While your primary care physician can handle many foot and ankle problems, they may recommend that you see a podiatrist if they deem that your condition or injury warrants specialized care.
Podiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnoses, treatment, and prevention of the full spectrum of problems affecting the structures in the foot and lower limb. A podiatrist is essentially your go-to expert if you have a sports or overuse injury, foot alignment issue or deformity, ankle fracture, or any other musculoskeletal problem in any of these areas in the body. If you’re living with diabetes and you want to be proactive about your foot health, seeing a podiatrist helps you effectively head off or minimize your risk of developing diabetic foot problems, which can have potentially serious complications.
Read on to learn about the specific steps a podiatrist takes to diagnose and treat foot and ankle problems.
Diagnosing Foot and Ankle Problems
To confirm a diagnosis, your podiatrist will perform a thorough evaluation of your foot, which includes examining it, reviewing your symptoms, assessing your current health status as well as ordering specific diagnostic and medical imaging tests.
Your podiatrist will use any or a combination of the following tests to detect signs of bone fractures, structural problems, blocked blood vessels, and other issues.
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Nerve conduction study- to rule out nerve damage (a common complication of diabetes), the most common symptoms of which are muscle weakness in the feet and loss of sensation
Providing Treatment for Foot Problems
Depending on what a podiatrist determines to be the underlying cause of your symptoms, they will craft an individualized treatment plan, which will likely consist of any or some of the following treatment modalities:
- Cortisone shots – steroid injections
- Custom orthotics- These are prescription devices that you wear inside your shoes. Your doctor will usually recommend these if you have a biomechanical foot issue.
- Physical therapy
- Surgery- This is often a last-resort intervention for when your symptoms no longer respond to an extensive course of conservative treatments
Trusted Podiatrist in St. Peters, O’Fallon, & Wentzville Missouri
At Advanced Bone & Joint, our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Anthony Lombardo has earned the confidence and trust of his patients for not only his expertise and extensive experience but also for his commitment to ensuring the best possible treatment outcomes for the gamut of foot and ankle problems.
To arrange your visit with Dr. Lombardo, you may call us at (636) 229-4222. You may also request an appointment using our convenient form.