A Foot to Stand On

What Happens At Your First Appointment With A Foot Specialist?

Many people have jobs where they're required to stand for long periods of time. Standing for hours on end can lead to foot and leg pain. It's important to take this pain seriously because left untreated, repetitive stress injuries can develop. A foot specialist can diagnose the cause of your foot pain so you can find relief. Here are a few things a foot specialist will probably do at your first appointment.

1. Ask you to fill out medical forms.

When you see any medical professional for the first time, they will need to find out more about your medical history. Family illnesses, past injuries, and chronic conditions can all affect your foot health. Show up to your first podiatrist appointment at least fifteen minutes early so you have enough time to fill out the forms they give you. Bring your health insurance information and any other records your podiatrist may need.

2. Listen to your complaints.

If you're at the podiatrist's office, it's likely that you are experiencing pain. Your foot specialist will ask you a series of questions to determine the type of pain you're experiencing. Information about the severity, duration, and frequency of your pain can help your specialist make a diagnosis. They may also ask if the pain is caused by any specific activities.

3. Examine your feet.

In addition to self-reported symptoms, your foot specialist will need to examine your feet. You will be asked to remove your shoes and socks. Your podiatrist will ask you to stand so they can observe your posture and foot mechanics. Next, they will palpate your feet to check for abnormalities. You may also be asked to walk on a treadmill so your podiatrist can check for irregularities in your gait. This test is usually repeated both with and without shoes.

4. Administer imaging tests.

If your foot specialist suspects there has been damage to the internal structure of your feet, they may administer imaging tests. X-rays can be used to check the health of your bones, and MRI exams can be used to check for tendon or muscular injuries. You may need to wait a few weeks for the results of your imaging tests.

Once your foot specialist has diagnosed the source of your problem, they will develop a treatment plan to help you. Stretching, wearing braces, and putting inserts in your shoes can all alleviate foot pain. If your pain is caused by an injury, your specialist may recommend that you wear a splint or cast. In severe cases, surgery may be prescribed.