If you need a foot specialist to get your injured foot back to its normal health, you may have heard of them in the past. Most people think of an orthopedist as the doctor that specializes in a particular type of disease or illness, such as a broken bone, or a herniated disk. However, in recent years the word podiatrist has come into common use as a general practitioner who provides patients with a variety of foot care services. A podiatrist was once referred to as a foot surgeon but nowadays this term is not used anymore in the United States. Today, a podiatrist is known as a doctor of podiatry, foot surgeon or foot and lower extremity surgeon.
A foot specialist can help patients get back to their normal daily activities by examining their feet, seeing what the cause of the injury is, and by prescribing a treatment plan to return the foot to its normal health. Some patients need to have a podiatrist do more than just take X-rays of their feet, as they may be suffering from more serious foot injuries. Some of these foot problems are caused by infection, and the podiatrist may prescribe a prescription medication to cure the infection. Other conditions, such as fractures of the heel bone, require the doctor to do surgical intervention so that the patient’s foot can heal properly. Other foot problems may include arthritis of the feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions, corns and calluses, and bunion deformities. In these cases, the doctor may suggest surgery to treat the condition, as well as prescribe a course of medication for patients to take.
A podiatrist can perform surgery on all types of feet, including plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions, corns and calluses, and other forms of foot problems. It may also provide diagnostic tests that allow doctors to determine whether a patient requires surgery or not. These tests include x-rays, digital radiographs, and MRI scans. If your foot problem does not improve with conventional therapy, then it is time to seek medical attention from a podiatrist.