Podiatry is the area Allied Health dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and management of medical conditions and injuries of the foot, ankle and lower limb.
What is a podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a highly trained specialist health professional who deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs.
The conditions podiatrists treat include those resulting from bone and joint disorders such as arthritis and soft-tissue and muscular pathologies as well as neurological and circulatory diseases.
Podiatrists are also able to diagnose and treat any complications of the above which affect the lower limb, including skin and nail disorders, corns, calluses and ingrown toenails. Foot injuries and infections gained through sport or other activities are also diagnosed and treated by podiatrists.
Some areas in which podiatrists may develop a special interest include:
- Sports medicine
The skills of a podiatrist
Podiatrists diagnose and treat both common and more rare skin and nail pathologies of the feet. Podiatrists play an important role in maintaining the mobility of many elderly and disabled people, and others. This achieved through the ongoing monitoring of foot health, in particular of those with circulation problems and diabetes.
Podiatrists are recognised as important members of the health care team in preventing and managing lower limb complications for those living with diabetes.
A basic area of foot care undertaken by podiatrists is the treatment of various acute and chronic nail conditions, the treatment.
Podiatrists have specific instrumentation for painless and effective treatment of these conditions. For example, the surgical correction of chronically ingrown tow nails under local anaesthesia is a common podiatric procedure.
Treatment and prevention of corns, calluses and warts are also common podiatric procedures.