What conditions can podiatrists treat?
A podiatrist is a medical specialist that specializes in the treatment of conditions which affect your feet or lower legs. They can treat injuries to those areas as well as provide treatment for ongoing, chronic conditions such as diabetes. Podiatrists treat patients of any age for a variety of conditions, which may include:
- Fractures and sprains, which are common injuries to the feet and ankles and podiatrists may frequently be found in the field of sports medicine;
- Bunions and hammertoes, both of these conditions affect the bones of your feet with bunions occurring when the joint at the base of your big toe grows larger or is knocked out of place, while a hammertoe is a toe that does not bend the correct way;
- Nail disorders, such as toenail infections or infections that result from ingrown toenails;
- Diabetes, which can cause serious complications in your feet and legs if left untreated and undiagnosed, for those with diabetes, make certain to have any sores or calluses on your feet examined;
- Arthritis, which may be the result of inflammation, wear and tear of the joints, or swelling;
- Growing pains, if there appears to be something abnormal about the growth of your child’s feet, then a podiatrist may be able to help;
- Morton’s neuroma, which is the result of nerve problems between the third and fourth toes that can cause pain, burning, and the sensation that something is in your shoe.
When should I see a podiatrist?
When you reach the age of 50, it is recommended than you consider seeing a podiatrist. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then you should be seeing a podiatrist at least once a year and taking care to pay special attention to your feet and keeping them as clean as is physically possible. As for when you should see a podiatrist, if you experience any of the following, then it is recommended you see one:
- Foot pain that gets worse or lasts longer than a few days;
- Thick or discolored toenails;
- Cracks or cuts on the skin of your feet;
- Wart-like growths on your feet;
- Scaling or peeling on the soles of your feet.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, then it is recommended that you see a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.
Do you need a referral to see a podiatrist?
Generally speaking, you do not need a referral to see a podiatrist. If you are experiencing problems with your lower legs or feet – or if you have diabetes – then you should see a podiatrist and your primary care physician will likely either recommend you see one or refer you to one. For those with diabetes, you should see a podiatrist at least once a year and when you notice any changes to your feet or symptoms associated with diabetic foot that may result in amputation.
For those looking for a podiatrist, for diabetes or for treatment of an illness or injury, then the doctors at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists are here to help. To book an appointment or consultation with one of our specialists – or if you have any questions about the services and medical treatments we offer – visit us online or call us at (847) 233-1296. We are located at 1750 N Randall Rd #160 Elgin, IL 60123.