A podiatrist is a licensed health care professional who specializes in the care of feet, ankles and legs. A podiatrist is also a fully trained foot surgeon with a medical designation of DPM (doctor of podiatric medicine) instead of an MD (medical doctor). A licensed podiatrist can diagnose and treat medical conditions of the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. Some PDM’s focus on one area of care, such as diabetic complications that affect the foot. If you visit a podiatrist, here are some questions you might want to ask.
Questions to Ask a Podiatrist
During your visit, the doctor is probably going to examine your feet as well as take a full medical history. This makes sense because the health of your feet is part of your overall health and wellbeing. This is especially true when you have other related medical conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation, nerve damage, kidney issues or previous injuries of the foot, ankle, or leg. Your podiatrist may also take X-rays, an MRI, and observe the way that you stand, run, or walk.
During the exam, you may have questions about topics such as foot pain, numbness, bunions, or other foot-related topics. Just as you would with any other health professional, it is always okay to ask questions when you do not understand something. You can ask what kind of tests the doctor is going to run to determine the underlying cause of your condition. You may also want to ask about the doctor’s experience treating your specific kind of issue.
Ask if there is a medication that can help or if there are any advantages or disadvantages to the treatment they are recommending. You can always ask general questions too, such as what kinds of socks and shoes are right for you.
You can, for example, ask if bracing and rehabilitation can be used instead of (or alongside) surgery. You may also want to ask how to support your healing with exercise and diet, or ways that you can reduce your risk for re-injury in the future. Ask if the condition is chronic (ongoing) or acute (sudden), and if it’s possibly due to a medical condition or an injury. The kinds of questions you may want to ask the podiatrist will, of course, vary according to the specific issue that you are having treated.
Be sure to inform the podiatrist of any signs and symptoms that you are aware of. For example, if you hear clicks when you rotate the outside of your ankle, or if you are having numbness, tingling, or any other symptoms related to the care of your feet and legs.
If you, or a loved one is looking for exceptional care of the foot, ankle and leg, we are here to help. Please call the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online. Don’t let foot pain get in the way of your busy life. Call today for a better tomorrow.