What is Podiatry?

Podiatry is a foot and ankle specialty that provides diagnosis and treatment of patients with foot problems and lower limb injuries.

When you have a foot or lower limb problem a thorough assessment with an experienced podiatrist is important to obtain the correct diagnosis and appropriate management plan to resolve the problem. This may be simple or more complex advice and treatment from your Podiatrist or by a multidisciplinary approach.

Some of the injuries of the feet and lower limbs that Podiatrists treat are:

  • Heel pain/Plantar Fasciitis
  • Arch pain
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Ankle pain
  • Shin pain
  • Bunion pain
  • Metatarsalgia/Neuroma
  • Gait related or postural back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Toe and forefoot problems
  • …we can also help with footwear problems

 

New Patient Assessment

The New Patient Assessment is the initial appointment where a detailed history is taken.  A biomechanical assessment might be performed so that a diagnosis of the presenting problem can be made.  The detailed history involves asking questions to identify the problem and possible causes of the problem.

Biomechanical Assessment
A biomechanical assessment involves looking at the structure and function of the feet and legs by assessing the range of motion and alignment of joints in the lower limbs as well as assessing muscle strength and flexibility.

The information gained from the biomechanical assessment often reveals the causes of biomechanical deformities.   You may be asked to walk or run so that you can be assessed in motion.  The diagnosis and treatment plan are then discussed in the consultation and then the treatment plan implemented. The treatment plan may involve Orthotics (Insoles), temporary padding, footwear advice, exercises, diagnostic imaging, training advice, or appropriate onward referral.

At the clinic treatments for the following can be provided by our Podiatrist, Louise Jackson:

  • Nail conditions including infections, in-growing toenails and onychogryphosis etc.
  • Reconstruction  as a result of nail damage through trauma or infection.
  • Verrucae treatments using various treatment methods such as cryosurgery, silver nitrate, and salicylic acid etc.
  • Foot conditions such as painful corns, calluses, Morton’s neuroma, bunions and skin disorders etc.
  • Risk patients suffering from systemic disorders e.g. diabetes, vascular disease, rheumatoid conditions, neurological ailments and musculoskeletal abnormalities.
  • Footwear guidance on all aspects of footwear to help alleviate discomfort and improve function.
  • Injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, metatarsalgia and shin splints.
  • Biomechanics & gait analysis using the latest technology to improve foot function and performance.
  • Orthotic requirements orthotics can be prescribed and custom manufactured.

Gait Analysis

 

Gait Analysis is an important part of Podiatry and involves the assessment of function. Treatment involves correction, modification and advice on correct gait. This may involve advice on footwear and sportswear for both the athlete and the everyday individual.

Insoles / Orthotics

Insoles and Orthotics are foot supports that are put in the shoes to help improve foot function and therefore try to relieve symptoms. There are wide ranges of Insoles and Orthotics that are available ranging from over-the-counter Insoles to custom-made Orthotics. Temporary Orthotics are sometimes prescribed which can be made up within a day. The type of insole that you may need depends on the nature of the problem and what is required to resolve the problem.

Custom made Orthotics can be made for all different types of footwear from Orthotics that are specifically for Running Shoes to ones that fit in ladies high heel shoes. Orthotics can be made from different materials ranging from rigid carbon fibre to flexible cushioning materials. Sometimes the same Orthotic can be used both for sports shoes and everyday footwear. The design of the Custom Made Orthotic suggested will be discussed in your consultation.

Sometimes one or more adjustments need to be made to the Orthotics to improve their efficacy, improve their comfort or improve fit and this is covered under a 6 month warrantee.

It may be that orthotics aren’t the only treatment option. Many aches and pains can settle quickly without the need for long term management strategies.

 
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