What Is a Podiatrist?

What Is a Podiatrist

If you’ve been experiencing issues with your lower extremities, you may have been referred to a podiatrist. Maybe you sustained an injury at work or during a sporting match, or you noticed a new growth or rash that you can’t identify. Or perhaps you’ve been experiencing pain in your feet or ankles that’s gradually worsened over time, and it’s now gotten to the point where it’s keeping you from participating in your normal routine.

But what exactly is a podiatrist, and what can he or she do to help your condition? A podiatrist, also known as a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), specializes in conditions affecting the feet, ankles, and in some cases, lower legs. Some common podiatric subspecialties include pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine, dermatology, orthotics, surgery, wound care, and diabetes care. In order to become a podiatrist, someone has to obtain an undergraduate degree and complete four years of podiatric medical school and three years of hospital residency training. Some podiatrists choose to also pursue fellowship training and board certification.

Conditions Treated by Podiatrists

Podiatrists often have experience treating a wide range of conditions affecting the feet and ankles, including:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Arthritis
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Blisters
  • Bunions
  • Calluses
  • Corns
  • Deformities
  • Diabetic complications
  • Fallen arches
  • Fractures
  • Gout
  • Hammertoes
  • Heel spurs
  • High arches
  • Infections
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Sprains
  • Warts

Treatments Administered by Podiatrists

Treatment will vary from one patient to another depending on the nature of the condition present. With that being said, podiatrists will often:

  • Prescribe medication such as antibiotics, pain relievers, and antifungals
  • Administer corticosteroid injections
  • Recommend corrective footwear and orthotic devices
  • Set broken bones
  • Perform joint aspiration, which involves removing the fluid surrounding a joint
  • Perform surgery

What to Expect During Your Appointment

Your consultation with a podiatrist will likely resemble other appointments that you’ve had with general practitioners and specialists throughout your lifetime. In addition to speaking with you about your medical history and the issues you’ve been experiencing, a podiatrist will conduct a physical examination and order any necessary diagnostic tests. Based on his or her findings, the podiatrist will recommend a course of treatment that’s tailored to your specific needs. This may or may not include surgery.

Experienced Podiatrists Serving Durham, NC & Surrounding Areas

If you’re in the greater Durham, North Carolina, area and you require the services of a skilled podiatrist, you can turn to North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic. We’re a trusted orthopedics provider that’s been serving patients in this community since 2003, and we stand apart from competitors thanks to our winning combination of specialized care and personalized service.

To schedule a consultation with one of the podiatrists on our team, contact North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic today. We’re open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, so just let us know a date and time that fits into your schedule, and we’ll take care of arranging an appointment. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find relief from whatever condition is affecting your lower extremities.