You may have heard of podiatry and know that it relates to the foot, but are you aware of the many conditions that a podiatrist can treat? Michael Cannon, MD, clarifies what exactly a podiatrist does and the problems they specialize in treating.
What is a podiatrist?
Podiatrists are physicians of podiatric medicine (MD) who specialize in conditions that affect the feet and ankles. The foot is a complicated structure with over a hundred tendons, ligaments, and muscles supported by 33 points and 26 bones that allow you to balance, stand, walk, climb, and run.
What are common foot and ankle conditions?
Bunions, corns, hammertoes, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, flat feet, fungal infections, and ingrown toenails are common conditions podiatrists can treat. Additionally, they can address diabetes-related foot complications, as well as foot or ankle fractures and tendon problems such as Achilles tendinitis. A podiatrist can also treat leg, hip, and lower back pain that may be related to or aggravated by foot problems that require special footwear.
How do podiatrists treat these conditions?
It depends on the training of the podiatrist how and what they can treat. They can often provide both surgical and non-surgical treatments for foot and ankle conditions. Common procedures include bunionectomies to remove bunions or hammertoe surgeries that may involve tendon redirection, joint resection, or fusion. For flat feet, high arches, or other similar conditions, one treatment option may be to create custom orthotic inserts that fit over shoes to relieve associated pain or discomfort.
Why should I see a podiatrist?
While a primary care provider will have a general understanding of foot and ankle conditions, podiatrist Baltimore MD specialize in these topics, meaning they can offer evaluation and treatment for your problem based on our extensive training in all related to the feet and ankles. When any condition causes undue discomfort while wearing regular shoes or walking, it may be worth consulting a podiatrist to find a treatment solution that works for you.