Podiatry is the field of medicine specializing in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and associated structures of the leg. Podiatrists attend podiatric medical school then complete three years of hospital residency training to obtain a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) degree. Within their field, podiatrists can focus on surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care.
Did You Know?
Approximately 75% of Americans will experience a problem with their feet at some point during their lifetime and women are four times more likely to experience foot problems due to wearing high heels.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need to see a podiatrist?
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or redness in your feet or ankle, you may need to see a podiatrist. You may also need to see a podiatrist if you notice your normal foot shape becoming deformed or if you experience a loss of sensation. Furthermore, if you have diabetes you will want to see a podiatrist to prevent and manage certain foot conditions that can affect diabetic patients.
What can I expect when seeing a podiatrist?
When visiting a podiatrist, you can expect to discuss your symptoms, medical history, and current medications. Your podiatrist will also perform a physical exam that may consist of testing your range of motion and mobility. Most likely x-rays will also be taken to evaluate the underlying bone structure. Finally, your podiatrist will discuss their findings and their suggested treatment plan.
Will I need to follow any special guidelines after seeing a podiatrist?
Depending on your particular treatment plan, you may need to follow special instructions after your appointment. Most foot and ankle conditions can require footwear modifications, the use of orthotics for support, temporary immobilization, ice therapy, physical therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medication.