Often when people have an injury or a health concern, their first step is to go and see their family physician. In some cases, particularly with injuries to the feet or ankles that are not an emergency, booking an appointment with a foot doctor may be a better option.
Generally, with most podiatrists, there is no need to have a referral from a primary care physician. This allows patients to book their appointment directly with the podiatrist and save on having to make two different medical visits.
To help people understand when to see a foot doctor, taking a closer look at the most common types of issues these doctors see can be very helpful. Keep in mind that in an emergency situation, going to the emergency room should always be the first choice, and then you can follow up with the podiatrist after emergency medical care is provided.
Heel and Foot Pain
There are many different bones, tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle that can be damaged, strained, torn, fractured and inflamed. Treatment for each type of injury will be based on the best practices, so determining the reason for the pain will be critical to effective treatment and recovery.
Toe Malformations or Problems
Malformations of the toes that may be caused by genetic factors, incorrect footwear or any number of issues may require splints, surgical procedures or a combination of treatment options.
Common issues of the toes that need specialized treatment include bunions, hammertoe, chronic ingrown toenails, or trauma to the toes or feet. Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent the need for surgery and also help speed up treatment and recovery.
Problems with continually weak ankles, repeated strains or sprains, heel pain due to tendinitis or other types of inflammation of the ankle are good reasons to see a podiatrist. They can often make recommendations about the correct shoes for support or the use of custom made orthotics that will help prevent future injuries and pain.
Patients with diabetes, chronic foot infection problems, warts, issues with athlete’s foot or other fungal or bacterial infections should also see a podiatrist. These professionals can provide specialized treatment of their conditions designed to not only eliminate current issues, but to teach patients a foot care routine that will reduce the risk of reoccurring infections and problems in the future.
Seeing our foot doctor at Suburban Orthopaedics can help not only in the treatment or current conditions of the feet and ankles but in the ongoing care of your feet. To schedule an appointment or learn more, visit us at www.suburbanortho.com. You can connect with them on Facebook for further updates!