What do Foot Specialists do?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2019
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Those who have foot or ankle problems may want a better understanding of what foot specialists do. Such individuals, often called podiatrists, are medical professionals who focus on the lowest region of the body. They diagnose and treat problems such as heel spurs, skin infections, and ingrown toenails.

To become a foot specialist, a person must generally engage in undergraduate medical studies. After that, he will likely continue to graduate school where he will receive a doctorate degree in podiatry. Even once all of this is completed, he will usually still be required to pass government-issued exams and to gain licenses that allow him to practice in a certain area.

Practicing foot specialists do a wide range of work, although they generally concentrate mostly on the feet and ankles. There are a number of ailments that can inflict this region of the body. Having a professional who concentrates on that area often proves more beneficial than seeking the assistance of a general practitioner.

A podiatrist commonly deals with ailments such as bunions, corns, and calluses. He may also diagnose and treat external infections, such as those found on the skin and toe nails. As fully licensed medical professionals, foot specialists have the ability to write prescriptions that are needed for all stages of treatment. For example, a podiatrist can write a prescription for a sedative before a procedure, medicine needed to treat an infection, or pain relievers that may be necessary following a procedure.


Foot specialists do not only focus on external ailments. These professionals are often qualified to conduct diagnostic procedures such as x-rays that reveal internal problems. Thereafter, they may use a range of treatment methods to correct those problems. Such methods can include providing braces or casts.

A foot specialist can also be sought for abnormalities or difficulties that occur when walking or running. He may correct such problems by ordering special inserts or shoes. In many cases, foot specialists also do surgical procedures. There are some ailments such as ingrown toenails and sports injuries that may only be effectively resolved in this manner.

If a person considers consulting a podiatrist, it should be remembered that the work foot specialists do is generally considered a specialty. This can be important when a person is planning to rely on health insurance for payment. In some instances, such services will not be covered unless a person is referred to the foot specialist by another medical professional. Other insurance plans may require a higher copay.


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Post 3

I have heard that podiatrists can help with yellowing toe nails. Some people think they just have to live with the condition, but in some cases a specialist can help.

My friend has had this condition for years, and now her general doctor has told her she should see a specialist, and she is considering going to see whether there is a remedy for her.

Post 2

I have a friend who hurt his ankle really badly in a pick-up basketball game. He rolled the ankle and most of his weight was on the ankle when it gave way. He walked the pain off and continued to play basketball.

The following morning when he tried to get out of bed he couldn't put any weight on the ankle and it was about twice the normal size.He rested and iced the ankle for a couple of days and then went back to his normal routine with a slight limp. After a couple of years of the ankle giving way on him sometimes and dealing with occasional pain, he went to a podiatrist.

Turns out he had

fractured one of the small bones in his foot, and that was causing the problem. In order to remedy the situation, he had to have surgery and then he was in a cast for a while. Now he says the ankle and foot feel as good as new.
Post 1

I am considering going to a foot and ankle clinic. About a year ago, my feet began to swell sometimes. The swelling is mostly on the bottom and sides of my feet. I really notice this when I am running or even walking. The swelling throws off my balance, and there is also a little pain. Actually, it is more discomfort than pain, but I can really feel it when I put weight on my feet.

Now, in addition to the swelling, I sometimes have pain in my toes. I went to my doctor and he had a number of tests run to figure out what the problem was, but after all the tests he still doesn't know what

is causing the condition.

I was relieved to know that he didn't find that I have some type of serious disease, and I thought I would just live with the discomfort, but it has started to get worse, and I think a foot specialist should probably be the step I take.

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