No matter how active or inactive your lifestyle, people use their feet every single day. From participating in sports to simply walking from point A to point B, a person’s feet are susceptible to a wide variety of injuries and problems. Sometimes, injuries lead to a recommended treatment method that can seem intimidating, including surgery. If you feel uneasy about anything recommended to you regarding your health, you have the right to a second opinion. Seeking out a qualified Austin podiatrist that can perform another examination and offer an independent opinion can either spare you pain and expense or help confirm the previously recommended procedure and properly prepare you for it.
Here are six reasons why you might want to get a second opinion if you have foot or ankle pain:
1. You Aren’t Responding Well to Current Treatment
If you’ve been dealing with significant foot pain for a while, chances are you’ve already been provided a treatment plan. If you have been undergoing treatment but haven’t responded well to it, or perhaps you haven’t progressed at the pace you expected, you might want to seek out a second opinion. By speaking with a new podiatrist, you will get a fresh perspective and possibly a new treatment plan. A quality doctor will examine you and also take your past and present medical history into account. Of course, in some instances, nothing further can be done, and the opinion might remain the same. However, in many cases, an alternative opinion can make a world of difference when it comes to treatment plans.
2. You Don’t Understand the Recommended Treatment
If you agree to any type of medical procedure, even if it seems very minor, it is important to understand what will happen and why. It’s not uncommon for those without a medical background to not understand all of the ins and outs of surgery. However, your doctor should present you with the important facts and ensure you have a grasp on the procedure. If you feel you’ve been unable to get clarity from your current podiatrist, it’s time to find a new one. A quality podiatrist will take the time to carefully explain all treatments and allow you adequate time to ask any questions you may have.
3. You Worry About a Misdiagnosis
Although it is rare, sometimes foot conditions can be misdiagnosed. If something just doesn’t feel right about a diagnosis or recommendation you’ve received, it’s important to ask for clarification or a second opinion. Especially if you are scheduled for a major surgery, trust your gut and go where you feel safe and heard. If you don’t feel comfortable with the doctor or feel hesitant for reasons you can’t quite explain, get a second opinion from a quality podiatrist who can confirm your diagnosis and put you at ease. Find a doctor who offers care, compassion, and thorough explanations.
4. It’s Recommended You Have Major Surgery
It may seem that foot and ankle surgery is rarely as dangerous as brain or heart surgery, but it still matters. There are risks with any surgery that requires you to go under general anesthesia, and you are also at risk for infection and other complications. Any time your body is being put through a procedure, no one can guarantee 100% safety. This is why, even though the odds of a safe surgery are extremely good, it is important to know that a major surgery is truly necessary. If you have been told you need major surgery, including reconstructive foot surgery, make sure you have all the facts and have received more than one opinion. A multiple-night stay in the hospital and a lengthy recovery time can be truly life-altering, and receiving a second opinion can help confirm that you really need surgery.
5. After Surgery You’re Still in Pain
Perhaps you have already had a surgical procedure, but you are still dealing with pain. This might be the original injury pain persisting, or perhaps it’s pain from the procedure that never let up. There are many possibilities, and a second opinion can help solve the mystery. The foot area is a very complex network of bones, ligaments, tendons, joints, and veins, and sometimes a surgeon will make an error or not resolve the initial issue. If either happens, you should visit a second podiatrist unrelated to the first practice you worked with. This second doctor can check the work of the first, see if there are new or different issues to diagnose, and potentially come up with an alternative treatment plan to finally relieve you of all pain and suffering.
6. You’re Not Happy With the Quality of Care
Sometimes, doctors and patients just aren’t compatible. In the way you may not get along with every single person you meet in your personal or professional life, the same can be said about a doctor-patient relationship. Podiatrists come in a wide range of personalities and experience levels, and it is important you work with someone you are compatible with before agreeing to certain procedures, including major surgery. If you feel you’re not receiving quality care, don’t be afraid to seek out different professionals until you find one you fit with. After all, you will be trusting this person with your health and well-being.
Are You Looking for Foot Care in Austin, TX?
If you are looking for foot care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.