Avoiding Internet Misdiagnoses of Foot and Ankle Ailments

A lot of things can go wrong with feet. Thankfully, in most cases we can do something to prevent problems, and help to fix them if they occur. At the Perth Foot & Ankle Clinic, we have some information about a variety of foot problems listed on our Foot Conditions page.

There is some very useful information available on the internet, but please allow us to make a couple of suggestions before you get information online (or anywhere else).

Foot Condition Checkup

If you have no formal training in medical or related matters, please be careful when evaluating information from academic (or indeed, any) sources. We suggest this because it is easy—especially when reading one or two references—to form a misguided opinion about a particular condition.

For example, we had an internet query regarding a thing called “Hemihypertrophy.” This condition is very rare, and can occur either by itself or in conjunction with various other problems—including a certain kind of tumour. It turned out the person with Hemihypertrophy seemed to have it in isolation with no additional problems, but (of course), the parents were anxious about the possibility of their child developing a tumour.

You really need to take advice from the person who made the diagnosis in this situation, or feel free to get a second opinion on the matter. In particular, we feel that it is never appropriate or, in many cases, even possible, to make a diagnosis over the internet. You really need to see an appropriately-qualified real person to discuss your case.

The bottom line is this: the internet can provide you with a lot of information: some of it may be true; some may be false; some may be presented out of context; or not relevant at all, in your case.

If you still have queries after reading all this, then please feel free to contact us directly, at [email protected].

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