When to Visit a Foot & Ankle Surgeon
(article from foothealthfacts.org)
Most people have a foot or ankle problem at one time or another. So how do you know when to see a foot and ankle surgeon?
Sometimes it’s obvious that you need to seek help, but at other times it’s less clear. In reality, many symptoms—even those you can tolerate—may require professional attention to keep the underlying condition from worsening.
Here are some reasons to see a foot and ankle surgeon:
- An injury (a sprain, broken bone, etc.)
- A medical condition (diabetes, poor circulation, etc.) that can affect the feet
- Impaired ability to function in certain activities
- Heel pain in the morning
- Any painful condition of the foot, ankle or lower leg
- Discomfort after standing for awhile
- Changes in the appearance of your foot or ankle
- An abnormal growth
Foot and ankle surgeons treat all symptoms and conditions affecting the foot and ankle, such as:
- heel pain (plantar fasciitis),
- foot or ankle arthritis,
- sports injuries,
- tendon disorders,
- fractures (broken bones),
- diabetes complications,
- ingrown toenails,
- dermatological conditions,
- tingly feet,
- and much more.
Is it normal to have pain in the foot or ankle?
No, pain or discomfort isn’t normal. It signals a problem that needs to be evaluated, diagnosed, and treated by a specialist who fully understands this part of the body.
If I go to a foot and ankle surgeon, does that mean my problem will be treated surgically?
No. In fact, foot and ankle surgeons are trained to make all reasonable efforts to treat foot and ankle problems non- surgically if at all possible. Surgery is recommended only if other options are not feasible or do not adequately relieve your problem.
Why would I need to see a foot and ankle surgeon?
The foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and tendons—that’s a complicated network of tissues! And feet get quite a workout: They hold us up, plus absorb the shock of each step we take. The way your foot is structured, the way it works, and the way it affects other body areas (such as your back) add to its complexity. A foot and ankle surgeon has the in depth knowledge to diagnose and treat conditions of this complex part of the body and works with your overall healthcare team to ensure you are receiving the best care possible for your foot and ankle conditions