The feet are one of the most important parts of the human body, therefore, their care takes on great importance. In this way, pathologies that affect the quality of life of the patient will be avoided. Before the appearance of symptoms or pain, it is important to go to a specialist who can make a complete diagnosis.
What is podiatry?
Podiatry is the medical speciality that studies and treats diseases and disorders of the feet. Likewise, the podiatrist carries out prevention treatments for possible pathologies that affect the health of the feet.
What pathologies does podiatry treat?
Podiatry treats different affections of the foot, especially those related to the skin and nails. One of the most common pathologies treated by podiatry is fungal infections, which develop in humid environments and can cause itching and discomfort in the patient.
In addition, it is common to visit the podiatrist due to the appearance of ingrown nails, usually caused by a bad nail cut, or papillomas, which are produced by the introduction of the papillomavirus in the foot, through small cuts or wounds.
Finally, in many cases, excessive sweating can make the patient go to the podiatry consultation, to avoid triggering pathologies.
When to go to the podiatrist
Before the appearance of symptoms such as pain or bad smell, the patient should go to the podiatrist, to evaluate the symptoms and apply the appropriate treatment, if necessary. In the case of corns or calluses on the sole of the foot, it is recommended to make an appointment with the podiatrist, to treat them correctly, since a home treatment, in many cases, can aggravate the symptoms and cause more serious pathologies.
On the other hand, the patient should go to the podiatrist before the appearance of alterations in the footprint, which cause pain or make it difficult to carry out normal activities, to undergo a study of the footprint in order to avoid injuries in other parts of the body caused due to poor foot support.
How are podiatry and podiatric trauma different?
As has been seen, the podiatrist treats infectious pathologies, mostly related to the skin and toenails. However, within traumatology, there is a branch that is responsible for studying and treating bone and muscle pathologies of the foot, this is podiatric trauma.
Pathologies treatable by podiatric trauma
As explained, podiatric trauma treats all those pathologies related to the bones, cartilage and muscles of the foot. Some of the injuries most treated by podiatric traumatologists are sprains and bone fractures or fissures. In addition, it is common for patients with degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis, to go to the podiatric traumatologist, when manifesting pain, especially localized in the toes.
On the other hand, the podiatric traumatologist can treat cartilage injuries and those located in the Achilles tendon, as well as alterations in the fingers, such as hammertoes or bunions.
Podiatric trauma treatments
Once the patient has seen the podiatric orthopaedic surgeon, an evaluation of the injury will be carried out. First, physical palpation will be performed, in which those points where the patient experiences the most pain will be studied. In many cases, additional diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or MRIs, will be necessary.
Once the diagnosis is made, the most appropriate treatment will be applied to the patient’s pathology. In patients who show alterations in the footprint, the most effective treatment is usually the prescription of orthopaedic insoles, which will be personalized and will be made from the study of the patient’s foot.
In the most severe cases, in which the patient requires surgery, microsurgery of the foot may be carried out, in which local anaesthesia is applied and the patient is discharged a few hours after the intervention. In recent years, ankle arthroscopic surgeries are being performed, in which a camera is inserted that allows the joint to be viewed in its entirety.
In many cases, after the evaluation and diagnosis of the pathology, the traumatologist guides a rehabilitative treatment, supervised by a specialized physiotherapist.
How to take care of the health of the feet?
In some cases, foot pathologies are unavoidable, however, it is important to follow certain guidelines that can help prevent foot injuries. The quality of the footwear acquires special importance, it is important to wear shoes made of breathable materials, and with sufficient width. In addition, it is recommended to avoid or limit to specific occasions, pointed shoes and heels.
On the other hand, it is recommended to hydrate your feet constantly, to avoid the appearance of corns and calluses, as well as to avoid walking with bare feet on hard or rough surfaces.