell the difference between a wart and a callus, for instance. It also allows me to look at moles and other lesions to see if there are any concerns that it may be malignant. If it looks questionable, I’ll take a biopsy to make sure everything is okay. The best part of using a dermatoscope is that its use is included in whatever service I’m providing. So nothing billed out to insurance and no extra charge for its use. It’s a small but pretty cool device. Ask me about it next time you’re in, I’ll be happy to show it to you.

Amniotic Stem Cells

Regenerative medicine is a therapy that works to regenerate human tissue to restore normal function. It is useful in treating overuse injuries. This includes plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. It works to reduce inflammation and pain. They are also helpful in areas of partial ligament or tendon tears. The stem cells help the body recover from these injuries quickly and completely. Amniotic stem cell therapy provides growth factors to injured areas. This accelerates healing and helps to get you back to your full activity. It can take up to six weeks for the therapy to have the full effect.

Occasionally there is insurance coverage for this therapy. Most commonly it is considered by insurance to be a non-covered service. Give us a call if you want us to check with your insurance. We’d be happy to do that for you.

Exosome Therapy

Exosomes are considered to be the next generation of regenerative medicine therapy. In fact, the anmiotic stem cells work to secrete exosomes into the areas that is treated. By injecting the exosomes into the injured area, there is a much quicker response time to have inflammation reduced and pain resolved. Exosomes are also derived from a donated amniotic source and are FDA approved. I use diagnostic ultrasound to pinpoint the exact location of the injury where the exosomes should be infiltrated.

Like amniotic stem cell therapy, there is limited insurance coverage. Most of our patients are happy to make the investment to end their pain and get them back to the activities they love.

As you can tell, we’re always looking for improvements that will benefit you. I can’t wait for you to check out our new state-of-the-art x-ray system the next time you need it. And if you’ve tried other medication or injections that haven’t worked for you, consider regenerative medicine.

If you have any questions about any of these treatments, feel free to contact us to schedule an immediate appointment.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.