Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates: Not Your Average Podiatrist Office

Olympia foot and ankleFoot & Ankle Surgical Associates offers exceptional podiatry services, but not your average podiatrist office experience.

First and foremost, Doctors Terrence Hess, Thomas Burghardt, and David Huebner, along with their 25 staff members, offer high-tech diagnostics and an array of solutions to all foot- and ankle-related injuries, problems, and issues.

But step into their Tumwater consultation room, for instance, and you instantly realize this is not your run-of-the-mill medical office.

The consultation room, just off the spacious and bright waiting room, is tastefully decorated in a glamorous old Hollywood theme. A popcorn machine sits in the corner surrounded by framed black-and-white posters of Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, and the Rat Pack.

The unique décor continues throughout the Tumwater building.

“Each of our exam rooms has its own theme,” says Nellica Mitchell, marketing person and scribe for Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates.

It started years ago when Dr. Hess’s scribe Laurie Holt suggested they design a room to honor fallen firefighters after 9/11. “Her dad was a firefighter down in Lewis County,” says Mitchell. “That spurred the whole thing.”

Now the exam rooms are decked out in themes that include cowboys, a lodge, fire, police, Harley-Davidson, Americana, and Seattle sports teams.

“It’s fun and the patients love it,” says Mitchell.

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates’ Yelm location even has a carnival-themed consultation room. The practice’s third office is in Centralia.

Olympia foot and ankleWalking down the wide hall between exam rooms, patients see framed photo collages of staff members and their families.

The setting at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is warm and welcoming. The medical care is top-notch.

“We see any and every type of foot issue,” says Mitchell. “We’ve had newborns that were two days old with club feet. You have a six-week timeframe to really start correcting that, so we had the baby coming in every week.”

The practice sees teenagers, too – dancers, team sports players, any active young person who might suffer any injury.

Adults of all ages seek out the podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates for a huge range of foot- and ankle-related issues.

“We see all the way up to geriatric patients,” Mitchell continues. “Mom’s blind and her toenails need to be done. We see stroke patients, diabetic patients, and everything in between: patients who have issues with bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails.” The list goes on.

Diabetic foot care is crucial, and Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates offers a range of options, from once-a-year checkups to weekly visits, depending on a patient’s needs.

Each office offers pre- and post-op spaces, massage rooms, physical therapy spaces, a laser room, and certified surgery centers in its Tumwater and Centralia practices.

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates prides itself on seeing new patients within 24-48 hours after receiving a referral or a call for a consultation.

Paperwork is sent prior to the appointment to keep things running smoothly and efficiently, and a digital photo is taken of the new patient to be kept in the chart for identification purposes and to cut down on insurance fraud.

Olympia foot and ankle“We have them take a seat, and then the back office staff gets them and takes them to a room,” Mitchell says, describing a typical visit.

Each patient is asked about symptoms, pain, when it started, if it was due to an accident, and so on.

A determination is made whether or not to take X-rays. If they are needed, Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates has top-of-the-line digital X-ray technology on site. A diagnostic ultrasound machine can be brought into the exam room if necessary, as well.

“Dr. Hess has really prided himself on being technologically advanced,” Mitchell says. “He wants the highest technology.”

With digital X-rays, the doctor and technician can see the foot clearly, change the views, and enlarge the image. “So if there’s a suspicious area or some sort of cloudiness on the bone, you can really pull it open,” Mitchell explains.

“Everything is readied so that when the doctor comes in, he can do his initial assessment, come up with a treatment plan, give an injection if needed, have an ankle brace, cast, boot, whatever, review the X-rays, the ultrasounds, have scripts ordered, and write a note for work,” she says.

Each doctor has his own scribe, a staff member who sits in during the exam and takes notes in real time, saving the doctor from doing dictation or chart notes by hand and insuring accuracy.

Olympia foot and ankle“We try to make everything as efficient as possible for the doctors, so it’s seamless and you’re not sitting there wondering what’s going on,” Mitchell says.

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates has a full-time RN on staff and three anesthesiologists on rotation, so they can also do surgeries with sedation or just a local.

“If they decide to have a local, there’s a flat-screen TV in the surgery center that we can turn on to their favorite show as a distraction,” Mitchell says.

The pre- and post-op rooms sport oversize, heated leather chairs. A comfortable leather sofa lets family relax with the patient after surgery. Disney decorations along the walls help calm the youngest of patients.

“We have a great office and great services,” says Mitchell. But that’s not all. Ankle & Foot Surgical Associates also has personality. “When you come in, know you’re going to get a piece of us.”


Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

1610 Bishop Road SW, #7

Tumwater WA 98512



1220 West First Street SW

Centralia WA 98531



201 Tahoma Court

Yelm WA 98597



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