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What is a Podiatrist?

Updated: Jan 26

In this section Cypress Foot and Ankle specialist Dr. Christopher Correa answers the question "what a podiatrist" and what conditions podiatrists are capable of diagnosing and treating. A podiatrist is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. Common foot and ankle problems treated by podiatrist are arthritis, bunions, heel pain, spurs, hammer toes, nerve entrapment, posterior heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, corns and calluses. Most podiatrist also treat sprains, fractures, ankle instability, infections, and injuries of the foot, hind foot and ankle. Education requirements for a podiatrist are 4 years of undergraduate, 4 year of medical school training with many podiatrists completing post graduate training in the form of a surgical residency. Podiatrists are required to take state and national exams, as well as be licensed by the state in which they practice and make seek board certification once in practice.

What is a podiatrist foot model

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, there are an estimated 18,000 practicing podiatrists in the United States as of 2020. With the aging population rapidly increasing the demand for podiatrists continues to grow year over year. Typically, podiatrists:

  • Consult with patients and other physicians on how to prevent foot problems.

  • Diagnose and treat tumors, ulcers, fractures, skin and nail diseases, and deformities.

  • Provided preventative foot care for at risk populations such as those with Diabetes, poor blood flow or nerve damage. When necessary, podiatrist may also perform limb salvage procedures to preserve foot and ankle function.

  • Perform surgeries to correct or remedy such problems as bunions, Achilles pain and ruptures, hammer toes, foot and ankle fractures, infections, and disorders of all foot and ankle ligaments and tendons.

  • Prescribe therapies and perform diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound and lab tests, X-rays and MRI.

  • Prescribe and fit patients orthotics and custom braces and shoes

  • Treat any common foot or ankle ailment

When to call a Podiatrist:

  • People contact podiatry offices the help diagnose and treat an expansive variety of foot and ankle problem. Please contact our office if you feel that any of the following conditions apply to you.

  • Persistent ingrown toenails

  • Pain that is not alleviated by ice or over-the-counter pain killers (such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

  • Changes in the color or texture of the nails or skin on your foot.

  • Severe cracking, scaling, or peeling on the heel or foot.

  • Foot or ankle symptoms that do not improve after two weeks of treatment with a nonprescription product.

  • Blistering, itching, and/or burning on your feet.

  • People who suspect they have a bacterial infection in their foot or ankle, especially patients with diabetes.

Possible signs of bacterial infection:

  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.

  • Red streaks extending from the affected area.

  • Discharge or pus from an area on the foot.

  • Spreading of an infection from one area of the foot to another, such as under the nail bed, skin under the nail, the nail itself, or the surrounding skin.

  • Thickening toenails that cause discomfort.

  • Heel pain accompanied by a fever, redness (sometimes warmth), or numbness.

  • Tingling in the heel; persistent heel pain without putting any weight or pressure on your heel.

  • Diabetics who notice any acute changes in their feet.

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