A podiatrist is a highly trained specialist health professional who deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. The conditions podiatrists treat include those resulting from bone and joint disorders such as arthritis and soft-tissue and muscular pathologies as well as neurological and circulatory diseases.
Podiatrists are also able to diagnose and treat any complications of the above which affect the lower limb, including skin and nail disorders, corns, calluses and ingrown toenails. Foot injuries and infections gained through sport or other activities are also diagnosed and treated by podiatrists.
How are Podiatrists Educated?
A registered podiatrist has completed a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science Podiatry. Podiatry qualifications are specifically aimed at addressing the internal and external medicine involved in the systemic diseases and local pathology affecting the feet. In Australia the profession also has formal post graduate qualifications in area including sports medicine and surgery.
The Skills of a Podiatrist
Podiatrists diagnose and treat both common and more rare skin and nail pathologies of the feet. Podiatrists play an important role in maintaining the mobility of many elderly and disabled people, and others. This achieved through the ongoing monitoring of foot health, in particular of those with circulation problems and diabetes.
Podiatrists are recognised as important members of the health care team in preventing and managing lower limb complications for those living with diabetes. A basic area of foot care undertaken by podiatrists is the treatment of various acute and chronic nail conditions, the treatment.
Podiatrists have specific instrumentation for painless and effective treatment of these conditions. For example, the surgical correction of chronically ingrown tow nails under local anaesthesia is a common podiatric procedure.
Treatment and prevention of corns, calluses and warts are also common podiatric procedures.