When you consider foot care, you might not immediately think about podiatrists. But family foot care is a specialty that requires specialized attention. It’s not something that a general practitioner should be treating. Even if the patient comes to an orthopedic surgeon for foot pain, the physician is merely a part of the whole team who takes care of the entire leg. Here are some things that a podiatrist does when he or she treats foot pain:
Diagnose and treat foot conditions that are caused by fractures, deformities, or nerve damage. One of the most common conditions treated by family foot care doctors calluses. Calluses on the hands and feet occur because of a number of different reasons, from accidents to the natural wear and tear of the body. These calluses can be painful, and some even require surgery. Podiatrists and osteopaths know how to identify problems that may lead to calluses and how to relieve the pain. They also have the tools and expertise to determine what treatment is best for each patient.
Treat athletic injuries. If you’ve ever injured your foot while playing sports, you’re probably in need of a good foot doctor. If the injury isn’t severe, a podiatrist or an athletic trainer might be able to help you with your ankle pain. An ankle brace, splint, or boot will usually ease the pain, and the doctor can recommend custom orthotics or even a complete foot orthosis to help you return to full fitness.
Treat diabetic foot care. Podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons perform more diabetic foot care than any other pediatric specialist. Because diabetes makes the nerves in the feet and legs more sensitive to pain, diabetic foot pain can be debilitating. Many types of foot surgery are available for those in danger of diabetic retinopathy. A podiatrist has the tools to diagnose the condition and offer treatment that can minimize its effects.
Treat traumatic foot injury. A badly damaged foot might mean a trip to a foot surgery specialist, or it could mean a trip to a podiatrist. A traumatic foot injury means that the tissue around the foot has been severely damaged, requiring stitches and intense wound care to heal.
These podiatrist/foot doctors provide specialized care for the entire family. They are skilled at diagnosing conditions, developing treatments, and making patients feel confident about taking care of themselves. With their skill and knowledge, they can make the entire experience a pleasant one for everyone involved, right from the patient to the next member of the family.