Q: What does a podiatrist do?

A: A podiatrist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems, and injuries. This means that podiatrists treat such common injuries as sprains and fractures in addition to diagnosing specific diseases of the feet and toes. Podiatrists are also responsible for performing surgeries to correct problems such as fractures, ruptured tendons, and infections. And, when situations warrant, podiatrists prescribe therapies, and fit patients with inserts to correct walking disorders.

Q: My heel has been hurting for several days for no apparent reason. Should I call a podiatrist?

A: Heel pain can be caused by a variety of factors. Ill fitting shoes or walking on hard surfaces for an extended period of time, are just a couple of possible reasons for your heel pain. Luckily, 80% of heel pain responds well to conservative care in the podiatrists office.

Q: How do I know if I have a bacterial infection?

A: If you have increased pain, swelling, or redness of your feet, toes or ankles, it may be indicative of a bacterial infection, and it needs to be looked at by a podiatrist immediately, to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of the body.

Q: My nail has become discolored and seems to be getting thicker. Do I need to come in to see you?

A: Ingrown toenails, or nail fungus is common, so there’s no need to panic. But you ought to schedule an appointment to learn what treatment will work best for you, and to pick up a prescription, should you require one.

Q: I’m diabetic, should I see a podiatrist?

A: Seeing a podiatrist is especially important to the more than 15 million people in the United States with diabetes. Because diabetes can cause decreased blood flow, and may cause injuries to heal slowly, diabetics are at a much higher risk than others for serious complications to arise if your feet are not cared for properly. Fortunately, regular office visits to a podiatrist aid in the prevention of future problems, and play an important role in early diagnosis and treatment of foot problems.