One of the major doubts of people about podiatrists is whether they are medical doctors. Yes, podiatrists are medical doctors. But the doubts about them being actual doctors arise from the fact that they do not attend the traditional medical school. Podiatrists go to their own school and have their own professional associations. Instead of MD, podiatrists use DPM (doctor of podiatric medicine) along with their name.
Duties Of A Podiatrist
Podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and injuries that primarily involve feet. They can also treat complications in the ankle, ulcers, nerve damage in the feet, sports injuries, etc. The training of podiatrists concentrates on treating the lower extremities, mostly feet. They receive a doctorate from accredited institutions of podiatry.
In the United States, podiatrists are licensed by the state government. Other than diagnosing and prescribing medications for the complications in your feet they can do surgery, reset broken bones, and order lab tests and X-rays. They often associate with other specialists to effectively treat the complications on your feet and lower legs.
Conditions That Podiatrists Treat
A bunion is a condition that happens when the joints at the base of the big toe get knocked out of place. It also happens when the joint gets bigger. People with bunions have their big toe bend toward the other toes.
This happens when the corner or side of a nail don’t grow straight and instead grows into your toe. This may lead to infections in your toenail. The infections may also happen if a fungus grows inside your toenail.
Fractures And Sprains
These are the two main conditions that podiatrist treat. Sports persons regularly get injuries on their feet and ankles. A podiatrist who specializes in ankle fractures and sprain can easily treat them.
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammations and swellings on your joints. It leads to severe pain in the joints. Your foot has 33 joints and likely to be affected by arthritis. A podiatrist recommends treatments like physical therapy, special shoes, or medications for the treatment. If other treatments didn’t work out, surgery might be an option.
When To See A Podiatrist?
According to experts, by the time you reach 50 years of age, you will have walked around 75,000 miles. The chances of developing complications in your feet will be higher by then. You can call podiatrist Los Angeles when you have the following symptoms:
- Thick and discolored toenails
- Scaling on your soles
- Foot pain
- Cracks in your skin