A podiatrist is a physician specializing in podiatric medicine (DPM) who treats the foot, lower leg and related structures of the leg.
The feet are unpredictable anatomical structures, transverse stabilizers, protectors and driving forces that are fundamental to overall health and well-being. They need a podiatry clinic for their specialized care. Make sure you are seeing the most qualified health care professional to treat your feet by looking for the letters “DPM” after their name. The DPM title means that the doctor has completed years of rigorous training on feet and ankles through graduate school of podiatry and hospital residency, making him or her uniquely qualified to care for this part of the body.
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
The Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) could be a 4-year specialized medical course of study. However, the first two years of study are the same as for the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) programs. Third and fourth year students opt for podiatry-specific courses that consider lower extremity biomechanics, lower extremity anatomy, and podiatric trauma. Clinical rotations in areas such as radiology and podiatric surgery are required. Some of the usual topics for these projects may include
Why a Podiatrist?
Here are some of the reasons why you may need to visit a podiatry clinic or podiatrist to treat foot conditions:
Nail infection – If your foot pain is caused by a general health problem, your general practitioner may also agree to treat it with medication. For example, you will need an antifungal medication to treat nail infection.
Joint inflammation and gout: These can cause pain in the feet and toes. Treatment is needed to help relieve the symptoms of gout and arthritis. Your general practitioner or podiatrist can treat these conditions.
Flat feet: you will need to wear orthotics, such as a brace or corset for flat feet and weak or injured foot ligaments. A podiatrist will take casts of your feet to create custom orthotics for you.
Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves in your feet and to different areas. This can lead to death, agony and ulcers in the feet and legs. If you have foot problems due to diabetes, you will need to see a podiatrist and other doctors. These include your family doctor, your avascular (blood vessel) surgeon and your neurologist (nerve specialist).
Ankle and knee problems: You will need to see a podiatrist, an orthopedic surgeon and a doctor to treat the reason for an ankle or knee problem. You will also need a long-term physical therapist to strengthen the joints and muscles in your knee, ankle and foot.
Diabetic foot control
The podiatrist at the podiatry clinic screens diabetic patients for high risk of developing foot problems, regularly checking foot health for ulcers, blood flow and areas of high pressure, and nail care.
- Performing Surgeries
A podiatrist performs minor surgical procedures using local aesthetics to correct minor foot injuries. In addition, he or she offers prescription aids designed to help resolve structural imbalances affecting the legs, ankles and therefore the feet.
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