As a podiatrist, a common stigma amongst patients is that my day to day job simply involves the cutting of toenails and digging out corns. Today, I am here to put an end to this and share with you the array of conditions and challenges we face as podiatrists. I love my job as we are constantly being challenged with varying presentations and concerns patients have; the fact is that no two days are ever the same. Yes, trimming toenails falls in the realm of a podiatrist’s role but something as simple as this helps our elderly and less mobile patients immensely. Their appreciation, comfort and happiness from something apparently so minor to others is so rewarding to us podiatrists!
As a podiatrist we see patients of all ages. In children as young as twelve months up to the age of fifteen, parents are concerned with things such as ingrowing toenails, in-toeing (pigeon toe), toe walking, warts, heel pain and flat feet. From the young teenage years onwards, common conditions we see as podiatrists are heel pain, arch pain, ball of foot pain, toe pathologies, lower back pain, hip and knee pain, ankle pain, sporting injuries (fractures and sprains) and chronic diseases.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes can have a detrimental effect on the feet if left uncontrolled and unmonitored. Diabetes affects multiple areas of the body. The feet can be greatly impacted by diabetes as this condition can impact on blood flow to the feet, skin integrity and can also damage nerves which can cause a loss of sensation in the legs and feet. Patients with diabetes are also at a higher risk of infection from something as simple as a blister that has been picked at which can then take much longer to heal as blood supply may also be affected. Therefore, regular diabetic screening by your podiatrist on a six to twelve month basis is important as well as regular skin and nail care in preventing things from getting out of hand.
So, I hope this gives people a brief idea of what we see and manage day to day as podiatrists. If you have any foot concerns or problems, we urge you to make an appointment with your podiatrist ASAP because from experience, the quicker you treat the issue, the quicker it can be resolved.
I look forward to chatting with you again soon!