A doctor must rule out other problems that can cause foot pain, such as a broken heel (calcaneus fracture), nerve entrapment, and Achilles tendonitis.
Patient interview. A doctor will ask a patient about his/her medical history and to describe the onset of his or her symptoms, the pattern of pain, and how symptoms affect lifestyle.
Physical exam. A doctor will examine the patient’s foot, noting any swelling, tenderness and pain points, and range of motion. As well as evaluating their gait for signs of excessive or late stage pronation.
Medical imaging. If the doctor suspects a fractured bone, such as a broken heel bone (calcaneus), he or she may order an X-ray. Likewise, if another soft tissue problem is suspected, the doctor may order an ultrasound or MRI.
Often times imaging studies such as X-rays and ultrasounds are not ordered unless the heel pain does not get better with initial treatments.
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Lab testing (e.g. testing a patient’s blood sample) is not routine but may be done to rule out systemic illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis.