With so many different types of physicians with varying specializations, you may be unsure of who to see for your specific health problem or pain. For foot and ankle issues, you will want to search for a doctor who specializes in the field of podiatry.
You could see your primary care physician (PCP) for your foot pain or injury, but your PCP will likely not have the knowledge, training, and experience required to diagnose and treat your podiatric problem properly – especially for complex cases. Your doctor will likely try to treat your foot problem rather than refer you to a podiatrist, but these foot and ankle surgeons will know how to efficiently diagnose and treat your issue without further ado.
Let’s talk about some of the main reasons why you should visit a foot and ankle surgeon, and where you can go to receive treatment that works for you.
Injury to Your Foot and Ankle
Foot and ankle injuries that happen while playing sports, exercising, or performing your normal daily activities are better treated by a foot and ankle surgeons because this is the area of the body in which they focus their practice of medicine. To determine the severity of the injury, image-guided diagnostics may be needed; your PCP may order X-rays, but you may actually need to have an MRI for more detailed images.
You could be misdiagnosed by a family doctor as having a mildly sprained ankle when you actually have a broken ankle or a fully torn ligament – in which case treatment would be vastly different. Seeing a specialist is definitely warranted if your pain is not lessening after a week or so.
Chronic Foot and Ankle Pain
There are many potential causes of pain in the feet or ankles, and a foot and ankle surgeon knows how to narrow down the possibilities. This type of physician’s specialized knowledge enables them to make a diagnosis based on the results of a thorough and swift evaluation of your condition.
Once the diagnosis is determined, the foot and ankle doctor will explain your options to you. There may be multiple options based on the severity of your injury.
Peripheral Nerve Damage in the Feet
Patients who have type 2 diabetes are at risk of peripheral nerve damage due to high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. The nerves that are most often affected by high blood glucose are those in the lower extremities, particularly the feet. This is because these levels impact blood circulation, and circulation is less efficient the farther away blood vessels are from the heart – and the feet are farthest away from the heart of any part of the body.
Foot and ankle surgeons are specifically trained and experienced in diabetic foot care, so they can help patients with type 2 diabetes manage their peripheral nerve damage. This can help diabetic patients to successfully avoid limb loss by educating them on proper daily foot care and by providing specialized advice and treatments to keep their feet healthy.
Top-Notch Podiatry Care in South Texas
Here at The Podiatry Group of South Texas, our foot and ankle surgeons have many years of experience in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the feet and ankles. We employ a combination of traditional and new methods, from repairing bunions and ingrown toenails to custom orthotics and foot surgery. In our podiatry clinic, you will receive the compassionate and personalized healthcare you deserve.
To request an appointment with one of our foot and ankle surgeons, call The Podiatry Group of South Texas clinic nearest you or fill out our appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you get back in step!