When visiting a podiatric physician for the first time what can you expect?
As the foot is attached to the rest of the body the physician will begin with a history of any general medical problems you have had in the past or are currently experiencing. Systemic medical problems such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and various types of arthritis often affect the lower extremities including the foot and ankle. In addition, structural and muscular problems such as low back pain and shin splints involve the foot. So a thorough past and present medical history including prescription and non-prescription medications is essential to a proper diagnosis as well as any surgeries or injuries you may have had.
After the initial interview, a physical examination is performed. The physician may listen or feel the pulses in your foot and ankle, test your reflexes and observe any changes in skin color, temperature or texture.Your gait and foot structure may need be assessed through a biomechanical examination; a specialized examination that includes measurements of the quality and range of motion.
Diagnostic x-rays and/or diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound may be indicated and laboratory tests and scans may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.