5 Questions to Ask Your Foot Specialist
Foot specialist manages and treats almost all symptoms that involve the ankle and the foot. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, our board-certified podiatrists treat various foot and ankle disorders, including corns, calluses, bunion, flat feet, heel and ankle pain, diabetic foot care and much more. Book an appointment online or visit a location near you.
What types of problems can a foot specialist address?
Foot specialists are medical experts specially trained to provide treatment for a wide variety of problems and conditions affecting the foot and ankle. Examples of the conditions that foot specialists can treat are:
- Arthritis – the foot has 33 joints, all of which have the potential to develop arthritis.
- Gout – a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid.
Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease
- Charcot foot – a rare but serious condition in people with peripheral neuropathy (especially those with diabetes) that causes weakening of the foot.
- Diabetes – podiatrists are specifically trained to identify and treat nerve damage and other specific diabetes-related foot problems.
- Diabetic wound care – a diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in some patients with diabetes.
- Peripheral neuropathy – damage of the nerves in the toes and fingertips related to diabetes.
Foot & Ankle Injuries
- Bursitis – an inflammation and swelling of the fluid-filled sacs which help to cushion the joints.
- Puncture wounds – or other traumatic injuries to the foot.
- Sprains, strains, and fractures – anything from a sprain to a break in one of the bones of the foot.
Muscle & Tendon Problems
- Haglund’s deformity – a bony enlargement, or bump, on the back of the heel bone.
- Heel pain – caused by injury or tendon damage, among others.
- Tendinitis – specifically Achilles tendinitis where the achilles tendon becomes inflamed.
- Plantar fasciitis – an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the front of the foot.
- Athlete’s foot – a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet, often starting between the toes.
- Corns and calluses – thickened patches of skin that develop to protect an area from irritation.
- Plantar warts – painful, soft tissue growths, caused by the HPV virus.
Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders
- Bunion – an enlarged joint at the base of the big toe.
- Hammertoe – caused when the toe bends at the first joint.
- Neuroma – a painful benign growth usually found between the third and fourth toes.
- Ingrown toenails – the most common nail problem caused when the corners or edges of the nail dig into the adjacent soft tissue.
- Toenail fungus – a fungal infection beneath the surface of the nail.
How do I know if my foot pain is serious?
We’re all used to having some sort of discomfort in our feet at times, whether it be blisters from hiking in the wrong footwear or aching feet from standing for too long, but there are some more serious situations that require medical attention. Some examples of when urgent care would be needed are:
- Severe pain or swelling.
- An open wound.
- An area (such as an ingrown toenail) that is oozing pus.
- Signs of infection, such as tenderness, redness and warmth in the affected area or a fever over 100 F (37.8 C).
- Being unable to walk or put weight on the foot.
- Diabetes-related wounds that aren’t healing or are deep, red, swollen or warm to the touch.
A family doctor may be seen for less severe, but nonetheless still troublesome, issues such as:
- Persistent swelling that shows no improvement at all after two to five days of home treatment.
- Pain that hasn’t improved in several weeks.
- Burning pain, numbness or tingling, particularly in the bottom of the foot.
If the doctor feels that more specialised care is needed, they will likely to refer you to a foot specialist.
When should I see a foot specialist?
The foot is made up of 26 bones together with joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. All these parts are designed to work together to support your weight and help you get around, but because of this complexity there are a number of things that can go wrong. You should see a foot specialist if you have:
- Heel pain
- Stubborn ingrown toenail
- A strain, sprain or broken bone
- Advanced problems that require surgery
- Corns and calluses
- A painful bunion
- Stubborn athlete’s foot
Call a foot specialist or family doctor immediately if you are unable to walk or put weight on the foot.
Where can I find a foot specialist near me?
Finding a local foot specialist is likely to start with an internet search but, as with all important decisions, should be researched before making a decision. Searching for “foot specialist near me” will show you those clinics that match your search criteria, but will that be enough to ensure that they will match your own personal criteria? Compare the search results in terms of location and the services they provide; check out online reviews and ask family members and trusted friends if they can make any recommendations.
If you would like to know more about the services we provide, contact Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists today! We have convenient locations in Elgin IL, Schaumburg IL, Huntley IL, and Chicago IL and serve patients from the surrounding areas. We are open 6 days a week! Call us or book an appointment online. We look forward to meeting you!