Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Podiatrist?

A Podiatrist is the foremost authority and medical specialist of one of the most intricate and complex anatomical structures ever designed — the human foot and ankle.

A podiatrist is the only medical specialist educated, trained, licensed, and certified for exclusive treatment of the foot and ankle. In order to receive the degree of doctor of podiatric medicine, podiatrists must successfully undergo a lengthy, rigorous course of education, training and testing in such diverse areas as biomechanics, orthopedics, radiography, pharmacology, sports medicine, dermatology and surgery.

Although wondrous in design and function, the human foot can also be struck by numerous ailments, some of which are life-threatening. Additionally, many disorders first manifest themselves in the foot. Podiatrists are often the first healthcare professionals to diagnose these disorders.

Podiatrists also play a critical role in the care, treatment and management of the diabetic, elderly and circulation-impaired. The diagnosis, intervention and treatment by podiatrists may save patients from amputation, restore mobility or prevent other serious, more costly problems, by early detection and appropriate treatment.

 

What is a Foot and Ankle Surgeon? 

Foot and ankle surgeons are first and foremost Podiatrists. More importantly, they are the surgical specialists of the podiatric profession. Foot and ankle surgeons treat a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions:
• Structural conditions
• Trauma-related injuries
• Skin and nail conditions
• Congenital deformities

 

When Should You See a Podiatrist?

• You have persistent pain in your feet or ankles.
• You have noticeable change to your nails or skin.
• Your feet are severely cracking, scaling, or peeling.
• There are blisters on your feet.
• There are signs of bacterial infection, including:
• Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
• Red streaks extending from the affected area.
• Discharge of pus.
• Fever of 100°F(37.78°C) or higher with no other cause.
• Symptoms that do not improve after two weeks of treatment with a non-prescription product.

• Spreading of the infection to other areas, such as the nail bed, or skin under the nail, the nail itself, or the surrounding skin.
• Your toenail is getting thicker and causing you discomfort.
• You have heel pain accompanied by a fever, redness (sometimes warmth) or numbness or tingling in your heel, or persistent pain without putting any weight or pressure on your heel, or the pain is not alleviated by ice, aspirin, (or ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
• You have diabetes or certain diseases associated with poor circulation and you develop athlete`s foot. People with diabetes are at increased risk for a severe bacterial infection of  the foot and leg if they have athlete’s foot.

 

Are foot problems widespread?

Seventy-five percent of Americans will experience foot health problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another in their lives.

 

Do more women have foot problems then men?

Women have about four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels often are the culprit.

 

How much pressure goes into your foot while you are walking?

There are times when you’re walking that the pressure on your feet exceeds your body weight, and when you’re running, it can be three or four times your weight.

 

Are Fallen Arches a Real Foot Problem?

Are “fallen arches” an actual foot disorder, or just a catch phrase used to describe chronically sore feet?

Fallen arches or flat feet are a legitimate medical condition that affects about 5 percent of the US population. Flat feet can be present at birth, or develop over decades of walking, running and overall time spent on the feet, especially on hard surfaces in the workplace.

There are several types of flat foot conditions that occur in adults. The most common type is adult-acquired flat foot, which is caused by overstretching a tendon that supports the arch. This leads to a partial or complete collapse of the arch and produces the flattened appearance on the bottom of the foot. Another common type is flexible flatfoot in which the foot is flat when standing and returns to a normal arch in non-weight-bearing positions.


As the condition worsens, pain and tenderness in the arch become more severe and some patients may not be able to rise up on their toes at all or without pain.