A foot doctor examines a patient’s foot.As part of her extensive surgical background and expertise, Dr. Anna DeSaix offers EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region patients precision diagnosis and treatment for ankle and foot conditions. Whenever a patient suffers from injuries and conditions related to the foot and ankle, Dr. DeSaix always prefers to treat them using noninvasive techniques. However, if the diagnosis is severe or the patient does not respond well to nonsurgical procedures, Dr. DeSaix resorts to orthopedic surgical options to restore the patient’s mobility and eliminate their pain.

What Is a Foot Doctor or Podiatric Doctor (DPM)?

A foot doctor, also known as a podiatric doctor or DPM, specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the feet and ankles. These practitioners possess extensive knowledge and expertise in the feet and lower limbs’ structures, muscles, and ligaments. They are trained to provide various medical and surgical treatments to address different conditions. Foot doctors may work in multiple settings, including hospitals, private practices, and podiatry clinics. They often work closely with other medical professionals to provide comprehensive patient care.

Diagnoses and Treatments Offered by Foot Doctors

When you visit a foot doctor, they will thoroughly examine your feet and ankles to diagnose any conditions or issues you may be experiencing. This may include a visual inspection and imaging studies such as X-rays or MRI scans. Once a diagnosis has been made, your foot doctor will recommend a course of treatment to address your individual needs.

Some of the most common treatments offered by foot doctors may include:

  • Custom Orthotics: These custom-made shoe inserts can help improve foot and ankle function, alleviate pain, and prevent future issues.
  • Medications: Foot doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, or antibiotics to treat conditions affecting the feet and ankles.
  • Physical Therapy: This can help improve mobility, strength, and flexibility in the feet and ankles, often reducing the risk of future injuries or conditions.
  • Surgery: In some cases, foot doctors may recommend surgery to address severe or chronic foot and ankle conditions, such as bunions or plantar fasciitis.

The specific treatment plan your foot doctor recommends will depend on your individual needs and the condition or issue being treated.

Common Conditions Treated by Foot Doctors

Due to the complex anatomy of the foot and ankle, a wide range of conditions may require a foot doctor‘s expertise. Some of the most common foot and ankle conditions treated by foot doctors include but are not limited to:

  • Bunions: A bunion is a big-toe joint deformity that can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. Bunionectomy surgery is a bunion surgery used for bunion removal.
  • Hammer Toes: A hammer toe deformity is a condition in which the toe is curled or bent in a way that causes pain and discomfort, often resulting from wearing tight shoes. Treatment for hammer toes includes hammer toe correction.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: This condition is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It can cause pain and tenderness in the heel, especially in the morning. Plantar fasciitis surgery is a common treatment for this condition.
  • Ingrown Toenails: This can occur when the edge of the toenail grows into the surrounding skin, causing pain, redness, and swelling.
  • Bone Spurs: A bone spur is a bony outgrowth on the edge of a bone commonly found in the joints.

In addition to these conditions, foot doctors may diagnose and treat other issues, such as ankle sprains, fractures, and nerve or circulation issues. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain or discomfort, it is essential to seek the advice and treatment of a qualified foot doctor.

Preventative Measures and Patient Education

Foot doctors emphasize the importance of preventative measures and patient education to ensure their patients’ long-term health and wellness. By following some simple guidelines and tips, patients can help minimize the risk of developing foot and ankle problems in the future.

Some preventative measures recommended by podiatry doctors may include:

  • Choosing suitable footwear: Wearing shoes that fit properly, provide adequate support, and offer good shock absorption can help reduce the risk of conditions. Avoid wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight and opt for comfortable footwear that is appropriate for the activity you are engaging in.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight can put added stress on the feet and ankles, increasing the risk of conditions like flat feet or stress fractures.
  • Stretching and exercising regularly: Stretching and foot and ankle strengthening exercises can help improve flexibility and mobility, reduce the risk of injury, and promote overall foot and ankle health. Speak with your foot doctor or a physical therapist for guidance on the best exercises for your needs.
  • Practicing good foot hygiene: Keeping the feet clean and dry, and wearing breathable socks and shoes, can help prevent fungal infections like athlete’s foot or toenail fungus. Regularly trimming toenails straight across can also help prevent ingrown toenails.

By taking a proactive approach to foot and ankle health, and following the guidance of a skilled foot doctor, patients can help maintain healthy and pain-free feet for years to come.

Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, Dr. DeSaix and our other expert ankle and foot doctors can provide extensive care to help you combat your discomfort. To learn more about the type of conditions treated, request a consultation with Dr. DeSaix or any of our expert foot doctors, or call us at 984.279.3655.