A foot doctor, or podiatrist, is a highly qualified physician who has extensive knowledge of the health and function of the lower extremities. Different from MDs, these DPMs, or doctors of podiatry, diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle problems, and help people prevent disease and injury as well.
Let’s talk about the things to consider when choosing a foot doctor and where you can go in San Antonio, TX, for high-quality foot care.
What’s Your Foot or Ankle Problem?
Have you injured your foot in a fall or car accident? Is chronic pain, skin discoloration, differences in sensation, foot shape or balance, and ambulation your concern?
First, discuss these issues with your PCP. He or she may refer you for emergency or urgent care if a sprain or fracture is suspected. However, if the condition is persistent and ongoing, particularly if medical interventions have proved ineffective, your family doctor may wish you to see a board-certified podiatrist.
Does Your Prospective Podiatrist Have the Right Credentials, Expertise, and Experience?
There are many ways to determine if your new foot doctor is the one for you. Ask your PCP or a trusted relative or friend for a referral. Your doctor knows your personality and health needs well and can recommend a provider who would fit your personality and health needs.
Then, look up the foot doctor’s credentials. Your podiatrist should be certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine, and if so, this credential will be listed in the biography section of the practice website. The website also lists the services the foot doctor offers. For instance, if you have a sports medicine concern, or are diabetic, be sure the foot doctor has experience in these key areas.
What Diagnostic Assessments and Treatments Does Your Foot and Ankle Doctor Offer?
Talk about your foot health concerns, and be specific about symptoms and what you may have done to address them. Be honest about your health history, and make sure the podiatrist listens carefully and respectfully. These personality characteristics are key to an effective doctor-patient relationship.
Then, have the doctor examine your extremity. He may choose an ultrasound examination, digital X-rays, an MRI, electromyography (EMG), or something else to assess his injury, deformity, or condition. Highly qualified podiatrists offer up-to-date diagnostic testing in a clean, orderly, comfortable environment.
Finally, today’s DPMs across the United States offer many non-invasive, minimally invasive, and operative treatment options. In fact, your best podiatrist should show you ways to manage or eliminate your condition with the most conservative interventions first and foremost. Examples include custom shoe inserts (orthotics), shockwave therapy, casting, durable medical equipment, injection therapy, and more.
However, the foot doctor also should offer surgical treatment options, such as small incision arthroscopy, bunionectomy, and diabetic wound debridement, as well as prescription pain medications, laser fungal nail treatments, and more. An excellent foot and ankle doctor will design a care plan to maximize your health, preserve the structure, manage pain, and keep you moving safely and independently
Is there a Podiatry Clinic Near You?
If you live in South Texas, we suggest you contact The Podiatry Group of South Texas. We have seven board-certified and highly experienced podiatrists who love their work and their patients. We have several locations, including San Antonio, Uvalde, Kenedy, Boerne, Floresville, Live Oak, and Hondo.
Please choose a location from the list on our website, and give us a call to book an informative consultation. Or, you may arrange your visit online. You’ll find you have made the right choice!