Podiatry, also known as podiatric medicine, is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions affecting the feet and ankles. Podiatrists, also called Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), are medical professionals who specialize in podiatry and provide comprehensive care for a wide range of foot-related issues. These foot and ankle specialists should be a part of everyone’s healthcare team,because our feet play a fundamental role in our mobility and overall well-being.
In this article, we discuss some important details on podiatry and podiatrists, and answer some of the lingering questions you may have in your mind.
Education and Training
Podiatrists undergo extensive education and training to become qualified and licensed practitioners. After completing a bachelor’s degree, aspiring podiatrists must complete four years of podiatric medical school, where they learn subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology. Following medical school, podiatrists undertake a residency program, where they are provided hands-on training in clinical settings under the guidance of experienced podiatric physicians.
Scope of Practice
Podiatrists are qualified to diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions, ranging from common issues like corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails to more complex conditions such as fractures, sports injuries, and diabetic foot complications.
They are skilled in making thorough assessments of the foot through physical examinations and diagnostic testing and provide individualized treatments that may include prescribing medications, performing surgical procedures, and providing preventive care and patient education.
Common Conditions Treated
Whatever ails your feet, a podiatrist can help treat it. Podiatrists commonly treat the following common podiatric conditions:
- Foot and ankle pain, which could be due to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, sprains, and stress fractures.
- Skin and nail problems,like fungal infections, athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails, warts, blisters, and dermatitis.
- Diabetic foot care, which is specialized care for patients with diabetes. Podiatrists play a crucial role in managing foot complications related to diabetes by providing preventive care, conducting routine foot exams, and managing diabetic ulcers and other diabetic-foot-related complications.
- Sports injuries, which are commonly seen in athletes, such as sprains, strains, stress fractures, and Achilles tendon disorders.
- Structural abnormalities may be congenital or a result of environmental causes such as bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, and high arches.
- Arthritis, which affects the cartilage and joints in the feet, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Podiatrists emphasize the importance of preventive foot care to maintain optimal foot health. They can offer advice on proper footwear selection, foot hygiene, injury prevention, and exercises to improve foot strength and flexibility. Regular check-ups with a podiatrist can help identify and address potential issues before they become more severe.
Collaboration with Other Specialists
Podiatrists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals, including orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, pediatrics, and endocrinologists, depending on the specific needs of the patient. This collaborative approach ensures comprehensive care and facilitates a multidisciplinary treatment plan when necessary.
Importance of Foot Health
Maintaining good foot health is vital for overall well-being and quality of life. Healthy feet support mobility, enable an active lifestyle, and can help prevent secondary complications that may arise from untreated foot conditions. Regular visits to a podiatrist can help detect and manage foot problems, improving overall foot health and minimizing the risk of long-term complications.
Top Podiatrist in Naples, FL
If you are searching for a highly trained podiatric surgeon, choose Dr. Cody Togher at The Joint Replacement Institute. Dr. Togher is board-certified and fellowship-trained, ensuring you are treated by only a highly qualified Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Dr. Togher will examine the issue and get you started on treatment. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (239) 261-2663, or use our online form.