We use our feet and ankles on a daily basis. Whether they’re supporting the weight of our bodies while we stand in line at the grocery store or when we propel our bodies forward during a morning jog, our feet and ankles work endlessly to ensure we are mobile and active.
That being said, the feet and ankles are also often the least looked after by doctors and medical professionals. Podiatric care is vital to ensuring we keep our feet in the best condition possible. Let’s discuss more about what podiatry is, common foot and ankle conditions, and why podiatric care is so important for daily living.
What is Podiatry?
Podiatry is a sect of medicine that focuses on the treatment of conditions affecting the feet and ankles. Podiatrists, or feet and ankle specialists, are physicians or surgeons who have completed at least four years of studying and training in podiatric medical school. Podiatrists, however, are not the only foot and ankle specialists available. Orthopedists or orthopedic physicians also specialize in treating conditions affecting the feet and ankles. As experts of the musculoskeletal system, orthopedic surgeons are able to treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions in the same way a podiatrist can, as well as provide you with rehabilitation options following your course of treatment.
Common Foot and Ankle Conditions
Conditions affecting the feet and ankles can begin to hinder a patient’s ability to live their life comfortably and to the fullest. Whether that’s because of chronic pain in the feet or limited range in motion of the ankle, foot and ankle conditions are often frustrating for patients to experience.
Common foot and ankle conditions include but are not limited to the following:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Diabetic foot conditions
- Flat feet
- Hammer toe
- Heel pain and heel spurs
- Morton’s neuroma
- Nail infections
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Sprained ankle
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet and ankles but aren’t sure what condition you may have, we encourage you to speak with a podiatric or orthopedic specialist at your earliest opportunity. They’ll be able to sit down with you, listen to your concerns, evaluate your condition, and provide you with a personalized treatment plan to help you feel like yourself again.
Importance of Podiatry for Diabetics
Patients with diabetes often suffer from numbness in the extremities. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy. Because such patients are unable to feel sensations in their feet and toes properly, it’s not uncommon for themto suffer from infections or ulcers on the feet, ankles, and legs and be completely unaware when they worsen. The lack of proper sensation causes little to no discomfort, while the wound itself continues to grow and spread. This can lead to serious complications, such as gangrene, which requires amputation in a lot of cases.
It’s recommended that diabetic patients receive a diabetic foot exam at least once a year, but more often if possible. During these exams, your orthopedic or podiatric provider will closely examine the feet and toes, ensuring there are no cuts or scrapes that have the potential to get infected and no ulcers that may worsen with time
When to See a Foot and Ankle Specialist
If you’re experiencing any sort of foot and/or ankle pain but are unsure why, it’s important that you see a foot and ankle specialist at your earliest convenience. Other reasons to visit a foot and ankle specialist include treatment for ingrown toenails, treatment for nail infections or fungi that won’t go away with over-the-counter treatments, diabetic foot examinations, and prescription orthotics.
Podiatric Care Near Me
If you believe you would benefit from seeing a foot and ankle specialist near you, we encourage you to call the team at Advanced Bone & Joint. Our expert team of orthopedic specialists, podiatrists, and other providers are proud to offer individualized treatment plans to those who need them most in St. Peters and Wentzville, MO. In addition to treating foot and ankle conditions, our specialists are happy to provide general orthopedic services, sports medicine services, and treatment for those who have been injured at work.
If you have any questions about the services Advanced Bone & Joint can offer you and your loved ones, we encourage you to give us a call today at (636) 229-4222. To request an appointment with one of our expert providers, please use our convenient online appointment request form.