Podiatrists, also known as doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs), diagnose and treat disorders, diseases, and injuries of the foot and lower leg.
Podiatrists treat corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, heel spurs, and arch problems; ankle and foot injuries, deformities, and infections; and foot complaints associated with diabetes and other diseases. To treat these problems, podiatrists prescribe drugs and physical therapy, set fractures, and perform surgery. They also fit corrective shoe inserts called orthotics, design plaster casts and strappings to correct problems, and design custom-made shoes.
To diagnose a foot problem, podiatrists also may order X-rays and laboratory tests. The foot may be the first area to show signs of serious conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. For example, patients with diabetes are prone to foot ulcers and infections because of poor circulation. Podiatrists consult with and refer patients to other health practitioners when they detect symptoms of these disorders.
Source: MedlinePlus and the American Podiatric Medical Association.
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- American Podiatric Medical Association
- This web page discusses foot health, appropriate footwear, diabetes, heel pain, arthritis, as well as foot skeletal structure and other topics.
- American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
- This site has an abundance of consumer information (how to buy shoes, winter running tips, shoe evaluations, cycling shoes, etc.).