Feet and Lower Legs
Podiatrists are medical specialists who help with problems that affect your feet or lower legs. They can treat injuries as well as complications from ongoing health issues like diabetes. You might hear them called podiatric physician or doctor of podiatric medicine. Podiatrists can do surgery, reset broken bones, and prescribe drugs, and order lab tests or X-rays. They often work closely with other specialists when a problem affects your feet or lower legs. Podiatrists treat people of any age for many foot-related conditions including:
- Fracture and sprains – podiatrists regularly treat these common injuries when they affect a foot or ankle
- Bunions and hammertoes – bunion happens when the joint at the base of your big toe gets bigger or knocked out of place. This makes the toe bend toward the other. A hammertoe is one that doesn’t bend the right way.
- Diabetes – can damage the nerves in your feet or legs, resulting in lack of proper blood flow to your feet
- Arthritis – results from inflammation, swelling, and wear and tear on your joints.
- Growing pains – if your child’s feet point inward or look flat or their toes don’t line up right, a podiatrist might be able to help
- Heel pain – a common cause of heel pain are heel spurs, a buildup of calcium at the bottom of your heel bone
- Morton’s neuroma – nerve problems between the third and fourth bones of your foot can cause pain, burning, and a feeling that there’s something in your shoe
Your feet do a lot of work. By the time you are 50, you will have walked approximately 75,000 miles on them! Your feet are complex structures with many bones, tendons, and ligaments that have to work together perfectly to keep you moving.