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Podiatrist Services

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This page discusses the services offered by a podiatrist, the medical practitioner specially-trained in the field of feet.

The podiatrist, a.k.a. Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.), is a medical practitioner specially-trained in the field of feet. Their duties generally include the evaluation, diagnosis, healing and preventive care of patients’ foot conditions using specialized equipment, surgery or other methods of treatment. Many supplemental health insurance companies allow some coverage for podiatrist services.

Various types of health care providers including family physicians often turn their patients over to podiatrists for a more in-depth examination and subsequent treatment of their patients’ feet problems. These professionals are trained to identify not only the prominent issues connected with the feet, but also certain physical illnesses that can originate as the base, such as psoriasis, gout and different forms of arthritis. Individuals can book an appointment with the “foot doctor” without a physician’s referral.

Treatment for all Walks of Life
PodiatristMedical issues related to the feet can affect people of all ages (from youngsters to seniors) who are involved in all sorts of jobs, sports or other activities.

Regular foot checkups play a fundamental role in a child’s growth and well being. Oftentimes, children experience a disproportion or unevenness in their feet that, without early diagnosis, can cause complications within their skeletal structure later on in life. Early detection of such defects (commonly associated with bone shape during development) and early treatment of the condition usually provides the child with a stronger and better balanced physical frame.

At the other end of the spectrum, routine care administered to seniors for foot ailments related to the aging process, can provide substantial pain relief and comfort. In common cases, podiatrists are called upon to treat unruly or ingrown toenails, callus growth, skin infections and diabetic ulcerations. During this late stage of life, other issues may also arise that affect the feet: blood circulation generally weakens and body joints deteriorate. Regular foot care can grant seniors relatively pain-free mobility.

Foot Conditions Treated by Podiatrists
Standard podiatry care includes (but is not restricted to):

  • dermatitis treatment
  • skin infection treatment
  • athlete’s foot treatment
  • corn and callus removal
  • wart removal
  • ingrown toenail repair

In the area of orthopedic biomechanics, podiatry services may include (but are not restricted to):

  • relief from bone arch pain
  • relief from heel and/or muscle pain
  • tendonitis treatment
  • bursitis treatment
  • fractured bone repair
  • treatment for imbalanced feet

Podiatric surgical procedures may include (but are not restricted to):

  • ingrown toenail removal
  • bone correction for hammer toes
  • bunion, bone spur, tumor and cyst removal
  • bone correction for expanded joints

Measures and Tools of the Trade
Podiatrists use X-ray films as well as other diagnostic tools to help confirm the source of the patient’s affliction. Outpatient operations can involve either conventional surgery procedures or the creation of small, localized incisions. Finely-tuned laser and endoscopic equipment may also be employed for the process.

Podiatrists will sometimes prescribe customized orthotic devices or corrective shoes to patients particularly affected by a biomechanical imbalance or deformity in their feet. Therapeutic practices like paraffin wax baths, ultrasound heat waves, and footwear cushions may be further implemented by the good foot doctor.

Statistically Speaking
Studies show that the average person will walk roughly 184,000 kilometres during his or her lifetime (a distance that can be somewhat compared to circling the earth 4 times). Furthermore, a whopping 80 percent of the population will suffer from a foot-related problem or disease at one point or another during their existence. Thus, the importance of seeking out a certified podiatrist as soon as the warning signs begin to surface should be noted.