You may have heard of a podiatrist, but have you ever visited one? If you are suffering from an ankle or foot injury, it is wise to get your injury evaluated by a podiatrist. So, what is a podiatrist and what injuries do they treat?
What is a podiatrist?
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, a podiatrist is a physician and surgeon who treats the foot, ankle and related parts of the leg.
A podiatrist has similar training experience to other doctors, but they do years of specialized foot and ankle training. After attending a 4 year university, they go on to attend 4 years of podiatric medical school and then 3 years hospital residency training. The main focus for podiatrist are surgery, sports medicine, wound care and diabetes care. A reputable podiatrist will be board certified, have undergone advanced training and clinical experience, focusing on the feet and ankles.
Why a podiatrist?
Feet are complex and important to our overall health. To receive expert care, podiatrist has gone through years of specialized training focusing on the feet, ankles and other related parts of the leg. Also, a podiatrist is more than just a doctor, they are also a surgeon.
Injuries & conditions podiatrist treat
From ankle sprains to Achilles tendon injuries, a podiatrist can help you find relief from a variety of different injuries and conditions of the foot and ankle. The following are the most common injuries and conditions podiatrist see.
An ankle sprain impacts one or more ligaments in the ankle, mostly on the outside of the ankle. The severity of the sprain can range, depending on how many ligaments are involved and if they have been torn or partially torn. It is best to be evaluated and treated because if an ankle sprain goes left untreated, it could lead to chronic instability, discomfort, pain and even weakness in the legs. Most ankle injuries tend to be more severe than you may think, as you might have severely torn a ligament or fractured a bone, which will lead to even more complications without correct treatment right away.
Achilles tendon injuries
The Achilles tendon is one of the largest tendons in the body that stretches from your calf to the heel bone. Injuries surrounding the Achilles tendon includes a ruptured tendon, inflammation of the tendon or degeneration of the tendon. The cause of these injuries in your Achilles tendon are from overuse, stress from shoes like high heels and lack of stretching before exercise. If untreated, it could produce even more micro tears and worsen. You need to use ice on the tendon, rest and listen to your doctor. Always visit a podiatrist to be evaluated as some severe cases will need surgery.
Pain in the middle or side of your foot could be a Jones fracture. This is where you fracture the fifth metatarsal. This could be confused as a sprain, but the pain is much worse and often times much more serious. A Jones fracture Can be fixed with a cast, but sometimes surgery is needed. This is common in athletes and dancers.
The Plantar fascia supports the natural arch of your foot. When it is irritated, it can be painful causing you to be off of your feet for weeks. This is something that gradually gets worse over time. Symptoms include stabbing in the heel and foot and excessive tension. Treatments include special orthotics to help with the irritation. However, you still need to rest, use ice, attend physical therapy and often times takes anti-inflammatory pills. Severe cases will need surgery.
The right podiatrist
Choosing the right podiatrist is important. Only the best podiatrist in Phoenix will offer quality care to treat foot and ankle injuries. The Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona offers efficient and effective treatments for ankle sprains, Jones fractures and other foot and ankle injuries.