What is a Podiatrist and When Should I See One?
If you’ve never been to see your podiatrist, you may wonder what role this specialist plays. Put simply, a podiatrist is a doctor. But instead of an MD, he or she receives a DPM degree. And a DPM is both a doctor and a surgeon, trained to treat foot, ankle, toes and certain leg conditions.
At Louetta Foot and Ankle Specialists, all our podiatrists completed four years of training in a podiatric medical school. After that, they went through three years of hospital residency training. Some podiatrists may even continue with a fellowship, focusing on fields such as surgery, sports medicine, diabetic care or even children’s foot care.
But most importantly, our podiatrists are care givers. They are here to help you feel better. As our patient, Linda R., shared after a recent appointment, “Dr. Walsh was amazing. Listened to all my concerns and I felt better in just one visit. She took the time to listen to my concerns and come up with a treatment plan that I was happy with.”
We love to hear your feedback, and we love to help you walk more comfortably. Wondering which conditions our trained Spring, TX podiatrists can treat? Just keep reading to find out more!
Why Should I See a Podiatrist?
Did you know that your feet are a complex miracle? You have 26 bones, 30 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet. And, while MDs spend a bit of time studying your feet, DPMs spend ALL their time on this complex network. That’s why they understand how your feet keep you stable, absorb the shock of walking and running and help you move when and how you want.
It’s also why, when something is wrong with your feet, a podiatrist is best equipped to get you properly diagnosed. Many foot conditions cause similar symptoms. And years of expertise can mean the difference between a successful diagnosis and recovery. Or months of unnecessary foot pain.
What Conditions do Podiatrists Treat?
If it involves your feet, your podiatrist can help! Some of the services we offer and conditions we treat in our Spring and Tomball, TX podiatric offices include:
Diabetic Foot Care
We are trained to help you manage your disease and monitor your diabetic feet. This helps you avoid complications like “Charcot foot,” a condition that cause bone and joint damage that results in foot weakness. Proper diabetic care can also help prevent foot ulcers, a type of open wound that about 15% of diabetic patients will develop.
Our office is also one of just five in the Houston area trained to perform surgery to relieve peripheral neuropathy pain. This condition, caused by damage to the nerves in your toes and fingertips, leaves you with numbness, pain or unpleasant tingling. Our podiatric office offers a state-of-the-art sensory test to track your neuropathy. And, if we detect damage, our highly trained foot surgeons can offer pain relief with a procedure known as peripheral nerve decompression.
Foot & Ankle Injuries
Hoping to avoid a trip to the emergency room? Your DPM is here to help! If you suspect you’ve sprained or broken your toe, foot or ankle, we can diagnose your injury in the office. No long waits at the ER and no need to expose yourself to seriously ill patients. Once we’ve diagnosed the source of your injury, we’ll provide a comprehensive treatment plan. And stick with you every step of the way as you recover.
Dealing with lingering pain after an injury? We’ve got a solution: MLS laser therapy. This state-of-the-art technology reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of healthy new cells. Which means you’ll recover at a faster pace. And get back to doing what you love that much sooner.
This is one of the most common ailments we see in the office. And it’s not surprising: your heel bone is the largest in your foot, and can leave you in pain for all sorts of reasons.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common reasons why your heel hurts. This condition is caused by inflammation in the tissue bands, or “fascia,” that run along the bottom of your foot. You may also hear this condition referred to as heel spurs.
Bursitis is also a common cause of heel pain. It’s a condition where the fluid filled sac (bursae) around your Achilles tendon and heel bone becomes inflamed, causing heel pain. It’s common to have bursitis and Achilles tendonitis at the same time, but they are two separate conditions. And you’ll need a thorough podiatric examination to diagnose bursitis and come up with a treatment plan.
Foot Structure and Nail Problems
As podiatrists, we know all about conditions that change the shape or appearance of your feet and nails. We offer treatment for bunions, an enlargement of the joint at the base of your big toe that develops when your bone or tissue gets pushed out of place.
Another common problem we treat is ingrown toenails: nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into your skin. This condition causes irritation, redness, and swelling and infection. But, with a simple procedure, we can correct the problem and offer quick pain relief.
Have you noticed that your nail is thick or crumbling? Has it changed colors or is it giving off a funny smell? You could have a fungal toenail, an infection beneath the surface of your nail. While this condition can be embarrassing, and make it hard to wear open-toed shoes, we can treat your nail and restore its healthy appearance!
Supportive Devices and Services
Sometimes, you need a little help to keep your feet feeling great after we complete your treatment plan. That’s why our practice provide custom orthotics for your feet. These are prescription shoe inserts designed to support your unique body structure. And they can help you walk and run comfortably, without fear of pain or injury.
Now, remember how we mentioned that podiatrists are surgeons? Well, it’s true: sometimes, you need foot surgery to provide relief from recurring foot pain or deformities. And that’s when you really want a podiatrist in the operating room. We know the structures of your feet. So we are uniquely trained to provide relief with foot surgery. Ready to get your feet in top shape? Dealing with any of the problems we just discussed? We are here for you: schedule your appointment today with one of our highly trained podiatrists. Pain relief could be available with your very next steps!
Sources: Arthritis Foundation, American Podiatric Medical Association