Podiatric is the study of the foot and ankle. Podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat injuries, diseases, deformities, and disorders of the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Your Alamo Heights podiatrist treats conditions such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, bursitis, and other foot ailments. Podiatrists can help prevent injuries by treating existing conditions or recommending lifestyle changes.
Here are instances when you should look for a podiatric.
Conditions that podiatrists treat
Fractures and sprains
Fractures are broken bones caused by a fall, car accident, or other trauma. Fractures are either open (the break is visible) or closed (no break is visible). Closed fractures are the most common type of fracture and occur when the skin is torn instead of a chip or crack in the bone. Closed fractures require surgery to stabilize them and save your foot. Sprains are injuries where ligaments and tendons are damaged. They can range from mild strains to major tears requiring repair surgery.
Bunions and hammertoes
Bunions and hammertoes are common conditions caused by abnormal wear on the ball of the foot. The most common cause of bunions is excessive wear on the outer third of the foot, known as the metatarsal heads.
A bunion involves a bony bump developing at the back of the big toe joint. It develops when there is excessive pressure on that part of the foot, which can lead to pain, swelling, and discoloration of the joint. Hammertoes are characterized by a high arch on one or both feet. They can be caused by genetics or injury and may require surgery if they become painful or interfere with normal functioning.
Nail disorders are common among people with foot problems. Nails can become deformed or misshapen, leading to pain and disability. Nails can also grow too fast, which causes them to break. Podiatrists treat this condition by identifying and addressing the underlying problem.
The feet are often injured when people have accidents or become ill. Podiatrists treat this condition by administering appropriate treatment and care to help the injured foot heal properly. For instance, if you have a fracture in your foot, a podiatrist will give you instructions on how to keep it immobilized and reduce swelling and pain.
Podiatrists treat foot and leg conditions that affect people with diabetes. Podiatrists work with patients to help them manage their diabetes and other health conditions.
Diabetes results from the body not using insulin properly. Insulin is the hormone that makes your body use glucose (sugar). People with diabetes need to take insulin every day or two, depending on their condition.
People who have diabetes often have foot problems such as:
- Foot pain and swelling
- Nerve damage (neuropathy)
A Morton’s neuroma is a painful swelling caused by pressure on the nerve that runs through your foot. The condition occurs in people with flat feet, and its cause is unknown. A podiatrist can diagnose and treat this condition. Treatment usually involves wearing special shoes to relieve pressure on the nerve.
Growing pains is a condition that affects children. It is caused by growth spurts in children and adolescents, where bones and joints are not fully developed. The pain can be mild or severe, and it may last for days or weeks. This condition can occur at any age, usually between 3 and 11 years old. Growing pains typically occur during growth spurts or due to an injury to a body part. In case of this condition, reach out to a podiatrist.
Podiatrists are foot and ankle specialists who diagnose, treat, and prevent injuries to the feet and legs. Podiatry is a medical specialty that deals with the prevention of injury, as well as the treatment of existing conditions. If you have foot and ankle problems, contact Marque A. Allen, DPM, FACFAS.