Podiatrists specialize in treating conditions related to the feet and lower legs. This includes conditions like diabetes and injuries. A podiatrist might also be called a podiatrist or a podiatric physician.
Physicians who specialize in podiatry do not attend traditional medical schools. There are also professional associations for them. A podiatric doctor's name is not followed by an "MD" (medical doctor's name). Instead, they are followed by "DPM" (doctor of podiatric medicine).
In addition to performing ankle surgery, podiatrists can prescribe drugs, order X-rays, and reset broken bones. When a foot or lower leg problem occurs, they frequently work with other specialists. States regulate and license podiatrists in the United States.
To prepare for podiatry school, students take biology, chemistry, and physics as well as other science courses in college. Bachelor of Science degrees are most common in biology.
In podiatry school, they spend four years studying. It involves studying how bone, nerve, and muscle work together to help you move. Foot illnesses and injuries are also studied. This includes diagnosing, treating, and repairing the feet if they need to be done surgically.
Upon graduating from podiatry school, students work in a hospital for three years. Residents put their new knowledge to good use during their residency program. Doctors in other fields, such as surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, and infectious disease specialists, also work with them.
In addition to their residency, advanced certifications in foot and ankle surgery are available after the residency program.
In addition to diagnosing and treating foot problems related to age, podiatrists also treat:
Broken bones and sprained ankles. Injuries to the foot and ankle are regularly treated by podiatrists. Furthermore, they provide foot care for athletes, treating foot problems that athletes have and offering advice on how they can avoid them.
Bunions and hammertoes
Problems with the nails
Footwork is hard work. The average person walks 75,000 miles on these shoes by the time they reach 50. To move effectively, your feet are complex structures with several bones, tendons, and ligaments.
If you have the following symptoms, see a podiatrist:
Growths like warts
Scaling on peeling on your soles
Thick or discolored toenails
You will experience a similar experience at your first appointment with a podiatrist. If you've had surgery or are currently taking medications, they'll ask about your medical history.
Your standing and walking, joint range of motion, and shoe fit will be examined. If you have diabetes, or if you have bunions or ingrown toenails, the first visit is often for treating those problems, as well as treating circulation problems and foot deformities.
You may be prescribed orthotics, padding, or physical therapy by a podiatrist. In some cases, they can treat your condition right in the office. Ingrown toenails can be removed using tools such as nail splitters or anvils rather than syringes. Toenail spurs can be removed with a scalpel. Corns and calluses can also be removed with a scalpel. The use of liquid nitrogen by doctors to freeze off plantar warts is common.