Podiatry & foot surgery FAQs

What conditions can podiatrists treat?

Podiatrists treat a variety of conditions related to the foot and ankle. Our practice specializes in:

  • Achilles tendinitis & ruptures
  • Ankle and foot sprains
  • Arthritis of the foot & ankle
  • Bunion deformities
  • Custom orthotics
  • Flatfoot deformities
  • Fractures
  • Hammertoe deformities
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Neuromas
  • Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
  • Sports & dance injuries
  • Warts
  • Wound care & limb salvage

Do podiatrists take insurance?

As a Northern California Medical Associates practice, NCMA Foot and Ankle Center accepts most commercial health plans and Medicare. In general, foot and ankle services provided by podiatrists are usually covered by health insurance plans. However, not all podiatrists accept all insurance plans so always check with your provider first before beginning your care.

Do I need a referral to see a podiatrist?

Patients do not need a referral to see a podiatrist, unless your insurance requires referrals to see a specialist. You may make an appointment directly with NCMA Foot and Ankle Center in Santa Rosa at any time by calling 707-575-6033 or by filling out our brief appointment request form. To learn more about our services and practice philosophy, visit NCMA Foot and Ankle Center on the web.

Can a podiatrist perform surgery?

Yes! Podiatrists are doctors who attend four years of podiatric medical school training followed by at least three years of residency training. They receive their Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and are certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, in Foot Surgery, with the ability to also certify in Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgery. Their training is very similar to medical doctors (MD or DO). DPMs focus on the foot and ankle much earlier in their training. Podiatrists can do surgery, treat acute injuries and broken bones, prescribe medications, admit patients to the hospital and order lab or imaging tests.

What do you see a podiatrist for?

Podiatrists are foot health experts who are trained to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate medical and surgical conditions of the foot and ankle. If you are having any problems regarding your feet or ankles, a podiatrist can help you treat these ailments, either with conservative care or surgical intervention. Some health conditions can make you more susceptible for foot issues and a podiatrist can help you address prevention as well.

Should I see a podiatrist or orthopedist for foot pain?

Podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons treat many of the same conditions, but the training is different. A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) who attends four years of podiatric medical school training followed by at least three years or residency training. Podiatrists focus on the foot and ankle much earlier in their training as opposed to orthopedists who train to treat musculoskeletal issues of the entire body.

Both specialties can treat foot and ankle ailments conservatively or surgically. Although there are more similarities than differences between the two specialties, podiatrists will also treat dermatologic and biomechnical issues of the foot and ankle. Since feet are very complex structures with 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 ligaments, tendons and muscles, it is very important to get expert care and find a doctor who is certified to treat the foot and ankle.

Custom orthotics FAQs

What are custom orthotics?

Custom orthotics are custom medical devices designed to align the foot and ankle into the most anatomically efficient position. They look like insoles, but are biomechanical medical devices that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. Orthotics are like eye glasses — they will bring your feet back into proper alignment to reduce abnormal stress and strain on your feet, ankles, legs, and even your back.

Why are custom orthotics better than over-the-counter inserts?

Today you can find prefabricated, over-the-counter inserts in almost every drugstore. They come in different sizes, designs and even colors. They may be advertised for a walking or running or for specific foot condition such as “heel pain.” Some even require you to step on a “scanner” to determine your foot type.

Unfortunately, there is a risk your symptoms could worsen if you select the wrong device. They may cause a change in the mechanics of your stance or gait, causing more problems with your lower extremities. In addition, over-the-counter inserts are made of materials that often wear out quicker than custom orthotics, causing you to purchase multiple pairs throughout the year. To determine if over-the-counter inserts are satisfactory for your issues or if you require a customized orthotic, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Korves.

How often do I have to wear my custom orthotics?

The more you wear your orthotics, the more benefit you will get out of them. Orthotics will fit in most shoes, however, it is important you discuss your daily shoe gear with Dr. Korves so she can design the orthotic to best fit your activity and lifestyle. For example, if you wear dress shoes exclusively, you may require a dress style custom orthotic versus an athletic style. Dr. Korves can also discuss the possibility of making two pairs of orthotics — one for your gym shoes and one for your dress shoes.

Who needs custom orthotics?

Custom orthotics can help patients with a variety of lower extremities issues including, but not limited to, ball of foot pain from metatarsalgia and neuromas, bunions and hammertoes, arch and heel pain including plantar fasciitis, flat feet, arthritis, tendinitis including Achilles tendinitis, heel spurs, and pains associated with the knees, hips, and back. Custom orthotics are for patients of all ages and can often help reduce the risk of injuries from alignment issues.

How are custom orthotics made?

First, Dr. Korves will evaluate your feet and determine if custom orthotics are appropriate for your feet. NCMA office staff will then check your insurance to verify insurance coverage and discuss your benefits with you. You will then be scanned for the orthotics utilizing state of the art technology. They take about 2–3 weeks to fabricate at which time you will return to the office for proper fitting in your shoes and discussion on usage.


NCMA Foot and Ankle Center

Ashleigh E. Korves, DPM, FASPS

1701 Fourth Street, Suite 100
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Phone: 707-575-6033
Fax: 707-573-6157

Ashleigh E. Korves, DPM, FASPS

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