Podiatrists are healthcare professionals that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal conditions of the lower limbs and feet. More specifically, they are trained to be doctors of podiatric medicine and can perform surgery, prescribe drugs, and order lab tests. They also treat common foot problems that include ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, foot ulcer treatment, corns, calluses and more.
In general, people are aware of what podiatrists do and that they are professionally trained to perform surgery, but we get many inquiries about what specific surgeries that podiatrists perform, so here is our comprehensive answer:
Can A Podiatrist Treat A Broken Foot?
Podiatrists are also referred to as podiatric physicians or surgeons. Even though not all podiatrists perform surgery, here in the Baltimore Maryland region at Podiatry Associates, we perform a widespread of foot and ankle surgeries, whether it be the treatment of a fracture, a broken foot, a broken toe or ankle.
Our podiatrists are trained to perform advanced surgical techniques, which include traumatic surgeries like the treatment of broken toes, foot fractures, toe fractures, and foot or ankle arthritis.
Does A Podiatrist Perform Ankle Surgery?
Podiatrists or foot doctors most commonly treat foot and ankle fractures or sprains, which include performing ankle surgery. For example, if a patient has chronic ankle instability, then lateral ankle ligament repair or reconstruction may be needed.
If a patient experiences sudden severe pain, bruising, and swelling in their ankle, they should get it checked out by a podiatrist in case they have a fractured or broken ankle. Our podiatrists will take an x-ray of their ankle and see what the injury may be. In cases of fractures, an ankle brace and or ankle surgery may be needed.
Achilles tendon surgery is another example of ankle surgery that our podiatrists perform, but we’ll talk more about that a bit later.
Can A Podiatrist Remove An Ingrown Toenail?
Yes! Our podiatrists are trained in scalpel blade techniques and local anesthesia administration, which allows them to perform surgery of nails such as the treatment of ingrown nails. An ingrown toenail occurs when a toenail grows into the flesh beside it, which is incredibly uncomfortable. It can be caused due to the natural curvature of your toe, shoes that press on the toe because of being too tight, toe or toenail injury, or improper cutting of the toenail.
Ingrown toenails are extremely common, and if they don’t heal naturally, you go to a Podiatrist to get your ingrown toenail treated. Our podiatrists help remedy the situation by performing a simple ingrown toenail surgery to remove a part of the toenail or the complete toenail according to your situation. At Podiatry Associates, our foot doctors are trained to carry out this procedure and administer local anesthesia to numb the area before the surgery.
What Is Metatarsal Foot Surgery?
Each foot has five metatarsal bones that are located behind each toe. The first metatarsal is the one behind the big toe, and the fifth metatarsal bone is behind the little toe. The most common Metatarsal foot surgery is done on the first metatarsal and the joint between the big toe for foot arthritis or bunions. For people who have arthritis, the metatarsophalangeal joints can become arthritic which causes a swelling or inflammation of the joint lining, causing discomfort and pain. Our podiatrists in Baltimore, MD can perform Metatarsal foot surgery to treat severe arthritic foot pain by removing the metatarsophalangeal joint heads, which will help to alleviate the pain caused by walking that is often associated with this condition. Metatarsal foot surgery is usually performed by the podiatrist in outpatient surgery centers or hospital where general anesthesia or intravenous sedation can be administered.
What Is Achilles Tendon Surgery?
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body. This is the main tendon that connects the leg calf muscle to the heel. The Achilles tendon is like a strong and fibrous cord that help humans in foot movement functions like walking, jumping, climbing, and running. This tendon can be ruptured or damaged during intense physical activities. Athletes are more prone to Achilles tendon damage.
Our podiatrists can perform Achilles Tendon Surgery to repair any major or minor rupture and/or tear. Achilles tendon surgery is not always the first option to heal Achilles tendon damage (depending on the intensity of the damage). In most cases, rest, medicines, physiotherapy and braces are enough to repair the Achilles tendon.
Can A Podiatrist Perform Hammertoe Surgery?
Yes! A podiatrist can perform hammertoe surgery, which is one of the treatments for imbalanced toe muscle. Typically, hammertoes are caused by wearing the wrong shoe size, wearing pointed shoes or shoes that are narrow. In some cases hammertoe surgery can be avoided by performing rigorous strengthening exercises in addition to wearing a properly fitting shoe. Early symptoms of a hammertoe include foot pain, irritation, redness, burning, inflammation,or foot corns, and calluses.
What About Bunion Surgery And Corn Removal?
Our podiatrists also perform bunion surgery as well as corn removal. A bunion is a medical condition in which the patient is suffering from a bump at the base of the big toe. Whereas, corns are a condition where areas of the foot become hard or thick skinned. Patients that are suffering from bunion are most likely to also have corns. These conditions can be painful, and if not treated in time with appropriate bunion care, surgery may be necessary.
What Can A Podiatrist Do For Foot Arthritis?
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints, which causes pain and stiffness. Podiatrists can relieve the discomfort and pain associated with foot arthritis through non-surgical treatments such as avoiding or limiting activities that aggravate the foot arthritis like impact sports. (i.e. substituting running or tennis with swimming, which is much easier on the joints) Losing weight and physical therapy are some of the other common options. If none of the non-surgical treatments help, then foot arthritis surgery is the alternative. Our podiatrists can help you minimize discomfort and pain caused by foot arthritis and prevent further regeneration through appropriate and timely care.
If you are experiencing foot pain or have any of the issues described above, check out our locations and find a podiatrist near you. Feel free to call our scheduling office to discuss your specific situation: (833) 500-FEET.