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 20 Oct, 2017

Is the surgery painful? The level of pain experienced after bunion surgery is different with every patient. Most patients will experience discomfort for three to five days. However, if you closely follow the postoperative care instructions, you can help minimize pain and swelling after your bunion surgery. As part of my protocol, I utilize a MLS robotic laser both prior and subsequent to the procedure to reduce pain and inflammation and promote self healing.

What type of anesthesia is used? Most bunion surgeries involve local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. This means your foot will be numb and you will receive medications to relax you during the procedure.

How soon can I walk after surgery? You may be asked to avoid driving for three to six weeks depending upon the procedure selected for you, which foot you use to drive, how quickly you heal and other factors.

Can the bunion return? Yes, some cases have a risk of bunion recurrence. You can help prevent recurrence by following any instructions to wear arch supports or orthotics in your shoes.

If screws or plates are implanted in my foot to correct my bunion, will they activate metal detectors? Not usually. It depends upon the device chosen for your procedure as well as the sensitivity of the metal detector.

To learn more about what to expect during bunion surgery, consult with a foot and ankle surgeon by calling my office to schedule a consultation with me.

By Ruth Ann Cooper 18 Sep, 2017

Follow these six tips to help protect your children from serious foot and ankle injuries this fall:

1.       Treat foot and ankle injuries immediately. What seems like a sprain is not always a sprain. In addition to cartilage injuries, your child might have injured other bones in the foot without knowing it. Schedule an appointment with my office if you suspect your child has a foot or ankle injury. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner long-term instability or arthritis can be prevented and the sooner your child can safely get back into the game.

2.       Have a foot and ankle surgeon check old sprains before the season begins. A checkup at my office can reveal whether your child’s previously injured foot or ankle might be vulnerable to sprains and could possibly benefit from wearing a supportive brace during competition.

3.       Buy the right shoe for the sport. Different sports require different shoe gear. Players should never substitute baseball cleats for football shoes.

4.       Child athletes should begin the season with new shoe gear. Old shoes can wear down and become uneven on the bottom, causing the ankle to tilt because the foot cannot lie flat.

5.       Check playing fields for dips, divots and holes. Most sports related foot and ankle sprains are caused by jumping and running on uneven surfaces. This is why some surgeons recommend parents walk the field, especially when children compete in nonprofessional settings like public parks, for spots that could catch a player’s foot. Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.

6.       Encourage stretching and warmup exercises. Calf stretches and light jogging prior to competition, help warm up ligaments and blood vessels, reducing risk for foot and ankle injuries.

If you would like a foot and ankle surgeon to evaluate your child’s feet, ankles or athletic shoes, contact my office for an appointment.

By Ruth Ann Cooper 10 Aug, 2017

This thickening and enlargement of the tissue surrounding the nerve in the ball of the foot is the result of irritation and compression caused by repeated pressure. Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma usually begin gradually and may disappear temporarily by massaging your foot or by avoiding shoes or activities that irritate it. Symptoms will become progressively worse over time as the neuroma enlarges and the temporary changes in the nerve become permanent.

If you suspect you have a Morton’s neuroma, make an appointment with my office as soon as symptoms develop. Early treatment with padding, orthotics or medication can help you avoid the need for more invasive therapies.

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