Many people ignore problems in their feet until they begin to feel discomfort that eventually turns into pain. Unfortunately, this often means that conditions progress much further than necessary and more intense treatments are then needed. If problems are dealt with early, sometimes the issue can be resolved quickly and simply. This is why it’s important to see a foot and ankle specialist right away when you experiencing something unusual or concerning in your feet.
11 Reasons to See a Foot and Ankle Specialist ASAP
Sprained Ankle or Broken Bone
If you are experiencing the signs of a foot injury like a sprained ankle or a broken bone, you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible. Podiatrists are experts when it comes to your ankles and feet, and they will know the best way of healing your injury. They can help with the symptoms you are experiencing as well as create a long-term plan to get you back to optimal health.
Some signs of a serious foot or ankle injury are redness, swelling, and pain. If you having trouble walking without feeling pain, this is particularly concerning. These are reasons to see a professional right away.
Bunions are a serious issue, and they typically do not go away on their own. The longer you leave them untreated, the worse they can get. Any time you have a bunion, you should see a specialist to determine the next step. In some cases, surgery may be needed. But there are also treatments for bunions that can help.
At our clinic, we can easily treat or remove bunions quickly without long recovery times. Having your bunion treated before it becomes irritated will save you future discomfort and a more serious problem.
Ongoing or Returning Fungal Infection
Fungal infections like athlete’s foot can cause a burning sensation that can be difficult to treat and will often come back even after you think it has disappeared. Other types of fungal infections can attack the toenail, causing it to become thick and discolored. Fungal infections can cause pain and discomfort that will get harder to handle over time. The infection can also spread to other parts of the feet.
We can provide you with a topical or oral antifungal medication to take care of your problem once and for all. Occasionally, an infected toenail may have to be removed. If your condition isn’t getting better or keeps coming back, come see us right away.
When toenails are cut short, they can grow into the skin of your toe and can easily become infected. People often try to treat ingrown toenails at home, causing further irritation and introducing germs into the area.
See a podiatrist as soon as possible if your ingrown toenail is red or draining fluids, especially if the fluid is thick or yellow. You likely have an infection that should be treated with medication. You may also have to have part of the toenail removed.
Painful Calluses and Corns
Corns and calluses occur when you are consistently introducing friction to a particular part of your foot or toe. It causes dead skin cells to build up and form a rough bump on your skin. This can become painful over time.
Consult a foot and ankle specialist immediately if you have a callus that is causing you pain. We can remove the dead skin cells and give you medication to relieve the pain. We can also help determine the underlying cause of the callus so you can prevent developing more problems in the future.
There are several different factors that can lead to pain in your heels. Sometimes the pain occurs because you are putting excessive stress on certain parts of your feet by walking improperly or wearing the wrong shoes. There are other conditions that can lead to heel pain as well. It’s important to have an expert examine your feet if you are experiencing pain in your heel.
Plantar Fasciitis is a problem with ligaments, and it can cause pain in the heel and the arch. Heel spurs are caused by extra bone that grows in the heel, and Achilles Tendinitis leads to pain in the tendon at the back of the heel. All of these conditions should be treated as soon as possible.
Numbness In the Feet
If you are feeling tingling or numbness in your feet, it could be a sign of a bigger issue. Diabetes, for example, can cause painful nerve damage in your feet. This leads to you being unable to heal properly from even small injuries, and an infection can easily develop. Foot infection may be hard to treat and can quickly spread to the rest of your body. The result is sometimes amputation of the foot or leg. It can even cause death. Diabetics should be sure to see a podiatrist regularly.
Other conditions can also cause numbness in the feet. Excessive alcohol consumption or certain autoimmune diseases may also be the cause. Any chronic numbness should be checked out by a specialist.
Swollen, Painful Ankle
Red, irritated, tender ankles may be a sign of injury or arthritis. If you are experiencing any kind of pain in your joints, a podiatrist can help you relieve it and provide a treatment strategy moving forward. We can run diagnostics like X-rays, MRIs, and other tests that can help us understand what is causing the problem. Sometimes pain medication can relieve the discomfort, and other times a surgical procedure might be the best approach.
Most people get blisters on their feet now and then, and usually, they heal on their own. It’s important not to intentionally pop a blister because the cushioning and the fluid inside is what protects the injured skin underneath. If the fluid in a blister becomes cloudy, yellow, or green it is probably infected. You should have a foot and ankle specialist treat it in this case.
Hammertoe is a condition where the toes become bent. In people who develop this condition, the bone structure of the foot changes. If you have hammertoe, it should be seen by a podiatrist as quickly as possible because there are non-surgical treatments that can be effective as long as the condition is caught early enough. If you wait too long, surgery may be required.
This condition is characterized by a non-harmful growth between your 3rd and 4th toes that causes pain like a pinched nerve from the bottom of your foot to the area of the growth. It is caused by scarring that occurs when excessive pressure is put on the wrong areas of the foot. A tendency toward developing this condition can be hereditary.
A neuroma is painful and often needs to be taken care of through surgery, but other treatments are also available. We will run tests to determine the best course of action and work with you to create a plan for complete healing.
Vising a foot and ankle specialist as soon as a problem occurs is the best way to deal with any problems and set yourself up for fewer issues in the future. If you are experiencing any kind of problem with your feet, contact us at Island Foot Clinics as soon as possible. We will get your foot health back on track.