Preparing for your appointment

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?