When Should You See a Podiatrist?

podiatrist Pocatello, ID

Colloquially known as a foot doctor, a podiatrist specializes in health conditions related to the feet and ankles. Doctors of podiatric medicine are trained to diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of conditions occurring in the ankle downward. These doctors are perhaps most well-known for working with athletes, but there are many other reasons a patient may need to see a DPM.

Some reasons to see a podiatrist

There are many reasons a patient may be referred to a doctor of podiatric medicine. Note that some of these are symptoms of other diseases rather than independent health issues. As a result, DPMs often work closely alongside other professionals, such as general surgeons, oncologists and pediatricians.

Amputations

Diabetic patients often suffer nerve damage in the feet due to poor circulation. Podiatrists help to prevent further damage and rehabilitate these patients. In the worst-case scenario, surgery may be necessary for an amputation. Cancer patients suffering from osteosarcoma may also need foot surgery, including possible amputations.

Foot trauma

Some podiatrists may work in trauma centers or emergency care units to provide podiatric surgery. Common reasons a patient may need emergency foot surgery include the following:

  • Assault or battery
  • Sports-related incident
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Bad fall off a bike or skateboard

Arthritis

Older patients may turn to a DPM for assistance with treating arthritis. This may include gout, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. All of these can make it excruciatingly difficult for a person to walk, which negatively impacts the quality of life.

Deformities

Some deformities may be birth defects, but others may develop as people grow older, such as bunions. Deformities may also be caused by skin and nail conditions, such as corns, calluses and ingrown nails. All of these can be safely treated by a foot doctor.

Methods used to treat conditions

Like any other type of doctor, a podiatric physician follows specific procedures to diagnose and treat the various illnesses that may fall within their health portfolio.

Diagnosis

Identifying potential problems with the foot and ankle usually begins with a review of the patient’s medical history. How the doctor proceeds will depend on the information found here. Further tests may include blood tests, ultrasounds, bone scans and flexibility tests. These help the doctor to identify the source of the problems as well as the extent of the damage if any.

Treatment

Treatment will depend on the problem identified through testing. Some conditions may be treated topically, such as some skin and nail conditions. Bone fractures are most commonly treated with casts, braces or splints. The conditions that may require surgery include arthritis, diabetic foot disorders, neuromas, foot deformities and some sports injuries.

The bottom line

Not every discomfort or pain in the foot or ankle requires a doctor’s attention. Sometimes pain killers and rest are all that is needed. However, if the pain persists and there is swelling or tenderness, it may be wise to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. Other symptoms of the foot and ankle that may require immediate attention include numbness, infections, open sores, fractures or difficulty walking.

Request an appointment here: https://www.pocatellopodiatry.com or call Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic at (208) 803-0010 for an appointment in our Pocatello office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

3 Things To Look For In A Foot Doctor

Wondering how to choose a new foot doctor? If you are currently experiencing problems with one or both of your feet, then finding a local podiatrist who can diagnose and treat your foot problems is your next step. A podiatrist is a medical professional who also knows how to treat problems related to the ankle…

How Do You Treat Heel Spurs?

Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form at the bottom or back of the heel bone. As they grow, they effectively become an extension or outgrowth of the heel bone.Many people who have heel spurs do not even know that they have them unless they find themselves needing a foot x-ray for some unrelated reason.For…

3 Common Causes Of Arch Pain

Arch pain can limit your mobility if you fail to address its root cause and get treatment. Read on to learn about some common causes of arch pain. Each of your feet is made up of 26 bones that form two arches. These bones are held together by their shapes like a jigsaw puzzle. A…

Do Arch Supports Help With Flat Feet?

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, are common. Many people with flat feet go about their lives fairly oblivious to the fact that they have flat feet. But many others are affected by their flat feet, to varying degrees.Some put up with slight discomfort when they walk or run for a long time. Others…

Recent Posts

Things To Look For In A Foot Doctor

3 Things To Look For In A Foot Doctor

Wondering how to choose a new foot doctor? If you are currently experiencing problems with one or both of your feet, then finding a local podiatrist who can diagnose and treat your foot problems is your next step. A podiatrist is a medical professional who also knows how to treat problems related to the ankle…

How Do You Treat Heel Spurs?

How Do You Treat Heel Spurs?

Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form at the bottom or back of the heel bone. As they grow, they effectively become an extension or outgrowth of the heel bone.Many people who have heel spurs do not even know that they have them unless they find themselves needing a foot x-ray for some unrelated reason.For…