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Foot Examination / diagnosis by a podiatrist.

Foot examination

Where does it hurt?

Medicine in general and podiatry specifically have become increasingly high tech in recent years. Personally, I think that, with more technology, we are at risk of forgetting the basic tenets of diagnosis. The physical exam used to involve putting your hands on your patients, testing the range and quality of motion, manual muscle testing for weakness or avulsion, gait analysis, footwear review, etc. With increased technology available, the temptation, especially for young clinicians, is to opt for a scan or a film, thus robbing the patient of the expertise they have over the local family doctor.

For me, the most important aspect of the foot examination comes down to: What structure hurts? Why would it be doing that? What will make it stop hurting and get this person back to normal activity? The vast majority of the time, some poking and prodding, movement of the affected part, assessment of muscle function and a few laps around our clinic will tell me everything I need to know.

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