If you're having problems with your feet, you're likely to start off by seeing your primary care doctor. In some cases, however, your primary care doctor may refer you to a foot specialist (podiatrist).
What you can do
Your time with your doctor is often limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. Some questions you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What's the likely cause of my foot problems?
- Is this condition likely to be temporary or permanent?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- Am I a candidate for surgery? Why or why not?
- Are there any additional self-care steps that might help?
Also, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment if you're unclear about what your doctor is telling you.
What to expect from your doctor
Some questions your doctor may ask of you include:
March 15, 2013
- When did you first begin having foot problems?
- How much pain are your feet or toes causing you?
- Where is the pain located?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- What kind of shoes do you normally wear?
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Jan. 10, 2013.
- Hammer toe. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00160. Accessed Jan. 10, 2013.
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Jan. 11, 2013.
- Malloy A, et al. Mallet toe deformity. Foot and Ankle Clinics of North America. 2011;16:537.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Selecting footwear for healthier feet. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.