Dr. Stephen Foote handles a wide range of family medicine treatment and disease management in his practice at Tanner Clinic Syracuse.
In addition to his expertise in holistic family care and preventive medicine, Dr. Foote provides Department of Transportation physicals for commercial and long-haul (CDL) truck drivers. He’s also the clinic’s authority on hyaluronic acid (Hyalgan) injections for knee pain relief.
Dr. Foote is a magna cum laude graduate of Weber State University, where he obtained a B.S. in biology. He attended medical school at A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo., to earn his D.O.
Dr. Foote completed a rotating residency in family medicine at Midwestern University of Arizona in Glendale, Ariz., and Mesa General Hospital in Mesa, Ariz. During his tenure at Midwestern University, a school that focuses on osteopathic postdoctoral training, Dr. Foote was a clinical adjunct professor in osteopathic manipulation.
The board-certified physician worked at a Layton-based family medicine clinic for two years before joining Tanner Clinic in 2002.
Dr. Foote is a fan of road bicycling. He also enjoys camping, traveling and scuba diving. And as a father of four children, he says, “Spending time with family gets more and more important.”
“I’ve been seeing Dr. Foote for about 13-14 years now. (I) followed him from when he was in the Layton Clinic out to the Syracuse clinic. He is completely amazing. And he has wonderful nurses. They make a dynamite team!” — Christina on Facebook, Oct. 7, 2014
“We love Tanner Clinic! We moved to Willard a couple of years ago, but we still drive to Syracuse to see Dr. Foote. He is so great with my kids!” — Kristi on Facebook, Aug. 14, 2014
“Great doctor who goes the extra mile and really cares. Kind and explains everything. A five star all across the board.” — RateMDs.com, Jan. 27, 2013
What does your knee pain have in common with Foghorn Leghorn or Henny Penny?
Well, their red combs and wattles contain an extract that forms the base for a knee injection designed to relieve joint pain.
And that’s no chicken feed.
Dr. Stephen Foote, a family physician at Tanner Clinic Syracuse, has seen patients’ knee pain improve with injections of hyaluronic acid, the substance derived from roosters and hens.
Dr. Foote uses Hyalgan injections; other brands approved by the FDA for knee injections are Euflexxa, Orthovisc, Supartz and Synvisc.
The injections — five shots given over five weeks — relieve pain by adding a layer of lubrication between the two bones that meet in the knee joint. This “cushioning,” as Dr. Foote describes it, is effective for seniors suffering with arthritis aches. It’s also successful for athletes who’ve damaged their knees. And for those nearing the point where knee-replacement surgery may be needed, Hyalgan injections may postpone the need for that big step.
Evaluation before injection
Dr. Foote, who’s been performing the procedure for eight years, handles the procedure for many physicians in the Syracuse clinic.
The first step with new patients is understanding the pain. “We look at the knee, evaluate it and get some x-rays,” said Dr. Foote. “Then we provide treatment options — and one option is these knee injections.”
Dr. Foote often suggests the Hyalgan injection series over the more traditional cortisone shot. The steroid works by relieving pain-causing inflammation; but it also carries long-term side effects such as osteoporosis, glaucoma and increased blood pressure. Cortisone, he adds, “is a double-edged sword.”
Hyalgan approaches the pain in a different manner, he said, simply by creating a cushion that acts in place of the destroyed cartilage. Eventually, the hyaluronic acid breaks down and is absorbed by the body, a process that provides about a year of pain relief, said Dr. Foote.
“Medicare says the shot can be given every six months,” he added, “but with most patients it lasts about a year before they have to come back and get another set of shots.”
Hyalgan is not indicated for hips and shoulders, but Dr. Foote believes those uses will be approved soon.
As a young, seeking college student, Stephen Foote was considering a career in electronics and computers.
Then, on a whim, he took a science class at Ricks College (now BYU Idaho) that he said “changed the whole focus of my life.”
“The professor came up to me after a big test,” Dr. Foote remembers. “He sat me down in his office, looked at me and said, ‘You’ve got a gift. You can be a professor, you can be a doctor, you can be whatever you’d like.’”
Now as a physician, he’s grateful for the teacher “who guided me in this direction.”
— Tanner Clinic staff
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