A Podiatrist is a foot and ankle surgeon who treats disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. You just need a little bit of preparation for your first visit to the foot clinic. In this article, we will investigate the do’s and don’ts that we should take care while visiting the podiatrist for the first time.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association the things that you should do include:
- Make a list of the symptoms and questions you want to ask the foot doctor
- Prepare a list of all medications that you take
- List all surgeries that you may have undergone
- Arrange all important medical records, X-rays, lab results, MRIs pertaining to your feet
- Check with the insurance company whether a referral is required
- Carry your walking or exercise shoes if any and
- Have your feet thoroughly washed and dried.
Things that you should not do before visiting a foot clinic are:
- Don’t shave your legs, especially if you are a woman. Hairs are signs of healthy blood flow and hair lose a sign of diabetes. The doctor must know it correctly.
- You must not go for a pedicure to prevent fungal and bacterial infections.
- Do not paint or cut nails short.
What to Expect
When you see a podiatrist in a foot clinic, expect to have an interview to know your medical history thoroughly to assess your foot and leg issues. Therefore, carry information and documents regarding current medical problems, allergies, medications, past surgeries, family history and health habits.
Also, expect an expert examination of your foot by the podiatrist. This is done to assess the blood flow in your lower leg and foot. This also helps in identifying feeling, strength and sensation to find out areas of concern. Deformities such as hammertoes, bunion, muscle weakness and nail and skin are also found out through these tests.
Specific recommendations about treatment and prevention are made by the doctor after thorough history and examination.
These may include:
- Wearing special footwear
- Using of padding and inserts
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Caring for wound or ulcer and
- Referrals to other specialists if necessary.
Suggestion for Lifestyle Changes
Based on the diagnosis in the foot clinic, the podiatrist may also recommend a few lifestyle changes that may impact on the health of your feet. These changes may involve smoking cessation to increase blood flow, weight loss to reduce strain on joints, feet and ankles and walking to increase circulation. Apart from that diabetes management may also be suggested through diet and exercise.
Few General FAQs To Know
It is important that you ask relevant questions to the doctor at the foot clinic. Therefore, know the questions to include in your questionnaire. Ask whether you need a referral from a general physician and about insurance as well if you have private medical insurance. Sometimes such treatments may not be covered by the specific foot clinic.
Also, ask about the charge and payment policy. However, most clinics are very flexible in accepting payments. If you are shy to visit or have any other reason not to visit a foot clinic you may also ask for a home visit provided it is offered.
Do not forget to ask about the returns policy and clarify all other areas of your concern so that you know what to do when anything goes wrong.