What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a medical professional who specializes in treating the foot, ankle, and parts of the legs. Podiatrists can diagnose disease, injuries, and problems, run tests, perform surgery, and come up with other treatments to help patients deal with foot and back problems. They also can treat patients of all ages.
How does a doctor become a Podiatrist?
To become a podiatrist, a doctor must graduate from an undergraduate program and then attend four more years of medical school. After medical school, they must attend a podiatric medical school and then spend three years in a residency, where they will practice podiatry under the guidance of an experienced podiatrist. Podiatrists may also extend their education to specialty podiatric areas, such as surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Many podiatrists also choose to get certified. The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Medicine are the certifying boards.
What type of illnesses do Podiatrists treat?
Podiatrists treat a variety of illnesses and diseases that affect the feet, ankles, legs, and back. They can treat injuries, deformities, and other problems. Some of the most common illnesses and problems that they treat include:
- Aching feet
- Aching legs
- Ankle pain
- Arch pain
- Athletes foot
- Claw toes
- Cracked heels
- Fungal nails
- Growing pains
- Hip pain
- Ingrown toenails
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Posterior tibial tendinitis
- Postural instability
- Running injuries
- Shin splints
- Sports injuries
What are the diagnostic tests and procedures ordered by a Podiatrist?
Because podiatrists treat so many different problems and diseases, they use a variety of different tests and procedures to diagnose their patients. Some podiatrists conduct the tests themselves, and others will order the test from other departments in a hospital or clinic. Some common diagnostic tests include:
- X-rays: X-rays allow the podiatrist to see if there are any broken bones or fractures.
- Blood Tests: Blood tests can rule out any infections or other issues that could be causing a patient’s symptom.
- Gait Tests: The podiatrist will ask the patient to walk and observe the gait to determine the cause of the problem.
- MRIs: MRIs allow podiatrists to see the internal structures of the legs, ankles, and feet and can help them diagnose disorders and injuries.
What are the different types of Podiatrists?
There are distinct types of podiatrists, and each type specializes in a different type of care. Most podiatrists can treat many types of injuries and problems, but some are trained to handle certain things better than others. Some of the doctors which might practice prodiatry include:
How do Podiatrists treat health problems?
Podiatrist treat a variety of problems, and most problems have specific treatments. Some of the most common treatments performed by a podiatrist include:
- Hammertoe arthroplasty
- Wound management
- Cyst removal
- Ingrown toenail removal
- Recommending proper footwear
- Fungus removal
When to see a Podiatrist?
Most people assume that foot pain is normal, and some don’t realize that podiatric issues can cause their back pain or gait problems. Many people are referred to podiatrists by their primary care doctors. Some reasons to see a podiatrist include:
- Swelling of the feet or ankles
- Diabetes complications
- Injuries to the feet or ankles
- Yellow, brittle nails
- Ingrown nails
- Plantar warts
- Chronic foot pain
- Lower back pain
- Change in gait
- Trouble walking
- Heel pain
American Podiatric Medical Association.