Monosyllabic Pedantry

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I have a negative prejudice against podiatrists. It all started a few years ago, when I got a sudden, sharp pain in one of my feet. I went to a podiatrist and he explained to me that the tendon along the arch of my foot was too short. He would need to cut partially through the tendon, allowing it to lengthen. Not being the sort of person who jumps right into having my tendons cut, I ignored his advice. The pain went away a few weeks later. Some time after that, I self-diagnosed it as gout. (Thank you, internet.)

Which bring me to my recent visit to a (different) podiatrist. The fourth toe on my left foot as been gradually bending to the right over the past couple of years. It's never given me any problems, but it's bending over far enough that it's starting to slip under the third toe a little and irritate it. I read online that it's a good idea to treat this kind of thing as early as possible.

So I go in. The first thing I notice is that there are no patients, at all. I also know that this place is new. The building wasn't here a year ago. They take X-rays of my foot, and the doctor comes in and looks at them.

Between the X-rays and his little skeletal foot model, he explains to me that the problem is actually that I have arthritis in my big toe. A lot of model-bending and force vector analysis later leads to my bent toe.
I expected to be prescribed some sort if insert or toe spreader, instead, he tells me that the only thing that will straighten out my toe is surgery. They 'shave' some of the bone off and stick temporary pins in my toe for a few weeks. I get to be awake for this, and it's all outpatient. Easy!
It's $700, except that my insurance doesn't cover it, so for me, it's $400. (Insert medical industry comment here)

I told him I'd get back to him. In the mean time, I'm going to get some sort of insert thingy.

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  • Podiatrists are folks who couldn't get into medical school. I thought they were M.D. specialists of the foot. They're not. They go to a school of podiatry.

    I had one shoot steroids into my heel for plantar faschitis. I didn't realize he wasn't a "real" doctor at the time. I'm having some new kind of foot problem loately. If it gets worse, I'll go see an M.D., like an orthopedist.

    By Blogger Nashville Knucklehead, at 7:26 AM  

  • You know, it had that kind of chiropractic, not-a-real-doctor feel to it.

    By Blogger Exador, at 7:37 AM  

  • I had no idea that podiatrists were not real MDs. Maybe I'd better cancel Monday's appointment... oh, and my podiatrist is married to a chiropractor!

    By Blogger Rockycat, at 8:00 AM  

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