Our feet handle an immense amount of stress each day, so it’s not uncommon for them to experience some discomfort or even some pain at the end of the day or if they are exposed to acute trauma. And while nobody wants a foot injury to send them to the doctor or an emergency room, we certainly don’t want to ignore the warning signs of a major foot issue. But how can you tell if your foot injury is serious? In today’s blog, we look at some of the warning signs of a serious foot injury that requires doctor intervention.
Symptoms Of A Serious Foot Injury
For the sake of this blog, we are going to ignore some very obvious symptoms of a major foot injury. For example, if you can visibly see a bone sticking out of your foot, you don’t need us to tell you to seek out medical attention. Instead, we’re going to focus on some less obvious signs that a serious foot condition may be brewing. Here’s a look at some signs to watch for:
- Significant Pain – We know that we said we’d avoid some obvious signs of a serious issue, but we do want to touch on the idea that pain can be a good indicator of the severity of an issue. While the absence of intense pain doesn’t necessarily mean that your foot condition is minor, significant pain is a good indication that you should seek out a medical evaluation.
- Pain That Remains Consistent Or Worsens – Another way to use pain to gauge the severity of your foot injury is to track how pain changes over the course of a few days. In many less severe injuries, pain levels will lessen or resolve altogether over the course of a few days or weeks of conservative care. If pain levels remain the same, or if discomfort gets worse, you should head to a foot specialist’s office.
- Painless Deformity – If you notice that part of your foot or toe looks abnormal, even if it’s not presenting with pain, you should set up an appointment with a foot specialist. Bunions and hammertoes are two conditions that involve a problem with toe joints or ligaments, and in their early stages when they are most treatable, may not present with pain. Even if you’re not dealing with pain, if your toes are bent or crooked in appearance, it’s time to connect with a foot specialist.
- Affecting Your Gait – It’s also a good idea to seek out a medical opinion if your injury is causing you to walk with a limp or an inhibited gait. When your gait is altered, it affects how stress is dispersed in your entire lower body. This can cause problems for your hips, knees and ankles. If you’re hobbling after a foot injury, head to a doctor’s office.
- Signs Of An Infection – Finally, you’ll certainly want to connect with your foot specialist if there are signs of an infection. This tends to be much more common following a foot or ankle surgery, and signs to watch out for include discolored discharge, redness, heat or the onset of a fever. Infections need to be managed before they can worsen and spread, so don’t delay treatment if you notice signs of an infection.
It’s important to remember that you don’t need to experience any of these symptoms in order to seek out care from a specialist. If you simply want to better understand what’s going on with your foot or ankle, set up a consultation. If you’d like Dr. McDonald and his team to look at your injury and provide a diagnosis and treatment plan, reach out to his office today at (860) 244-8889.