When Should I See a Podiatrist (Foot Doctor)?

Podiatrists are medical doctors and surgeons who specialize in care and treatment for your lower extremities — your ankles and feet — . After four years of Podiatry school, three years of medical/surgical residency are required to become a licensed Podiatrist. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine, or DPMs, are physicians and surgeons, and while Podiatrists usually work independently, they may act as part of a team if a patient has a chronic condition, like diabetes. 

Ryan Goldfine, DPM, and Shaynah Goldfine, DPM, lead our team at Ankle and Foot Centers of Georgia, in West Cobb, Georgia. They are both board-certified physicians and surgeons, and were chief residents at their respective hospitals. Dr. Shaynah Goldfine specializes in trauma and reconstructive surgery, as well as wound care and limb salvage. Whether you have pain in your ankles or feet, or have a toenail that is not quite right, it may be time to see a Podiatrist. 

Foot and/or ankle pain

You should never be contant walking around with foot or ankle pain or discomfort! Pain is one of the top reasons to contact a Podiatrist. Although your first instinct may be to use over-the-counter medications or other remedies when your feet  or ankles hurt, if you experience foot pain for several days, you should consider seeing a Podiatrist. 

While your issue could be benign, it may worsen and cause other problems. Even knee pain, hip pain, and lower back (lumbar) pain can be alleviated with help from a Podiatrist, as your feet, and even improper footwear, can affect your entire body. 

If you experience pain in your foot or ankle that causes changes in your gait, we may be able to help you with orthotics, medications, physical therapy, surgery, or other conservative treatments. 

Living with diabetes-related foot problems

Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas (organ that produces insulin) that affects several body systems, including your skin, nerves, and blood flow. Diabetic feet are vulnerable to dryness, ingrown toenails, and wounds, which can lead to infections and possible amputations if not treated properly and quickly. 

If you have diabetes, it is essential to pay special attention to foot care and to partner with a Podiatrist. Drs. Ryan and Shaynah Goldfine are happy to team up with your primary care physician, Endocrinologist, and entire treatment team.  

Skin changes on your feet

It is natural for the skin on your feet to feel slightly dry to the touch. However, if it becomes too dry and hardens, you might develop a callus. Depending on the thickness of your callus and your overall health, you might be able to remove your callus with prescription exfoliating products. Calluses can become very painful and affect your gait. Some calluses, though, need specialized medical attention, and we’re happy to assist. Corns are similar to calluses and are easily treatable. 

Bunions, different from corns and calluses, are uncomfortable bumps at the base of your big toe. They can be caused or exacerbated by improper footwear and can become very painful. If you suspect you have a bunion, a Podiatrist is the best professional to assist you with conservative or surgical intervention.

Hammertoes are contractures or changes in the joints of the smaller toes. They can be very painful, and can lead to calluses, corns, or even ulcers (wounds). Early intervention with any foot or ankle condition is always very important for increasing the chance of successful outcomes.

Nail problems

Nails and feet can have separate or related issues. If you have diabetes, nail care must be done carefully and consistently to keep your feet healthy and prevent infections. Anyone can be susceptible to ingrown toenails, which can grow for a variety of reasons, including trauma to the nail. At Ankle &Foot Centers of Georgia - West Cobb, we treat ingrown toenails and nail fungus and provide guidance for better foot and nail care. We provide an ingrown toenail procedure that is less invasive than most other practitioners as a potential treatment option.

We are here to assist with any needs you and your feet have! At Ankle and Foot Centers of Georgia - West Cobb, we offer orthotics, treatment for ankle and foot trauma, essential diabetes foot care, plantar fasciitis treatment, wart treatment, and much more. If you’re experiencing pain or changes in your feet, give us a call today at 678-593-3127, or book an appointment online.

Author
Ryan Goldfine, DPM Dr. Ryan Goldfine is a board certified foot and ankle surgeon. He is a Marietta Podiatrist.

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