Our foot is among the most widely used parts of the body and therefore it is no surprise that we may all experience foot problems from time to time. In such situations, we need to consult with a podiatrist who can offer us medical solutions to our problems. A podiatrist, is a medical expert who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of different kinds of ankle and foot problems such as heel pain, bunions, spurs, hammertoes, corns, warts, neuromas, ingrown toenails and calluses. A professional podiatrist can also attend to different kinds of fractures, sprains, infections and major injuries to the foot, heel and ankle. Apart from completing undergraduate training from a medical school, a podiatrist also attends the graduate school in order to attain a degree in this discipline.
Generally, the role of podiatrists or foot doctors involves the following:
- Diagnosing and treating different types of fractures, ulcers, tumors, serious injuries as well as nail and skin disorders associated with the foot;
- Consulting with the patients about their problems and accordingly planning a treatment procedure;
- Discussing cases with various other physicians for coming up with effective treatment;
- Performing surgeries for correcting foot problems such as claw toes, calluses, bunions, hammertoes, infections, fractures, ruptured Achilles, bone disorders, corns, cysts, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and critical injuries to the ligaments and tendons;
- Performing diagnostic procedures like ultrasounds and lab tests and prescribing therapies;
- Prescribing or fitting patients with inserts known as orthotics that helps in correcting walking patterns
Benefits of consulting with foot doctors
Foot doctors are regularly consulted by sportsmen and women who are involved in high octane sporting activities such as football, rugby and cricket. The very nature of these field games makes the sportsmen and women vulnerable to different types of foot injuries. If left untreated or ignored, foot pains can become extremely disturbing and debilitating for a patient. Hence it is always advisable to consult a foot doctor at the early stages of a foot pain.
Even people who are not actively involved in any kind of sports may also experience different kinds of foot pains from time to time. This may occur due to a number of factors, such as wearing improper footwear, obesity, lack of exercises or too extensive exercising, moving the joints of the foot briskly after keeping them stationery for a long time, feet soles getting infected by bacteria or other reasons. In all such cases, a podiatrist can recommend the right course of action and make sure that the patient can get back to his or her normal life as quickly as possible.
Foot doctors or podiatrists are also supported by a team of efficient medical experts who help them in various steps associated with the diagnosis and treatment of foot problems. These may include diagnosticians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses. These medical experts make it easier for a foot doctor to detect foot problems and provide appropriate medical attention.