A podiatrist is a medical doctor known as Doctor of Podiatric Medicine or DPM who has completed medical school and training specific to podiatry as well as completing a two-year residency. Podiatrists must receive training in bio-mechanics, radiography, sports medicine, pharmacology, dermatology, orthopedics, and surgery in an effort to better understand feet. Podiatrists do not obtain an M.D. or D.O. degree, but rather a D.P.M., which permits them to practice both general medicine and specialized foot care. Podiatrists may elect a specialty in primary care, podiatry surgery, or orthopedics.
Podiatrists; Foot & Ankle Specialists
Podiatrists are the foremost authority and are the leading experts on the human foot and ankle, which consist of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 ligaments and tendons. The nerves, blood vessels, soft tissue, and muscles that link these structures are the support system for most every upright movement – from running, jumping, bicycling, and playing tennis, to walking and standing still.
Foot & Ankle Disorders
Podiatrists commonly treat patients with foot pain, plantar fasciitis, blisters, heel spurs, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, warts, corns, calluses and peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes. It is important for patients who experience peripheral neuropathy to see a podiatrist regularly for checkups due to the lack of sensation often experienced with this affliction. Any foot injury or infection can be a serious ailment for a person who has diabetes, leading to a skin or bone infection, amputation, and even death.
Signs of Foot & Ankle Pain & Problems
A podiatrist is in the position treat any of the following conditions or symptoms listed below.
– Discoloration of the feet: Redness may be a sign of gout, blue or purple pigmentation may indicate a vein issue, and whiteness can be evidence of decreased blood flow.
– Pain that increases with activity: Folks that have been inflicted with stress fractures will notice that the pain continues to worsen with weight. Early treatment of a stress fracture will help the foot to heal more quickly and avoid unneeded pain down the road.
– Abnormally different looking feet: Broken bones, tendon rupture, tendonitis, or infection are often the culprit and need to be treated as soon as possible.
– Both feet are experiencing swelling: This may indicate lymph edema.
– Foot numbness, tingling and burning: These symptoms are commonly the signs of neuropathy. Neuropathy is a symptom of diabetes and needs to be diligently monitored.
– Severe foot pain: Severe pain can be caused the result of an infection, broken bones, deep vein thrombosis, or compartment syndrome. In any case it will need podiatry attention.
– Am altered mole: A mole that changes has an irregular shape, or bleeds should be examined for melanoma as soon as possible.
– Flattened arch: A flattened arch could be an indication of a tendon dysfunction; this is where the bones of the foot are not in proper alignment.