Our feet and ankles consist of complex systems of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They are prone to wear-and-tear injuries and conditions, especially when we engage in strenuous physical activities. Foot and ankle problems are some of the most common medical conditions you may experience in your lifetime. However, while many foot and ankle problems are treatable, you should not take it lightly.
Are you wondering if you should see a foot and ankle doctor? If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, the answer is yes.
Severe Foot & Ankle Pain
Pain in the foot and ankle substantially and negatively impacts our physical functioning and overall quality of life. It can limit our mobility and restrict enjoyment of our usual activities. Injuries from trauma or overuse usually cause foot and ankle pain. It may also be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
If your foot and ankle pain is due to an injury, you may initially try simple home remedies. Rest the affected foot or ankle and apply cold therapy. You may also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. However, if the pain does not go away after a few days or if the pain is severe or disabling, you should seek immediate medical attention.
You can experience swelling of the foot or ankle from time to time, especially after strenuous physical activity or standing and walking for too long. It is also a common occurrence after an injury. However, if the swelling persists or does not improve after two to five days of self-care, you should see a specialist.
If the cause of persistent swelling of the foot or ankle is unknown, seeking medical attention is crucial. Swelling in the foot or ankle may be a sign of venous insufficiency or diabetic foot. In some cases, it may also be a complication of a severe lung condition. Hence, it is essential to consult your doctor immediately
Open Wound or Deformity
A deformity in the foot or ankle can occur as a result of a fracture. Accidents such as a misstep, fall, or crash may cause a bone in the foot or ankle to break. If there is a visible deformity, seeking immediate medical attention is necessary. Your doctor may require you to undergo fracture surgery.
You should also see a specialist if your foot or ankle has open wounds. If these sores do not heal or are recurrent, it may be a sign of a foot ulcer. Foot ulcers may be due to poor circulation, diabetes, hypertension, or certain medications. Additionally, pay close attention to signs of infection. If you experience redness, warmth, and tenderness in the wound area, immediately seek professional care. You should also see a doctor if you have an accompanying fever over 100°F.
Most of the time, foot or ankle injuries respond positively to self-care remedies. However, if the injury results in your inability to walk, you should seek medical attention immediately. Another indication that you should see a doctor is when you are unable to put weight on your foot. This is usually a sign of a serious injury and requires prompt treatment.
Foot & Ankle Specialist in Maryland
Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) Foot & Ankle Care offers a patient-centered approach to your foot and ankle problems. Experience comprehensive care from our experienced podiatrists through a wide range of nonsurgical and surgical treatment methods. You may visit any of our three convenient locations in Catonsville, Columbia, and Eldersburg, Maryland.
For inquiries or to schedule a consultation, call (410) 644-1880. You may also request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you with your foot and ankle care needs.