A podiatrist is a doctor who treats problems of the foot and ankle. There are many problems that are commonly treated by a podiatrist, like those at Worthington Podiatric Associates, LLC. Here is an overview of some of the most common conditions a podiatrist treats.
A hammertoe is curled under because of a problem with the middle joint. This can cause the toes to rub and develop further problems like corns and calluses. Surgery can correct this deformity, which is usually recommended to prevent further problems with the toes.
The Achilles tendon connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. Tendinitis is often suffered by athletes because of frequent use. The tendon becomes inflamed, and in some cases may partially or completely tear. A podiatrist will recommend rest and stretching for an inflamed tendon. Surgery or some sort of brace may be necessary for a more severe problem, such as a tear.
A bunion is a deformity on the side of the big toe, which can be very painful. It can be caused by bad shoes, but is often due to a weakness in the structure of the foot. The doctor will likely recommend the best shoes or pads to help with a bunion, but may need to do surgery for a severe bunion that is very painful and causes limitations in daily activities.
Flatfoot happens when the arch of the foot collapses. This can happen from arthritis or weight gain that causes poor foot function. This condition can be painful because the soft tissues will stretch and tear. Special footwear or shoe modifications can help with this problem.
Podiatrists at Worthington Podiatric Associates, LLC and others can also treat common toenail problems. Many people experience ingrown toenails. These happen when the toenails curl down and dig into the skin. They can become infected, which may necessitate an antibiotic. A doctor will be able to identify the best treatment for this condition. Fungal toenails is another problem that may need to be treated by a podiatrist to make sure the problem is completely resolved. In extreme cases, nails may need to be removed.