A podiatrist can help if you are experiencing symptoms in your foot or ankle, such as pain, limited movement, or a skin infection. They can also provide routine foot care if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, which can cause serious foot-related complications.
A podiatrist is a medical specialist who can diagnose and treat patients of all ages who are suffering from lower extremity issues. These board-certified physicians can treat a wide range of conditions including injuries, deformities, arthritis, and infections, as well as complications from ongoing health issues, such as diabetes. They can also provide routine foot care to keep your feet healthy and to prevent problems from occurring.
When you attend your first appointment, your podiatrist will carry out a comprehensive assessment to ensure they address your needs as effectively as possible.
The initial consultation allows your provider the opportunity to learn more about you. They will assess your current and previous personal and family health history and discuss any past problems, surgeries, or treatments you have, particularly if they relate to your feet or ankles. They will ask you about any medications you are taking, and any allergies you have and will discuss your symptoms, lifestyle, and anything else that could be relevant to your condition.
Your podiatrist will carry out a thorough examination of your feet, ankles, and lower legs. They will look for signs of poor circulation in the feet and lower legs and will also check for any skin or nail conditions such as warts, fungal infections, discoloration, corns, bunions, or blisters. Depending on your condition, your podiatrist may also assess if you have any gait or structural problems by watching you stand and walk.
Further diagnostic tests may be necessary, particularly if there is a suspected structural deformity, signs of poor blood circulation, signs of infection, or if you have had an injury and have symptoms of swelling, bruising tenderness, or ankle instability. Lab tests, such as blood work, and/or imaging tests, such as an X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, or bone scan may be necessary to correctly diagnose your condition and determine the most appropriate treatment.
Once your podiatrist has carried out their evaluation, they will discuss suitable treatment options with you, which can vary depending on your condition. Your podiatrist will design a treatment plan that is customized to your exact needs. For certain conditions, such as ingrown toenails, circulatory problems, fungal infections, or warts, treatment may be started at your first visit. They will also likely tidy up your feet, such as trimming your nails and removing any dry or thickened skin. Your podiatrist will advise you about what your recommended treatments will involve, and if and when you require any follow-up appointments.
Your podiatrist can offer a range of conservative and surgical treatments to effectively treat and manage your condition. Treatments may include:
- Customized orthotics and braces
- Medications, cryotherapy, or other treatments for skin pathologies and lesions (warts, callouses, skin fissures, athlete’s foot, fungal nails, and ingrown toenails)
- Comprehensive infection and wound care
- Ankle joint arthroscopy
- Achilles tendon repair and lengthening
- Fracture care/surgical repair
- Neurological treatment and surgery
- Joint replacement or revisional surgery
- Revisional surgery of previous complications or poor outcomes
Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes causes elevated levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It can cause a number of medical complications, including serious foot problems, such as nerve damage, ulcers, deformities, and poor blood circulation in the feet. Diabetic foot problems are one of the leading reasons for diabetes-related hospitalization.
Good self-care and regular visits to your podiatrist can help to keep feet healthy and identify any foot problems in their early stages, preventing them from becoming potentially serious. Minor skin problems on the feet can quickly deteriorate and therefore require prompt treatment and close monitoring. At every visit, your podiatrist will carry out a thorough foot exam and check the degree of sensation in your feet. Routine diabetic foot care may also include custom measuring and dispensing of Medicare-approved shoes and sneakers.
Podiatrist Near Me in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
At Foot & Ankle Institute of New England, our expert podiatrists take the time to evaluate and address all your foot and ankle problems. We work with patients of all ages and provide diagnosis and nonsurgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of conditions affecting the lower extremity.
Contact the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England today for a thorough foot examination with one of our board-certified podiatrists. You can reach us at one of our three convenient locations in Warwick, Middletown, or Fall River, or schedule an appointment online.