Almost everyone will suffer from a foot problem at some time in his or her life. Your foot is a complex instrument and is composed of 26 bones, 19 muscles, 33 joints and more than 100 ligaments.
Foot care is essential to overall health, particularly for senior citizens and diabetics.
Seniors with foot problems may become sedentary or become fearful of walking or falling. Diabetics can lose feeling in their feet and not notice blisters or sores; these can become more severe over time, leading to infection or even amputation.
Preventive care is vital, and podiatrists can treat minor ailments before they get worse. The most common ailments treated by podiatrists include:
- Ankle pain
- Diabetic foot care
- Fasciitis (swelling or tenderness of the soles of the foot)
- Failed past surgeries
- Flatfoot deformities
- Heel pain/spurs
- Ingrown and fungal toenails
- Neuropathy or tingling in the foot
- Pain from past trauma
- Plantar warts
- Sports injuries
- Wounds or infections
Although podiatrists are highly experienced in noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures and traditional surgical techniques, they strive to begin treatment with conservative measures. This approach can help you avoid the risks and recovery needs of surgery.
What to Expect
Your first visit to a podiatrist on the medical staff begins with a comprehensive physical examination of your lower leg. Your podiatrist evaluates your condition, reviews your medical history and determines your goals for recovery. We encourage you to bring test results or X-rays (if applicable). When necessary, additional X-rays or imaging studies are performed onsite.
Corns and calluses
Next, your podiatrist diagnoses the condition and discusses treatment options with you, looking at your total picture of health. He or she strives to begin treatment with conservative methods that may include:
- Foot orthoses
- Palliative care (for corns and calluses)
- Chemotherapy (for plantar warts)
- Injection therapy for Morton's neuroma
When necessary, your podiatrist may refer you to another accomplished specialist in the Texas Health network for integrated care. For example, a patient diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy possibly resulting from poorly-controlled diabetes may be referred to a diabetologist at the hospital.
Accessible Podiatric Care
Podiatric care combines the one-on-one, personalized treatment patients have come to expect from traditional podiatrists in their communities with the comprehensive health care available at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle.
We can usually schedule appointments within one week, depending on the location. Our team of health care providers and physicians on the medical staff also treats patients with emergent foot-and-ankle problems related to diabetes and other metabolic conditions as well as foot trauma.
If you suffer from a foot or ankle problem, or wish to have more information, please contact us at 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).