During the warm summer days, people are more active and this can expose them to various foot hazards. Children as well as adults participate in various warm weather sports – from softball to soccer to swimming and cycling. In summer, people also tend to wear less supportive shoes or go barefoot to feel the soft grass and warm and beneath their feet. But certain summertime activities and choices can put the feet at risk of injury. Podiatrists are, of course, familiar with all the foot conditions that occur in summer season. For any condition you treat, podiatry billing services can help you submit accurate claims for appropriate reimbursement.
Here are five common foot problems that podiatrists treat in summer:
Athlete’s foot and other conditions caused by walking barefoot
Walking barefoot can expose the feet to sunburn, which can lead to athlete’s foot, plantar warts, ringworm, and other infections. It also increases risk of injury if the feet are exposed to rusty nails, glass, thorns and bacteria. People with diseases such as diabetes or vascular diseases have poor circulation and for them going barefoot is even more unsafe. Even a small injury can cause infection because healing in the foot is slow.
A common fungal infection, athlete’s foot affects the foot’s skin, mainly the area between the toes. If left untreated, it can spread to other body parts as well. Recommendations to prevent athlete’s foot include wearing thick, tight shoes/water shoes, keeping the feet dry, not sharing footwear and sandals, removing shoes soon after exercising, and wiping feet if they’re sweaty.
Podiatrists generally recommend topical creams to address foot infections. Deep cuts would likely need washing, dressing, stitches, and a tetanus shot. Patients would be also advised to wear proper shoes, and change socks and shoes frequently to prevent infection from recurring.
Ankle sprains are a common summertime injury. Unsupportive flip-flops or sandals increase risk of ankle sprains. Weak ankles are more subject to sprain, so doing basic exercises to strengthen the joint can help. Other preventive measures include: wearing athletic shoes that fit well and suitable for the activity, warming up before exercise, replacing shoes that are worn out, and not running on uneven ground.
Treatment for sprains would be focused on reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation and include a period of immobilization, oral anti-inflammatory medication, and wearing a soft cast or special boots.
Corns and calluses
Corns and calluses are caused by excessive friction from wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes. These painful conditions that appear as hard, raised areas of skin, make walking very difficult. While corns generally form on the toes, calluses are found at the bottom of the feet. To prevent these foot conditions, podiatrists recommend orthotics or footwear changes such as wearing shoes that don’t put pressure on the feet and toes.
Calluses can be treated at home by soaking the feet to soften the calluses and scrubbing away the layers of dead skin. If a corn continues to be painful, a podiatrist will remove it. This painless procedure involves removing some of the dead skin.
Podiatrists often treat swollen feet in summer. During hot weather, the veins in the feet expand to cool the body, causing fluid to leak into the surrounding tissue (www.medicalnewstoday). The condition becomes obvious in the ankles and legs.
Recommendations to prevent swollen legs include: avoiding extreme heat, keeping the body cool by drinking plenty of fluids, cutting salt intake, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, and doing leg or calf raises. While these measures may prevent this summer hazard, medical attention may be needed in some situations. The physician may order tests to rule out that the edema is not due to an underlying medical condition.
Wearing flimsy footwear in summer can also increase the risk of plantar fasciitis, a condition characterized by stabbing pain in the foot arch and/or heel. Planter fasciitis is common in people who engage in summertime sports such as running, baseball and football which put repeated stress on the foot.
Choosing proper shoes and avoiding over activity arethe most important preventive steps. Most people recover from plantar fasciitis with a little rest, arch support (foot orthotics of just comfortable shoes), and stretching. Treatment for planter fasciitis that podiatrists provide include temporary taping to offload forces stressing the plantar fascia, and Non-steroidal for pain.
Podiatrists can increase patient adherence, outcomes, and satisfaction by supplying them with wound care kits that include products such as bandages, gauze, hydrogel, collagen powder, foam dressing, and sponges for their patients.
Key ICD-10 Codes for Summertime Foot Conditions
Podiatry coding involves using relevant medical codes to report foot injuries and pain. Key ICD-10 codes for summertime foot conditions discussed above include:
- B35.3 – Tinea pedis (Athlete’s foot, Dermatophytosis of foot and Foot ringworm)
- B35.9 – Dermatophytosis, unspecified
- M72.2 – Plantar fascial fibromatosis
- B07.0 – Plantar wart
- B07.8 – Other viral warts
- L84 – Corns and callosities
- E11.621 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with foot ulcer
- E13.621 – Other specified diabetes mellitus with foot ulcer
- S83.4 – Sprain of collateral ligament of knee
- S83.5 – Sprain of cruciate ligament of knee
- S83.6 – Sprain of the superior tibiofibular joint and ligament
- S83.8 – Sprain of other specified parts of knee
- S83.9 – Sprain of unspecified site of knee
- S93.3 – Subluxation and dislocation of foot
- S93.4 – Sprain of ankle
- S93.5 – Sprain of toe
- S93.6 – Sprain of foot
- M79.67 – Pain in foot and toes
- M79.671 – Pain in right foot
- M79.672 – Pain in left foot
- M79.673 – Pain in unspecified foot
- M79.674 – Pain in right toe(s)
- M79.675 – Pain in left toe(s)
- M79.676 – Pain in unspecified toe(s)
When it comes to reporting services for appropriate reimbursement, it is crucial to partner with an experienced podiatry coding and medical billing outsourcing company. A reliable service provider would be knowledgeable about the applicable medical codes, industry regulations, and payer guidelines. Podiatrists can also consider Concierge Wound Care Solutions to eliminate the headache of paperwork that follows wound care prescriptions.