The problems with your feet and ankles usually go away with time, rest, anti-inflammatories and shoegear changes. But sometimes such problems simply won’t go away, and that’s when you probably need a podiatrist’s help and expertise. Here are the most common of them.
Swelling and Pain in One Foot
In case you have pain and edema (swelling) in only one foot, this is certainly not normal, so you should see a professional. There are different problems that may cause the pain and swelling, including tendonitis, broken bones, infection or tendon rupture. It is much more common to have swelling and pain in both feet and ankles, usually due to lymphedema.
If there’s is pain in your feet when lying in bed, but it vanishes when you dangle your feet off a side of your bed, this might be a sign of peripheral artery disease or decreased blood flow. This condition sometimes needs to be addressed by more than one doctor. You should pay a visit to a podiatrist first, but you may also need a vascular surgeon in some cases.
A Sore or Wound That Doesn’t Heal
An open sore on your ankle or foot is usually implies you should see a podiatrist, especially if you have diabetes, because then it can take longer to heal. If your podiatrist sees you promptly and starts your treatment, a sore is more likely to heal. Having an open sore for a prolonged time will increase the likelihood of getting a bone or skin infection.
Burning, Tingling and Numbness
These three things can point to neuropathy, causing decreased sensations in your feet. Diabetes is among different things that can give rise to neuropathy. Since diabetic neuropathy can put you at higher risk of developing foot ulcers, this condition definitely has to be examined by a podiatrist.
Pain Increases with Activity
In case the pain you have worsens when you are active, this can be due to stress fracture. As working through the pain is a thing to avoid here, you should see a podiatrist instead. If you treat it at an early stage, hopefully you’ll avoid more serious issues, such as an actual bone fracture.
For the best part, your feet should resemble one another. If they considerably differ in colour, you may have a problem. Redness may indicate an infection or gout, a purple or blue colour may point to a vein problem, while paleness or whiteness may signal decreased blood flow. In case you notice any of these colour changes, visit a podiatrist.
Severe Pain that Lasts for More than a Day
This issue is particularly important if you have had surgery recently. If there is such pain, you’ll be strongly advised to address it instantly, as possible problems include tight dressing, infection, compartment syndrome, or deep vein thrombosis. There are different treatment options for this type of pain, but a podiatrist should first tell you what is causing it.
Sudden Progresses of Deformity
Charcot arthropathy, which can occur if you have diabetes, is an example of one such deformity. The most common signs and symptoms pointing to it are hot, swollen feet, persistent pain and redness. This problem can lead to bones slipping out of place or even breaking. If left untreated, bones may heal in a wrong position, giving rise to a foot deformity, so you need to see a podiatrist right away.