Most people experience problems with their feet at some point or another in their lives and thankfully, a podiatrist can help diagnose and treat any problems or conditions that arise. When thinking about visiting a podiatrist, it may be helpful to consider a few things so that you choose the right one. When problems or conditions…
Foot and Ankle Treatments Offered by a Podiatrist
A patient may seek care from a podiatrist when painful conditions of the feet or ankles cause difficulty with daily activities. Podiatry is a specialty of medicine that focuses on the feet and surrounding structures and how they interact with the rest of the body. These doctors use a number of resources to diagnose conditions and provide the proper treatment for the disorders.
Foot and ankle treatments
Disorders of the feet and ankle such as diabetic conditions, arthritis or deformities are each treated uniquely by a podiatrist based on the patient’s needs and severity of the issue. Skin disorders and injuries are also areas that can receive this personalized treatment.
Diabetic treatment options
Diabetes can cause many problems for the feet and ankles. Many diabetics suffer from peripheral neuropathy, which is a nerve disorder that often affects feeling in the feet and other extremities. This painful condition is often treated with medication therapy that seeks to relieve the “pins and needles” sensation this disorder causes.
Diabetics also have problems with impaired healing; a podiatrist can carry out debridement procedures to clean an infected area as well as provide preventive care to keep wounds from becoming a larger problem for the patient. The doctor may recommend special footwear or socks to help manage diabetic conditions.
Arthritis and deformity treatment options
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis and is often managed by anti-inflammatory drugs and palliative treatment. Deformities of the foot or ankle may exacerbate arthritis symptoms and need more extensive treatment such as surgery. In other cases, a podiatrist may attempt to treat and monitor a foot deformity with special shoes and braces.
Skin disorder treatment options
Skin and nail disorders of the foot are common. This may include ailments from ingrown toenails and fungal infections to skin cancers. Certain skin conditions such as psoriasis may appear in patches in the foot and ankle and need special care from a podiatrist. Skin cancers can be localized to the foot and ankle region; however, the doctor will likely order scans to see if the cancer is affecting any other parts of the body. The treatment for skin conditions depends on the specific disorder but can include removal of diseased skin or medicated creams and ointments to manage symptoms.
Sports injury treatment options
Injuries to the feet and ankles are common with almost every type of sport, and a podiatrist can help manage these conditions and prescribe the course of therapy needed for the patient to resume normal activities. Sports injuries may be treated by surgery, anti-inflammatory medications and/or physical therapy.
Podiatry is a unique branch of medicine that employs many treatment options and techniques to provide care for the feet and ankles, and a podiatrist can treat a wide range of conditions. With their specialized focus on this area of the body, these doctors can help patients understand what treatment is needed and why it is necessary.
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