Podiatry is a branch of medicine involving the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of foot, ankle and lower leg conditions.
A Podiatrist is a health profession who deals with the prevention, diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of any pathology involving the foot and lower extremity.
Podiatrists have a role in management of the following:
Bone and joint disorders such as arthritis
Soft tissue and muscular pathologies associated with neurological and circulatory diseases.
Complications associated with skin and nail disorders
Podiatrists have specific instrumentation for painless and effective treatment of corns, callus, warts and ingrown toenails. The surgical correction of chronically ingrown toenails under local anaesthesia is a common Podiatric procedure.
Maintaining the mobility of many elderly and disabled people
This is achieved through the ongoing monitoring of foot health, in particular of those with circulation problems and Diabetes. Podiatrists are recognised as important members of the health care team in preventing and managing lower limb complications for those living with Diabetes.
Biomechanics and Sports Podiatry
Visual or video gait analyses allow Podiatrists to assess the anatomy and function of the foot and lower limb during gait (walking). Treatment of abnormalities may include specific exercises and/or the prescription of foot orthoses (shoe inserts), from precise measurements of an individual’s feet. Podiatrists also have a thorough knowledge of shoe wear, and can give advice on the correct shoe type relevant to an activity and/or foot function/deformity.
Common, chronic and acute problems of children’s feet
Advice for the prevention or reduction of foot deformity which may develop later in adult life involves the provision of appropriate information on footwear, treatment by splinting, advice on exercises and/or orthotic control of the feet.