New Year, New Look

  • By Ruth Ann Cooper
  • 13 Jun, 2016

My office was remodeled the last week of January and we are very happy with the results. Although I have been in practice for over twenty-six years, I have been at my present location since 2000 so it was time for an update.

In 1989, I joined Tri-State Podiatric Surgical Association and worked there until I opened my solo practice in 1994. It consisted of two exam rooms and much of the space served more than one purpose. I had one medical assistant, one receptionist, a billing specialist and a part time office manager. There were no co-pays and very few plans with deductibles. The doctor/patient relationship was still sacred with little to no interference from health insurance companies and government regulations. I worked very hard to build my practice. Within a few years, I knew I needed a larger office.

2000 was the year I opened my present office adjacent to what was then called The Surgery Center of Cincinnati. The surgery center is now owned by Mercy Health. Nearly all health insurance plans have co-pays, co-insurance and/or high deductibles. I have two receptionists, two medical assistants, a scribe, two billing specialists and a business manager. We are heavily regulated and routinely have to battle with health insurance carriers to get paid for our work. Nearly everything we do is digital and there are always challenges with electronic medical records and software updates. It is a dynamic industry.

However, I still love the work I do to keep my patients on their feet, active and healthy. My staff is professional and does great work and my patients are some of the best people I know. Therefore, I have remodeled my office, updated my website and practice management software, and continue to move forward with the constantly evolving health care industry. Although my scalpel is still my primary tool, I now perform much of my work with lasers, ultrasound, shockwave therapy and platelet-rich plasma injections. This new technology excites me about the future of medicine. These non-invasive procedures are providing better outcomes for my patients with far less risk than traditional invasive procedures and medications.

What keeps me passionate about being a foot and ankle specialist, is the healing relationships I cultivate with my patients and seeing them return to active and healthy lifestyles. I feel I have fulfilled my calling by becoming a healer of the foot and ankle. I wish to thank each of you who have trusted me with your healthcare.

Dr. Ruth Ann Cooper

By Ruth Ann Cooper 22 May, 2017

What lies hidden in the grass, dirt or sand can definitely wreak havoc on bare feet. From nails, shards of glass, slivers of wood, pieces of seashell at the beach, thorns from trees and plants or sometimes discarded toothpicks, each can puncture the skin of the foot and cause serious injury. Even after the object has been completely removed from the foot, any dirt or bacteria pushed into the wound from the puncture can lead to an infection, painful scarring or even a cyst. Any puncture wounds should be promptly treated in my office within 24 hours.

Besides hidden dangers, “everyday childhood injuries” can also interrupt a summer break. Protect your children’s feet from traumatic injuries, such as bicycle injuries and lawn mower accidents, by making sure they wear sturdy shoes while riding a bike or when cutting the grass.

Do not discount sunburn on the feet. Protect your children’s feet from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of their feet. Feet, like shoulders, burn faster than the rest of the body since they are most perpendicular to the sun’s rays. Not only is sunburn of the feet painful, it can also cause skin cancers that often go unnoticed until they become very serious.

By Ruth Ann Cooper 20 Apr, 2017

Competitive youth sports often require many athletes to transition from winter activities to spring activities without considering the increased risk of incurring a foot or ankle injury. Moving from indoor to outdoor playing surfaces with varying impact can stress a young athlete’s feet and ankles. Going from sport to sport without allowing time for muscles and bones to rest can cause overuse injuries.

If your child plans to participate in a sport this spring after playing through the winter sports season, follow these six tips:

  1.       Get a preseason health and wellness checkup. A medical evaluation before the season begins can help identify any health concerns that could possibly lead to injury.

2.       Take it slow. Ask the coach to gradually increase children’s playing time during practice to avoid pushing them full throttle. Your child’s feet and ankles need to become accustomed to the activity level required for a sport.

3.       Wear proper, broken-in shoes.   Different sports require different shoe gear. Wearing the appropriate, well-fitting, broken-in athletic shoes can eliminate heel and toe discomfort.

4.       Check your child’s technique. Watch for any changes in your child’s form or technique. Ask the coach to notify you if your child is placing more weight on wide side of his/her body or limping.

5.       Insist on open communication if your child has pain. Express to your child athlete that s/he should inform you and the coach of any pain or discomfort as soon as it occurs. Overuse injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis and shin splints, can be subtle and develop over time.

6.       If an injury occurs, remember RICE. An injured foot or ankle can often be healed with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, s/he should take a break from playing and allow time for recovery.

By Ruth Ann Cooper 06 Apr, 2017

This painful condition results from inflammation of the tissue band (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. Repetitive activities, such as a new exercise routine or walking on a daily basis, can put stress on the ligaments in the foot, leading to inflammation and pain.

The good news is heel pain can often be relieved using conservative methods, but it must be treated early.

 Heel pain can become chronic and debilitating if not properly treated.

I can help you find relief with therapies, such as:

  •  Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Stretching exercises
  • Orthotic devices
  •  Physical therapy
  • Footwear modifications
  •  Activity limitations
  • MLS Laser Therapy
  • Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

 Although most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to nonsurgical treatment, some require surgery. If you continue to have heel pain with non-surgical treatment, we can discuss your surgical options.

Heel pain should not stop you from enjoying the beauty of Spring. Make an appointment with my office if you are experiencing heel pain so my staff and I can help you resume a healthy and active lifestyle.

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