Top Signs You Should Visit a Foot Specialist, Not a General Doctor

March 3, 2020

When you are experiencing pain from a foot or ankle injury, it can sometimes be difficult to know whether you should visit a general practitioner, or a foot specialist. In today’s post, our Harrisburg podiatrist shares some of the top indications that you should see a specialist, who can offer more insight than a general doctor.

Foot Discoloration

Discoloration, like unusual redness, pallor, sallowness, or a blue/green tinge, is usually a sign of a major foot issue. If one foot is a different color than the other, there may be a problem. Unusual redness can be an indication of an infection or gout, and white or blue might indicate a problem with blood flow. Whatever is wrong, a foot specialist can usually offer a better diagnosis than a general doctor.

Numbness or Tingling

If you feel a numb or “pins and needles” feeling in your foot, this could indicate an issue with the nerves in your feet or ankles. If you are diabetic, it could be an indication of diabetic neuropathy, a long-term complication that affects the nerves throughout the body. If left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can cause foot ulcers and other serious problems, so if you experience these symptoms, be sure to see a podiatrist right away.

Pain or Swelling in One Foot

If you have pain and swelling (edema) in one foot and not the other, it could be caused by many serious problems, like a broken bone, Achilles tendonitis, a tendon rupture, or a foot infection. If the pain and swelling is in both feet and ankles, it could be due to lymphedema, arthritis, or another underlying condition. In any case, it’s important to see a foot and ankle physician for proper diagnosis.

Need a Foot Doctor in Harrisburg? Visit Ryan Foot & Ankle Clinic

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your ankles, heels, arches, or toes, a podiatrist is best qualified to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment. While podiatrists and general practitioners both spend the same number of years in study (4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 7 years of residency training), the bulk of their time is spent learning everything there is to know about feet and ankles.

Podiatrists are also usually trained in foot surgery, and can both diagnose and perform surgery for bunions, hammertoes, and more. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a Harrisburg podiatrist, please click here.