Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to commonly asked patient questions regarding appointments and policies can be found below under General Questions. For background information on common ailments treated by our orthopaedic surgeons, check the Orthopaedic Questions below.
How do I request a refill on my medication? Back to top
You can request a refill by calling our main number 301-694-8311 and choosing option 6 for the prescription refill line or you can log into the patient portal and request a refill. Most refill requests take 1 to 2 business days.
What is your cancellation policy? Back to top
We ask for 24 hour notice when cancelling an appointment. There is a $35 no-show fee for all missed appointments. For Rheumatology patients who miss their initial 45 minute appointment or patients having an EMG/NCS, the no-show fee is $100.
Am I going to get a reminder call about my upcoming appointment? Back to top
You will receive a reminder call two days prior to your appointment date and an email if you have provided us with an email address. Please note the reminder call is a courtesy. We encourage all patients to write down their appointment date and time and not rely soley on the reminder call.
Who do I contact if I have questions about my bill? Back to top
Call our main number 301-694-8311 and choose option 9 for our billing office. Staff are available to answer your questions Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. You can also submit a billing question through our patient portal 24/7.
How do I create an account on your patient portal? Back to top
On our home page click the blue patient portal button. Scroll down the page and click the link that says 'sign up today', you will enter your information and click continue, the computer will then verify your identity by placing a phone call or sending a text (your choice) with a code that you will enter. After entering the code it will take you to your personal portal account.
What if I need to speak to my provider when the office is closed? Back to top
For emergencies one of our orthopaedic surgeons is always on call when our practice is closed. To contact him/her call our main number 301-694-8311 and ask the answering service to page the doctor on call. For non-emergencies you can send your provider a secure message through the patient portal.
How do I find out if the office is closed due to inclement weather? Back to top
Closings and late openings will be announced on the recorded greeting for our main number 301-694-8311 and on the homepage of our website. Those patients with a scheduled appointment will receive an automated call.
What are the Treatment Options for Back and Neck Pain? Back to top
Pain originating from an injury to the neck or back often radiates down the extremities, causing patients to also experience pain, weakness, and numbness in the legs and arms. As a result, difficulty with walking and intricate hand movements is also common. An injury to the back or neck may also cause patients to have difficulty sitting for long periods, such as an eight-hour shift at a desk-based job. At the Spine Care Center at MMI, surgical and non-surgical care specialists create a customized treatment plan based on the specific cause of back and neck pain for our patients. Whenever possible, non-surgical treatment options are utilized to decrease back or neck pain prior to pursuing surgical options.
Non-surgical treatment options utilized by the specialists at the Spine Care Center include spinal injections, nerve and muscle stimulators, medication, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. Our physicians and therapists help patients learn how to decrease pain by supporting their back and neck properly during everyday activities, such as picking up heavy objects (luggage or a full laundry basket) or sitting for long periods (working at a computer). If pain management or non-surgical treatments do not decrease pain or other symptoms, the surgical specialists at the Spine Care Center may recommend surgical treatment, where our surgeons specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques, and use them whenever possible.
What are Common Causes of Foot and Ankle Pain? Back to top
Some common causes of foot and ankle pain are bunions, flatfoot deformity, ligament sprains, and neuroma. A bunion is an expansion of tissue and bone on the joint of the big toe. As the bunion size increases, the joint of the big toe will appear to stick out, while the whole toe turns inward. A change in toe direction causes a shift in the distribution of weight placed on the foot during walking, which can result in both acute and chronic pain. Women are more likely to develop bunions because of the increased amount of pressure caused by wearing high-heeled or pointed shoes.
Flatfoot deformity develops when one of the three main arches of the foot collapses. As the arch collapses, the foot is forced to point outwards, the heel changes position, and an abnormal amount of pressure is placed on the outside ankle.
Ligament sprains occur when the foot or ankle is moved in an awkward manner; such as landing on the foot incorrectly or twisting the ankle. When the foot or ankle twists, the ligaments connected the joint bones stretch beyond their normal range, causing either acute pain or tearing.
Neuroma is a condition in which the tissue surrounding the nerve located between two toes thickens, putting an abnormal amount of pressure on the nerve. Patients suffering from neuroma often feel as though they are walking on a marble, potentially experiencing pain, numbness, and/or burning sensations.
Foot and ankle pain can often be alleviated through a combination of non-surgical treatments, such as changing footwear, orthotics, bracing, physical therapy, pain medications, and injections. In severe cases, invasive surgery to repair or replace the affected areas may be required.
How are Sports Injuries Treated? Back to top
Quick and accurate diagnosis is critical to an athlete’s chances of participation in athletic activities with full functionality in the future. With this in mind MMI sports medicine physicians specialize in rapid diagnosis to determine the severity of the injury, whether time off from athletic activity is indicated, and the best treatment plan to get players back in the game safely and quickly .
Based on the diagnosis, the specialists will create a treatment plan incorporating physical therapy, specialized rehabilitation programs, platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP), strengthening programs and pain medications when necessary. The sports medicine specialists will also work with the patient to identify the best ways to prevent future injuries.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Back to top
The carpal tunnel is a structure of tendons in the wrist that surrounds the median nerve, which controls feeling in the palm of the hand, as well as the muscles in the thumb and the three longest fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when this nerve is squeezed at the wrist as it runs through the carpel tunnel.
Women are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome because they have a narrower carpal tunnel than men. Certain activities can increase the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, including typing, knitting, or improperly positioning the hands and wrists while exercising (such as during push ups). Patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome will gradually have symptoms of numbness, tingling, and pain in their thumbs, fingers, and wrists. As the syndrome progresses, symptoms will often travel up through the arms and shoulders. Symptoms will be worse during or after stressful activities.
Conservative treatment to alleviate the pain of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome includes icing, splints or braces, anti-inflammatory medicines, steroid injections, physical therapy or ultrasound. If these conservative methods fail, minimally invasive surgery called Carpal Tunnel Release may be performed. By releasing the median nerve from the entrapping tendon, Carpal Tunnel Release decreases pain, nerve tingling, numbness and restores muscle strength.
What are the Most Common Treated by Pediatric Orthopaedics? Back to top
Scoliosis, cerebral palsy, hip dysplasia, and intoeing are a few of the conditions commonly treated by pediatric orthopaedic surgeons. Scoliosis is the curvature of the spine into an S or C shape. The shoulder, shoulder blade, and hip will begin to rotate as the spine curves, causing them to appear higher than the opposite side of the body. This can be apparent upon physical exam, however it is also important to have x-rays because the actual curving of the spine may be worse than can be seen during a physical exam. Treatment varies according to the severity of the curve; from visits every 6 months to check for any changes, to bracing or surgery.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects body movement and muscular coordination. Although the majority of children are born with cerebral palsy it may not be detected until months or years later, with most being diagnosed by the age of three. The most common symptoms are a lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements, stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes, walking with one foot or leg dragging, walking on toes, and muscle tone that is either too stiff or too floppy. Infants with cerebral palsy will have trouble rolling over, sitting, crawling, and walking during their first year. There is no cure, but treatment through physical and occupational therapy can improve a child’s capabilities.
Hip dysplasia is the abnormal development of the hip joint in which the ball of the hip joint is not securely held in place in the socket. All newborns are screened for hip dysplasia with a simple physical exam which involves applying pressure while moving the hips. The doctor listens for any clicks or pops. Some cases are mild and symptoms may not develop until after birth, which is why exams are done at all well-child visits during the first year. If the problem is found during the first six months a harness is used to keep the legs apart and turned outward. This will hold the hip in place while the child grows. Children who do not improve, or who are diagnosed after six months often require surgery.
Intoeing, commonly referred to as “pigeon-toe", is a condition in which both feet turn inward instead of pointing straight ahead. It is most often noticed by parents when a baby begins walking, but can become apparent in children of varying ages for different reasons. Severe intoeing can make walking difficult by causing the child to stumble or trip as they catch their toes on the other heel. In most cases intoeing will correct itself without the use of casts, braces, surgery or any special treatment, although in some severe cases these may be warranted.