If you're having a problem with your feet, you'll likely start by seeing your primary care provider. Or you may be referred immediately to a foot specialist (podiatrist or orthopedist).
What you can do
Before your appointment, make a list of:
- Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
- Key personal information, including major stresses, recent life changes and family medical history
- All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including the doses
- Questions to ask your doctor
Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.
For hammertoe or mallet toe, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's likely causing my foot problems?
- What are other possible causes?
- What tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What's the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- Am I a candidate for surgery? Why?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:
- When did your foot problems begin?
- How much pain are your feet or toes causing you?
- Where is the pain situated?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- What type of shoes do you normally wear?
Jan. 28, 2016
- Fields KB. Evaluation and diagnosis of common causes of foot pain in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 15, 2015.
- Hammer toe. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00160. Accessed Dec. 16, 2015.
- Malloy A, et al. Mallet toe deformity. Foot and Ankle Clinics of North America. 2011;16:537.
- Hammer toes. American Podiatric Medical Association. http://www.apma.org/Learn/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=1863. Accessed Dec. 16, 2015.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Selecting footwear for healthier feet. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.