When you are experiencing foot pain or other medical conditions involving the feet, you may be referred to a podiatrist. The practice of podiatry is defined as the medical treatment, diagnosis, operations, and prescriptions for injuries, deformities, or diseases of the foot.
A podiatrist can treat many afflictions of the foot and some of the most common medical reasons you will be referred to a podiatrist include:
- Ingrown or thickened nails
- Heel pain
- Arch problems
- Sprains, fractures, breaks
On your initial visit to the podiatrist office, you will have to complete a medical questionnaire that deals with your personal medical history. The questionnaire will ask a series of questions that deal specifically with your problems of the foot. When you meet with the podiatrist, they will conduct a visual examination and discuss the problems you are having. Additional x-rays may be required if necessary for a proper diagnosis. Be sure to bring all medication with you to your visit or at least an accurate list of medications and dosage of each you take on a regular basis. Some injuries or conditions may require drug therapy so the podiatrist will need to know anything you are currently prescribed.
Depending on the nature of your injury or foot condition, the course of treatment will be determined by the podiatrist and may involve further evaluation, surgical procedures, or physical therapy. Some conditions and injuries can be treated in the office environment or you may need to have outpatient or inpatient surgical treatments for your medical conditions.