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Introduction[edit | edit source]


Podiatry is a specialized field within healthcare dedicated to the comprehensive study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders associated with the foot, ankle, and in some cases, extending up to the knee, leg, and hip. Collectively, these areas are referred to as the lower extremity. The capacity of podiatry to manage various disorders of the lower extremity largely hinges on the established scope of practice, which may vary based on national, state, or provincial jurisdiction.

Podiatric surgery

In recent times, the importance and recognition of podiatry as a medical specialty have grown across the globe. Yet, its roots and significant presence are primarily in the United States, where it evolved from traditional chiropody and expanded to incorporate a more holistic and, when required, surgical methodology in treating lower extremity ailments.

For a more detailed understanding of podiatry as a profession, please see podiatrist.

An Australian perspective on the history of podiatry is available at A History of Podiatry.

Dealing with a feminine feet

Anatomy and Physiology[edit | edit source]

Podiatry delves deep into the understanding of the anatomy and physiology of several key areas:

Foot Care Dry & Inspect Feet
Foot Problems Bunion & Ulcer
Podiatric surgery
Foot Care Fitting Shoes
US Navy 100811-N-8361C-002 Dr. Dawn Bell explains the importance of proper foot care to a group of diabetic children
Foot Care Foot Massage

Skin Disorders[edit | edit source]

The skin of the foot can develop various conditions, including:

Joint Disorders[edit | edit source]

Joint abnormalities in the foot include:

  • Hallux valgus (bunion): A bump at the base of the big toe.
  • Hallux varus: Opposite of a bunion, with the big toe deviating away from the midline.

Bone Disorders[edit | edit source]

Problems can arise in the bones of the foot and ankle:

Nerve Disorders[edit | edit source]

Nerve-related conditions of the foot:

Combined Disorders[edit | edit source]

Genetic Disorders[edit | edit source]

Some foot and ankle disorders are inherited:

Systemic Disease Manifestations[edit | edit source]

Conditions that are manifestations of systemic diseases:

Common Complicating Factors[edit | edit source]

  • High heels: Footwear that can contribute to various foot disorders.

Tests and Procedures[edit | edit source]

Podiatrists are equipped to diagnose and treat a multitude of foot and ankle conditions. This includes:

List of Podiatrists (USA)[edit | edit source]

Glossary of Podiatry Terms[edit | edit source]

This glossary provides a comprehensive list of common terms and concepts related to the field of podiatry.

A[edit | edit source]

  • Achilles bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa sac located near the Achilles tendon.
  • Ainhum: A rare condition characterized by the constriction and autoamputation of a toe.
  • Athlete's foot: A fungal infection of the skin on the feet, causing itching and discomfort.

B[edit | edit source]

C[edit | edit source]

  • Callus: Thickened and hardened skin, typically found on the soles of the feet.
  • Chilblains: Painful skin lesions caused by exposure to cold and humidity.
  • Corn (pathology): A small, painful area of thickened skin, often found on or between the toes.
  • Custom-made medical device: Devices specifically tailored to an individual's medical needs.

D[edit | edit source]

  • Diabetic foot: Foot complications arising from diabetes, often requiring specialized care.
  • Diabetic foot ulcer: A chronic wound on the foot of a person with diabetes.
  • Diseases of the foot: Various medical conditions and disorders affecting the feet.
  • Dorn method: A form of manual therapy used to treat musculoskeletal issues.

E[edit | edit source]

  • Equinovalgus: A foot deformity characterized by both inward turning and twisting of the foot.

F[edit | edit source]

H[edit | edit source]

  • Hallux rigidus: A condition involving stiffness and limited motion in the big toe joint.
  • Hallux varus: A deformity where the big toe deviates away from the other toes.
  • Heel pad syndrome: A painful condition affecting the fatty tissue on the underside of the heel.

M[edit | edit source]

N[edit | edit source]

  • Nail brace: A device used to treat ingrown toenails and correct nail deformities.

o[edit | edit source]

  • Orthotics: Shoe inserts or insoles used to correct foot and ankle problems.

p[edit | edit source]

s[edit | edit source]

t[edit | edit source]

  • Tailor's bunion: A painful bump that forms on the outside of the little toe.
  • Toe: One of the five digits on the human foot, often referred to as toes.
  • Toe walking: A gait pattern where a person walks on their toes rather than their heels.
  • Total contact casting: A method of treating foot ulcers by immobilizing the foot and ankle.

Also see[edit | edit source]

Podiatry Resources

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