Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I see a doctor for the pain in my left heel?"
I am a 30 year old mother of three, who has been experiencing heel pain. It is at its worst in the mornings and evenings. About a year ago, I stumbled badly and seem to have hurt my heel. Should I see my general practitioner or an orthopedic surgeon?
A number of different processes may be causing your heel pain, and you should see your primary care physician for an initial work-up. If your heel pain started abruptly after you stumbled about a year ago, then there may have been some damage to the bones in the heel that should be further evaluated with imaging. Your injury may have resulted in a small stress fracture or bone spur that could be the source of your pain. You could also be suffering from plantar fasciitis, which refers to inflammation affecting a collection of ligamentous fibers that run on the underside of the foot from the heel bone out towards the toes. This condition often responds to conservative treatment including rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication and arch-supporting footware. Your primary care physician should be able to initiate a work-up of your heel pain based on his exam. If he/she chooses to get imaging then an orthopedic surgeon can also weigh in on the results.
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