Podiatry is a branch of medicine that’s dedicated to the care of the feet, ankles and related leg problems, and our podiatric specialists can treat conditions ranging from an ingrown toenail to sports injuries and chronic foot conditions in children and adults of all ages.
The feet are among the hardest working parts of the human body. They absorb the impact of thousands of steps, support balance and stability, and can provide important clues about health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and circulation problems. Keeping feet healthy and pain free is an important part of taking care of your health, and podiatrists can help.
What Do Podiatrists Do?
Podiatry is a specialized branch of medicine that focuses specifically on treating conditions related to the feet, and that can also include the ankle and in some cases the leg, when those problems are connected to a problem involving the feet.
Podiatry medicine takes many forms. Podiatric physicians diagnose and treat the full range of podiatric disorders, with specialties including pediatric podiatry, which focuses on foot health for children, and geriatric podiatry, for foot issues in an aging population. Other podiatrists might specialize in areas such as diabetic foot care or sports medicine. Podiatry surgeons perform various foot related surgical procedures such as repairing fractures or correcting conditions like bunions and bone spurs.
What Are Podiatry Services?
Because podiatric medicine is focused exclusively on the care of the foot, ankle and related leg issues, podiatrists diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions with multiple approaches tailored to each patient’s individual circumstances. These can include:
- General foot care. Keeping feet healthy involves treating a wide range of common foot conditions such as athlete’s foot and other fungal conditions, corns, calluses and bunions, and even foot odor.
- Arthritis care. Arthritis can strike the foot and ankle, causing joint pain and swelling which can be addressed with treatments including medication and physical therapy.
- Diabetic care. People with diabetes are at special risk for foot problems due to issues such as poor circulation and impaired immune responses, so ongoing foot care is an important part of managing this disease.
- Care for sports injuries. The feet and legs are at risk during many sports, and podiatrists treat injuries such as stress fractures, ankle sprains, and tendinitis with approaches ranging from medication to physical therapy and surgery.
- Foot surgery. Podiatric surgeons can perform surgery to treat conditions ranging from hammertoes and congenital foot deformities to removing corns and calluses, and stabilizing fractures.
- Pediatric podiatry for children’s foot care. Children’s feet need special attention to correct problems that can affect walking and balance such as flat feet, inward turning, or “pigeon toe” feet, and other conditions.
- Geriatric foot care. With age, foot conditions like arthritis and gout can develop, and people become more vulnerable to fractures and sprains. Geriatric foot care focuses on the foot issues facing older individuals, with specialties such as diabetic or nursing home foot care.
Diagnostic and Treatment Options For Every Situation
Podiatrists use a variety of diagnostic tools and treatment options to deliver the best foot care to each individual. Foot scans using X-rays, ultrasound and other imaging technologies allow doctors to easily diagnose a wide range of foot problems, which can be addressed with treatment options including pharmaceuticals, physical therapy, custom orthotics (devices worn inside the shoe), and surgical techniques including laser surgery when appropriate.
The feet are the cornerstone of mobility, independence and overall quality of life, and podiatric medicine is a specialized field dedicated to their comprehensive care. At Yaffe Ruden & Associates, our podiatric specialists are there to give your feet the care they need for a lifetime of movement and general good health.