Posts

Questions to Ask Your Podiatrist

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.

What can Your Podiatrist Do for You?

One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in our feet. In other words, the foot is a complex structure of 26 bones and 33 joints, with more than 120 muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Our feet have many benefits, as they support our weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to allow our legs to move forward, and help us maintain our balance.

During a typical day, the average person takes about 10,000 steps, which means that our feet support a combined force equivalent to several hundred tons every day, resulting in possible injury and pain. Statistics show that 75 percent of Americans will experience foot problems at some point in their lives. The question then arises, what can a podiatrist do for you?

What is a podiatrist?

Podiatrists are health care professionals who have been trained to prevent, diagnose and treat common conditions and injuries affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Depending on their credentials – such as certifications, state license, or hospital affiliation – podiatrists can perform surgery on the bones, ligaments, tendons and joints of the foot and ankle. Podiatrists treat many conditions related to the foot, ankle and leg, including:

  •  Bunions
  • Plantar fasciitis
  •   Morton’s neuroma
  •  Corn and calluses
  •  Heel pain
  •   Athlete’s foot
  •   Flat feet
  •  Sports injuries
  •  Hammer toes
  •  Ingrown toenails

When should you go to a podiatrist?

Foot and ankle problems can be due to chronic medical conditions like arthritis or diabetes, or from everyday situations, such as overuse or poorly fitting shoes. A person warrants a visit to the podiatrist if they are experiencing acute or chronic pain in the foot and ankle, or if they are suffering from an injury or condition, such as diabetes.  You should go to a podiatrist for the following reasons:

  • Runners: A podiatrist can examine your feet and address any potential problems, or provide tips to avoid them. They can also recommend the best shoe for your feet.
  • Joint pain: Arthritis is one of the most common conditions affecting Americans. If the joints in your feet are often swollen, red, stiff or tender, see a podiatrist.
  •  Diabetes: Diabetes makes you significantly more prone to foot problems. These issues can range from dry skin to serious infections. If you have diabetes, you should have a foot exam performed by a doctor or podiatrist at least once a year.
  •  The pain is limiting your activities: If you have persistent pain in your foot, heel, or ankle, see a podiatrist for a diagnosis. He or she will perform a foot exam and may take X-rays. A proper diagnosis is the first step toward developing a treatment plan.
  •   Ingrown toenail: When a toenail grows into the skin, the ingrown nail can cause an infection. Ingrown toenails most often affect the big toe. If a toenail is very red or has lots of drainage, visit a podiatrist for treatment.
  • Have a sprain, strain, or broken bone: If you are experiencing swelling, trouble walking, redness, and increasing pain, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist. Podiatrists are experts at treating sprains, strains, and broken bones in the foot or the ankle. They can diagnose your injury and suggest treatment.

If you are experiencing pain in your foot, ankle or leg, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment with our podiatrist.