A podiatrist consultation is the first step toward treating a foot issue. The podiatrist will take a medical history and physically examine your feet, lower legs, and ankles.
During your appointment, the podiatrist may prescribe insoles or a treatment plan. Follow-up appointments are needed for monitoring and ensuring the condition has been properly treated.
The podiatrist will likely start the consultation with a review of your symptoms and medical history. They will also look at your X-rays or other tests and may review notes from your referring physician. They will also ask you questions about your lifestyle, such as whether you are an athlete and what types of shoes you wear.
Podiatrists have a great deal of knowledge about how the body works and often work with other doctors to manage patients with complex medical conditions. For example, people who have diabetes sometimes need a podiatrist to help with circulation in their feet and ankles.
It is important for the podiatrist to get a full understanding of your medical history so they can diagnose and treat you correctly. This is why many podiatrists will provide you with a written consent form and ask that you sign it. It is important to read the entire document and to understand what you are agreeing to.
Once the podiatrist understands your symptoms and medical history they will carry out a physical examination. They will look at your feet and lower legs for signs of problems like fungus, warts, bunions, or if the shoes you wear are causing your pain. They may also ask you to walk for them so they can assess your gait.
They may also order diagnostic tests like an MRI or a CT scan to get a better idea of the structure of your foot and ankles and if there are any signs of damage or inflammation. They will also take a blood sample if they suspect infection.
It’s important to be your own advocate and do as much research as possible to ensure you find a podiatrist who is reputable and skilled. Many referring physicians have little to no knowledge of the skill level of the podiatrist they refer patients to. This can lead to patients finding that the podiatrist completely dismisses their complaints as being “normal healing”. This can be a frustrating experience and it’s often best avoided by doing your homework first.
After reviewing your symptoms, medical history and information gathered during the physical examination, the podiatrist should be in a position to make a diagnosis. If they are unsure, they may order imaging scans like an ultrasound, bone scan or MRI to get more information about your foot. Often, these tests are covered by health insurance plans. They will also work with you to develop a prevention plan that will help to avoid any future complications from developing, such as dietary changes or exercise routines.
You should always visit a podiatrist if you have any foot problems, especially if you have diabetes. A podiatrist can help to lower your risk of serious complications, such as amputation, by regularly monitoring your feet and legs for signs of diabetes. They can also help you with preventive measures, such as trimming your toenails and checking the fit of your shoes.
After carrying out their evaluation, the podiatrist will provide a treatment plan suited to your condition. This may include physical therapy, use of orthotics or padding, foot exercises, a night splint to stretch the calf and arch, shoe advice, removal of calluses or corns, and even the application of liquid nitrogen to remove warts.
A bunion is a joint deformity that affects the base and side of your big toe. It is caused by the toe angling too much towards your other toes and can cause pain, redness, blisters, and a thickening of the skin at the base of your big toe.
Keeping your feet healthy is essential for good health. Regular visits to a podiatrist will help detect problems in their early stages and treat them before they become serious. Following the podiatrist’s recommendations and undergoing their recommended home treatment is crucial to speed up the healing process and reduce your pain. They will also monitor your progress and advise on when to book follow-up appointments.