It’s National Foot Health Awareness Month and we at Edmond/Norman Foot & Ankle want to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about what your podiatrist does and when you should call him or her. A podiatrist is a medical doctor of medicine. His or her job is to diagnose and treat all types of toe, foot and ankle problems. This includes diseases, internal issues such as fractures and nerve damage and also infections and toenail problems. They also specialize in treating injuries to the feet and ankles caused by an accident or sports. While most patients know to come into the office when an injury occurs, there are many other instances where people are hesitant to call the foot doctor. Here are some questions to ask yourself when in doubt:
Am I in pain? Pain is the number one reason that patients come to see our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh. What’s tricky about pain, however, is that sometimes it comes and goes. It may be worse in the morning or after a specific activity. You may only notice it when you wear certain shoes or after you’ve been standing a long time. The bottom line is that pain almost always requires evaluation and treatment. A common mistake patients make is waiting to long to come in to see the podiatrist and by the time they do, the pain is intense and serious damage to the foot may have occurred.
Are there any signs of an infection? Redness, swelling and tenderness in an area of the foot, especially when accompanied by heat, red streaks from the site and any kind of pus or discharge are indicators of a possible infection. Fever is also a big tip off that an infection is present. Infections can be dangerous, especially if you have diabetes or another disease that compromises your immune system. Do not delay calling the office if signs of infection are present.
Have there been any changes in my feet? If a lump has suddenly appeared, your skin color has changed, you feel like there’s a stone in the bottom of your shoe, your skin is red, itchy or blistering or the shape of your foot looks different, these are all reasons to make an appointment at our Edmond or Norman office for an evaluation. Change is not always bad but its source needs to be determined and treatment given if necessary.
Are my symptoms improving or getting worse? Don’t kid yourself into thinking your foot condition will go away on its own. Most foot disorders only get worse over time. If you have any questions or concerns about your feet, contact our office today and get peace of mind along with relief of your symptoms.