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Prairie Path Foot & Ankle Clinic

10 Signs It's Time to see a Foot Doctor


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11/14/2013
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There are a lot of foot conditions that can cause you grief.  As podiatrists, we know that timely assessment and initiation of a treatment plan is the key to keeping these foot conditions from keeping you down!  If you experience even one of the symptoms described below, you need to call Prairie Path Foot & Ankle Clinic today!  We can get you on the road to recovery.

  • Heel Pain: We see a lot of heel pain in our practice, but I'm sure it's just the tip of the iceberg.  There are some people that come in after having dealt with heel pain for months!  The longer treatment of heel pain is delayed, the more difficult it is to recover from.  Your threshold for calling and having your heel pain assessed should be pretty low.  Call if the heel pain began suddenly, has remained constant or worsened over the course of a couple of days, and of course if you are having difficulty standing, walking or performing your normal routine without pain!
  • Ankle Sprain: Yes, we understand it may seem like no big deal and something that will "get better on it's own" but ankle sprains are not entirely predictable.  People have variable pain tolerance and there can be quite a lot more going on than "just a twisted ankle."  Seeing your foot doctor sooner rather than later after an ankle sprain will ensure that no fractures go untreated and that a comprehensive treatment plan is initiated to prevent future ankle sprains!
  • Warts: People can be very embarrassed to see a doctor about warts, but they can be painful and spread quickly, making them more difficult to treat.  We see warts all the time at PPFAC and we have a thorough treatment plan that we have found to be effective not only at ridding your feet of warts, but also preventing recurrence.  The treatment is non-painful and in most cases treatment begins and ends with visits to the office, rather than undergoing surgery.
  • Funny Spots:  If you are trying to convince yourself that a spot on your foot, toes or ankle has been there forever (but you can't really be sure), a quick visit to the foot doctor can give you more piece of mind.  We perform an initial evaluation of the specific spot/lesion/bump and can usually tell you quickly if it is more likely benign or more likely malignant.  In cases where a lesion is suspicious, biopsies can be taken and results are typically available within a couple of weeks.
  • Ugly Toenails: Again, addressing that discolored spot on a nail or one nail with some discoloration when it first arises prevents longer time for improvement later.  If nails are thick, yellow, discolored, crumbly or even have white spots on them - this could be a fungal infection. Once nail fungus has been diagnosed, we have a comprehensive treatment plan.  It is critical to address these ugly nails as soon as you notice them, because fungus if virulent and can spread quickly between toenails and also cause fungal infections in the skin (athlete's foot).  The sooner it is treated, the better outcome you can expect!
  • Bunions: Bunions are a genetic condition and they worsen over time in people due to poor biomechanics.  What this means is that the positioning of the foot during gait (walking) places abnormal strain on certain muscles and ligaments in the foot.  We have seen patients with mild bunions that are non-painful and early treatment greatly reduces the possibility of future surgery.  As much as we all wish that there was a magical cure for bunions (a splint or toe spacer), there isn't.  If your bunion is already painful, a foot doctor can educate you on conservative options to decrease pain or tell you if surgery is recommended.
  • Tired, achy feet: Many people work in professions that require them to stand on their feet all day.  In most cases, having tired achy feet at the end of the day does not have to be the reality!  A thorough assessment with a foot doctor can provide you with information and treatment options to decrease your pain at the end of the day.
  • Diabetes:  You read that correctly.  If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have not yet seen a podiatrist, now is the time!  An initial examination with a foot doctor is used to determine your risk level of complications in the feet due to diabetes.  There are a few simple steps to add to your daily routine that can prevent complications down the line.
  • Ingrown Nails: In some instances, an ingrown nail can be a one time occurrence that fades into the past without a second thought.  In other cases, the physical shape of the nail (determined by growth cells that lie beneath the cuticle) can predispose a person to chronic issues.  Sometimes pain and redness in an ingrown nail is due to irritation, but it can also be due to a brewing infection.  Your foot doctor can provide you with information and treatment options to ensure you don't live a life with painful ingrowns.
  • Pain in the ball of the foot:  This can be due to many different conditions.  At worst, it could be due to a fracture or infection.  Less severe conditions (while they may be nearly as painful) include neuromas, capsulitis or arthritis.  A quick visit with a foot doctor can help determine the cause of the pain in the ball of the foot and initial treatment options are nearly always non-surgical.

Don't hesitate to schedule an appointment!  Even if your symptoms seem silly and small, there may be more to the story.  If you are in pain, you don't have to be! Our feet take a lot of abuse day in and day out and we rely on them more than we sometimes realize!

Call Prairie Path Foot & Ankle Clinic today and get back to your old routine fast!



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