The Diagnostic Process: Getting The Right Diagnosis The First Time

The Diagnostic Process: Getting The Right Diagnosis The First Time

Getting the correct diagnosis is the first step in receiving the best podiatry healthcare. An accurate diagnosis helps you receive the best treatment and care available as quickly as possible.

At Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, board-certified podiatrist Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, uses his years of experience to diagnose even the most challenging foot and ankle symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about the diagnostic process and how it can help your treatment.

What is the diagnostic process?

The diagnostic process is a series of steps taken to determine what’s causing your symptoms. As a podiatry specialist, Dr. Rambacher diagnoses various foot and ankle issues, including pain and numbness, foot deformities, wounds, and calluses or masses.

The diagnostic process usually begins when you come to your first appointment. Beginning with this appointment, Dr. Rambacher takes a series of steps to diagnose your condition.

The importance of a correct diagnosis

Dr. Rambacher works to ensure you get the most accurate diagnosis for your symptoms the first time, as efficiently as possible. Having the right diagnosis leads to better-targeted treatment and outcomes.

If you receive the incorrect diagnosis, you can receive treatment that is harmful or doesn’t help your condition. Your actual issue might continue to get worse while you receive ineffective treatment.

Steps in the diagnostic process

Each diagnostic process is unique, and Dr. Rambacher follows the most appropriate process to ensure you get the correct diagnosis immediately. You can expect most diagnosis processes to include some of these steps.

A Conversation with you

As the patient, Dr. Rambacher usually begins by listening to your concerns and needs. This includes asking about your current symptoms and any past history you have with these issues.

Dr. Rambacher also asks about any related relevant information, such as if you have any family members with medical conditions. He also discusses your general medical history, including medications you take and if you have any other current diagnosis.

Medical history

Following up on what you report, Dr. Rambacher gets as thorough of a medical history as possible. This can include speaking to you further and sometimes requesting past medical records or charts.

Dr. Rambacher might also want to speak with any relevant past or present medical professionals involved in your care. He might also speak with any loved ones actively involved in assisting with your medical care.

Diagnostic testing

Based on the initial consultation, Dr. Rambacher considers any possible foot or ankle conditions you might have. He orders or performs tests to differentiate between similar conditions or confirm a diagnosis.

Initial diagnostics almost always involve a physical examination of your foot, ankle, and anywhere else as needed. In addition, Dr. Rambacher might order tests like:

In rare cases, exploratory surgical procedures can also help determine a diagnosis.

Starting treatment with a diagnosis

Once Dr. Rambacher is confident in a diagnosis, he lets you know the results and shares your diagnosis. Based on your diagnosis, he recommends a treatment plan customized to your medical condition and individual needs.


With the correct diagnosis, coming up with a treatment plan that works for your needs is easier, faster, and more effective. For an accurate foot and ankle diagnosis from an experienced podiatrist, contact us to schedule a consultation.

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