Podiatrist or foot and leg surgery is an area of medical medicine devoted mainly to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the lower limb, lower back, and foot. Podiatrists are also often referred to as physical therapists because they provide specialized treatment to patients with certain conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system.
A podiatrist’s job involves evaluating the patient’s condition to establish its cause. It then helps the patient manage the ailment through a series of physical activities designed to improve its quality.
Foot and leg surgeons perform a variety of procedures and are considered a special field. The three most common procedures performed by podiatrists are orthotics, arch supports, and surgery to replace a bone spur or deformity of the bone. Orthotics are used to treat disorders of the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, or nerves. Arch supports can be used to strengthen the spine. Surgery to correct a bone spur or deformity can correct a range of foot problems.
All podiatrists focus on one particular condition and treat it exclusively. For example, if there is a foot deformity or a nerve irritation that interferes with normal function, the foot surgeon will only treat that condition. He will not attempt to treat conditions affecting both the feet and the legs. If, however, his attention is called upon to treat a condition affecting the lower limbs, he will perform foot and leg surgery to fix a nerve, bone spur, or deformity in the limb.
Because many foot and leg disorders affect the feet, podiatrists may choose to specialize in these conditions. Many podiatrists choose to be a member of the American Academy of Podiatric Medicine. In addition to becoming members of this organization, they must complete a minimum of six years of residency in the field before they are allowed to practice.
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the national governing body for all Podiatry Associations. In addition to the APMA, each state has its own Podiatric Medical Association. which is responsible for certifying the practices of all podiatrists in each state. If you find yourself becoming a member of more than one organization, it is recommended that you check with each to determine which organization you belong to.
The podiatrist’s office will typically have a large space where he or she keeps their equipment and supplies and provides a comfortable, clean environment for patients. Some clinics have a large room that is designed for patients who require multiple therapies. Patients are usually taken to the doctor for a consultation during which they discuss their concerns and determine what they need to do to cure their foot or leg problem. The podiatrist will discuss the patient’s situation and suggest treatments.
The podiatrist’s office is similar to other doctor’s office in that he or she is usually the only medical professional. Most patients are seen on a first-come-first-served basis and are seen in private rooms.
Once you arrive at the clinic, you will want to find out about the credentials of the local area podiatrist. There are several different types of Podiatrists located in your local area. You may need to contact your medical insurance company to find out what type of insurance covers their podiatrist. Once you have a good idea of the credentials of the local podiatrist, you can then make arrangements to see the doctor.
When you find a doctor that you feel comfortable with, it is important to go visit the Podiatry Board of Certification. to find out if they are licensed and to what extent. that they have completed all the required continuing education courses and are bonded and insured.
A podiatrist should be able to answer all of your questions about foot and leg issues. If you have a question concerning your foot or leg, he or she should be glad to discuss it with you. In most cases, a podiatrist is happy to offer advice regarding what is causing your pain and how best to treat the problem. If you choose to get a referral from someone you trust, it is very important to get a referral from a podiatrist that is trusted by his or her peers.
When you are seeing a podiatric physician, you should expect that you will have questions. These questions will vary depending on your specific condition. but you should expect to have a lot of questions as you are meeting with the podiatrist. He or she will likely give you specific answers to your questions.