Our feet are our primary modality of transportation. Whether we’re walking around our house, to our car, or at work, we’re constantly on our feet. So when we are experiencing problems with our feet or ankles, it can greatly impede upon our quality of life.
What foot issues do podiatrists treat?
If you are experiencing foot, ankle, or lower leg issues, a podiatrist is the answer to your problems. Podiatrists receive specialized training from an accredited college of podiatric medicine rather than entering medical school like other doctors, which is what sets them apart from primary care physicians. They are licensed only to treat the lower extremities and cannot pursue a residency in any other field of medicine even though they possess extensive knowledge of the human body. Conditions commonly treated by podiatrists are:
- Diabetic Foot Ulcers
- Diabetic Foot Care
- Infection Management
- Amputation Prevention
- Foot Deformities
- Hammer Toe
- Heel and Arch Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Injuries, Breaks, and Sprains
- Skin and Nail Conditions
When should I see a podiatrist?
Often, we take our feet for granted unless they hurt even though we depend on them daily. Our feet can help you identify health concerns that might otherwise go unnoticed if you take the time to have a closer look. To determine whether or not someone is healthy or may have underlying health issues takes a 10-second check.
So, don’t ignore it if your feet are sending you warning signals.
You should go see a podiatrist if you detect symptoms of any of the disorders mentioned above. If you notice unusual thickness or discoloration in the toenails, experience foot pain, or cracks, warts on the skin of your feet, or see the sole of your feet scaling or peeling off, consult a podiatrist from Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists as early as possible.
Can you see a podiatrist without a referral?
Most people are referred to a podiatrist when a foot or ankle problem is unsightly, serious, or fails to resolve under the care of a primary care physician. Take the time to prepare to get the most out of your appointment by:
- Making a list of your medical conditions, symptoms, medications, and previous surgeries or treatments
- To better understand your condition, prepare a list of questions
- Have on your person any relevant lab reports, X-rays, or medical records
- If a referral is needed, double-check with your insurance provider
- If your problem involves walking, bring your everyday walking shoes
Ensure that your feet are dry and clean for the appointment and free of nail polish, ointments, foot powders, or gels until after your consultation.
What can I expect from my first visit with a podiatrist?
Your podiatrist starts with taking a thorough history including your current issue, any exercise or activity that you participate in, your medical history, and footwear history.
The information given to the podiatrist helps them to get to the base cause of your problem so the information should be accurate. Consider the following points before your appointment:
- Where and when does the complaint occur?
- Is there something in particular that causes the problem such as shoes or an activity?
- Does anything alleviate the discomfort or condition?
The podiatrist will then perform an assessment of your legs and feet and discuss with you the recommended treatment for your condition. You may need further testing such as an ultrasound or x-ray. Treatment can often begin as soon as the patient agrees to it.
At the conclusion of the initial visit, the podiatrist will give you a detailed treatment plan that acts as a reminder of what at-home care needs to happen so that you can get back to your normal daily regime.
If you or someone you know is experiencing foot or ankle problems, come to Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists today! We have a team of kind and caring staff who genuinely care about your health. Contact our office to talk with an expert today. To schedule an appointment at our clinic, visit us online or give us a call!