Did you know that the average person takes about 3,000-4,000 steps daily? With all that foot traffic, it is no wonder foot problems are so common. When these issues arise, it is important to seek help from a foot doctor, also known as a podiatrist (DPM). These medical professionals specialize in treating conditions and injuries that affect the feet and ankles and undergo extensive training to become experts in their field.

Common Conditions Treated by a Foot Doctor

Our feet literally carry us through life, so it is no surprise that they occasionally develop problems. Fortunately, a foot doctor, or a podiatrist, is a specially trained medical professional who can diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and toe issues, conditions, diseases, and injuries.

Some of the most common foot problems that individuals may face include:

  • Ingrown toenails
  • Blisters
  • Calluses
  • Bunions
  • Skin or nail diseases
  • Fractures
  • Wound care
  • Foot orthotics
  • Sports-related foot and ankle injuries
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hammer toes
  • Painful neuropathy
  • Neuromas

Additionally, conditions like diabetes can pose significant foot threats and require specialized care. A foot doctor can provide essential diabetic foot care to prevent complications like infections and ulcers.

The conditions a foot doctor treats go beyond the common foot problems that people face. If you have a foot or ankle issue causing you pain or affecting your daily activities, it is essential to seek medical care from a foot doctor.

Types of Treatments and Services Provided by Foot Doctors

Podiatric doctors undergo extensive training to diagnose and provide various treatments for several conditions. Depending on your condition and its severity will determine the best treatment option for you.

Treatment of Injured Ankles, Sprains, and Strains

Ankle injuries, sprains, and strains can be painful and limit mobility, but several treatment options are available. The first step in treating these conditions is accurately diagnosing the injury’s extent. This typically involves a physical examination and imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans.

Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment options may range from rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to physical therapy and surgery. For mild to moderate ankle sprains or strains, RICE is often effective.

Physical therapy may also help patients regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the affected ankle. A physical therapist may prescribe specific exercises, stretches, and other interventions to help patients recover and prevent future injuries.

Surgery for more severe ankle injuries, such as a torn ligament or fracture, may be required. An orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist doctor can perform the necessary procedure to repair the damaged tissue or bone. Post-surgery, patients typically undergo physical therapy to help restore function and mobility to the ankle.

Each patient’s injury is unique, so treatment plans should be tailored to the individual. Consulting with a podiatrist is recommended to develop an appropriate treatment plan for your injury.

Surgical Procedures for Foot and Ankle Conditions

Surgical procedures are often necessary for treating various foot and ankle conditions, especially those that cannot be addressed through noninvasive treatments or physical therapy.

One common surgical procedure is arthroscopy. This minimally invasive procedure involves making small incisions in the affected area and using a tiny camera to guide the surgeon as they perform repairs or remove damaged tissue. Arthroscopy often treats conditions like ankle and toe arthritis, ligament tears, and chronic ankle instability. The benefits of arthroscopy include less scarring, less pain, and decreased recovery time.

Another surgical option is fusion, which involves joining two or more bones in the foot or ankle together. This procedure is often recommended for patients with severe arthritis or deformities that result in instability or pain. While fusion eliminates the damaged joint and stops further degeneration, it can also limit mobility and increase the stress on surrounding joints. The recovery process for fusion surgery is often longer than arthroscopy, and patients may require crutches or a cast for several weeks.

Joint replacement surgery is also used to treat ankle and foot issues, particularly arthritis. This procedure involves removing the damaged portion of the joint and replacing it with a prosthetic joint made of plastic or metal. Joint replacement can alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and restore mobility in some cases. However, it may also involve some risks, including the possibility of infection or dislocation. Recovery from joint replacement surgery can be lengthy and may require physical therapy to restore strength and mobility.

Prevention Strategies To Keep Feet Healthy

Maintaining healthy feet is crucial for overall health and well-being. Here are some prevention strategies to keep your feet healthy:

Check Your Feet Daily

One of the most important prevention strategies is to check your feet daily for cuts, sores, or any changes to the skin or nails. Early detection of foot problems is essential for successful treatment.

Wash Your Feet Daily

Washing your feet daily with soap and warm water can help prevent infections and odors. Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes, as dampness can lead to fungal infections.

Wear Appropriate Footwear

Wearing shoes that fit well and offer adequate support is crucial for preventing foot problems. Too-tight shoes can cause blisters, corns, and calluses, while shoes without enough support can lead to arch or heel pain. It is also important to always wear socks with shoes to prevent injury or infection.

Trim Toenails Carefully

Trim your toenails straight across and avoid cutting them too short. Trimming them too short can cause ingrown toenails, which can be painful and lead to infection.

Avoid Removing Corns or Calluses on Your Own

Removing corns or calluses on your own may be tempting, but you should avoid this. Using sharp objects or harsh chemicals can lead to infection or even permanent damage to your skin.

Visit a Podiatrist

Regular visits to a podiatrist doctor can help prevent foot problems and catch any issues early. If you have nerve damage or other conditions affecting the feet, visiting a podiatrist for annual checkups is especially important.

Place Your Feet Up

Placing your feet when sitting can help increase blood flow and prevent swelling.

Keeping your feet healthy requires simple but consistent care and attention. These prevention strategies can help prevent foot problems and maintain healthy feet for years.

Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.

Taking care of our feet is crucial for overall health, and regular foot checkups by podiatrists are essential. If you have a foot or ankle condition, request an appointment with one of our expert foot care specialists or reserve your spot at one of our orthopedic urgent care facilities.

Medical Advice Disclaimer

This website does not provide medical advice. The information on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For questions regarding a medical condition or treatment, seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare providers. Never disregard professional medical advice because of something you read on this website. If you need medical advice or treatment, click here to schedule an appointment.

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