The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Choose a Podiatrist You Can Trust – Cost of NYC Foot Surgery Can Vary Wildly

Posted by on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

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The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York sees all types of clients — from professional athletes and celebrities, to Average Joes and soccer moms. We treat every patient equally and work with their insurance companies to make sure our clients can afford the treatments we propose. Yet, this is not the case with every New York City podiatrist, as the NY Daily News tells us the story of a Park Avenue podiatrist who billed a client $178,000 for foot surgery to fix two crooked toes.

hammer toe repair
Hammertoes should not cost more than $3,000 to fix surgically.
Image Source: Medicinenet.com

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Crooked Toes?

The patient in question was treated for a hammertoe, a common condition caused, in part, by genetics and also by repeatedly wearing shoes with narrow toe boxes. The corrective procedure to fix these crooked toes generally takes less than an hour. Most podiatrist offices would have billed $3,000 or less for the process, which involves making a small incision in the foot and realigning the toes with wire.

Patient Renee Kantrowitz was told her insurance would cover everything. So, imagine her shock when a check for $175,098.80 arrived from United Healthcare / Oxford to cover some of the treatment! Furthermore, the patient’s credit card was billed $6,000. The NY Daily News notes, “The sum is more than enough to pay for major heart surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, where it costs $125,392.”

Finding a Foot Surgeon in New York

This story serves as a cautionary tale about choosing the best foot surgeon in NY. The first red flag should have been that this particular “podiatrist” was not board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery or the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. She was also not a DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine). Rather, she specialized in buzz-worthy procedures like “foot facelifts” and boasted about celebrity clients, like Anna Wintour and Oprah Winfrey.

New York Foot Surgery

In New York especially, appearances are not always what they seem! Before having any foot surgery done, it never hurts to personally phone your insurance company to find out how much they will cover and ask the surgeon point-blank how much your procedure will cost.

honest podiatrist ny
You can find an honest team of foot surgeons who will discuss insurance coverage and costs up front at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine.
Image Source: DrGeldwert.com

The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine

Our centers in Manhattan and White Plains will work with you to heal your foot or ankle injury, even if you are currently uninsured and paying out of pocket. Going to a podiatrist saves you considerably from the cost of treatment at a hospital or upscale salon-style facility, like the one Mrs. Kantrowitz had the misfortune of visiting.

We offer a wide range of treatment options and begin with more conservative methods first. Often, hammer toes can be treated with toe splints, taping, icing, and wearing wider shoes. If these methods fail, we can offer you the latest technology in hammertoe surgery. Mini-tightrope procedures and new plug implants allow you to save money with a quicker surgery and also enjoy a less cumbersome recovery. Most patients report an immediate end to pain and go back to work the next day.

The worst parts of the surgery are the mild soreness associated with the swelling, and the fact that special shoes need to be worn for about five months afterward. A little bit of sacrifice and a few aches are expected with a foot surgery. The worst pain shouldn’t be when the bill comes in the mail! For fair care, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.