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What Does a Podiatrist Do?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

Wondering Why You Should See a Podiatrist? Here’s What We Can Do for You.

Contrary to common belief Podiatrists do not all have a foot fetish! We spend our working days assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing foot and ankle disorders. To become a Podiatrist, you must complete a minimum of 4 years at University. The course is a dedicated and focused study of the foot and ankle, and covers general human anatomy and medical science. A Podiatric Surgeon has further specialised over many years to become a foot and ankle surgeon.

What Does a Podiatrist Do

Our scope of practice varies greatly and covers all ages. Below are some examples of the scope of Podiatry and Podiatric surgery care…

  • Toenails: A Podiatrist can perform toenail care, this can include toenail cutting and thinning, treatment of ingrown toenails conservatively and/or surgically, anti-fungal nail treatment and advice.

  • Skin: You may need treatment of calluses and corns, advice on creams and lotions, review of skin lesions or anti-fungal advice, a Podiatrist can cover all of this.

  • Aches and Pains: Do you have an ache or pain in your foot or ankle? Don’t let it stop you from walking and exercising! A Podiatrist can do a thorough assessment and review, refer for any required investigations and tests, perform localised therapy (eg. strapping, US therapy, mobilisation or acupuncture), and provide a full treatment plan for you.

  • Footwear: Many shoes available may not be providing adequate support. A Podiatrist can review your existing footwear and provide advice on the features you would benefit from in your shoes, whether it’s for walking, work, home, running or gym!

  • Orthotics: Many people benefit from custom orthotics. If they are required for you, a Podiatrist can perform a full assessment, scan your foot and write your custom orthotic prescription. The orthotics are fitted and fine-tuned as required so that they are perfect for all day comfort and relief of foot aches and pain.

  • Diabetes: It is important to assess the foot health of people with diabetes on a regular basis to prevent diabetes related lower-extremity complications. The assessment performed by a Podiatrist checks the circulation and nerves going to the feet. A Podiatrist can provide education to ensure ongoing care and foot health.

  • Toes: Our toes do not always stay where we would like them! Hammer and claw toes, bunions and arthritis can all cause pain in the toes! There are many conservative and surgical treatment options available which a Podiatrist or Podiatric Surgeon can discuss with you.

  • Lumps and Bumps: There are many different causes of painful and non-painful lumps and bumps found on the foot. They may be single or multiple, soft or firm, grow rapidly or not change in size. Depending on the Podiatrist’s diagnosis, they may be managed conservatively or referred for biopsy or surgical removal.

  • Podiatry Surgery: A Podiatric surgeon can perform a comprehensive assessment and discuss surgical treatment options for your foot and ankle. Common procedures include correction of bunions, claw toes and hammer toes, correction of arthritic joints, removal of lesions, permanent correction of ingrown toenails and removal of painful nerves (eg. Morton’s neuroma).

As you can see the scope of practice varies greatly! Don’t hesitate to see a Podiatrist or Podiatric Surgeon; you don’t need to put up with difficult or painful feet. We happily see people regularly for ongoing care and maintenance, or as required to ensure foot health.

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