What does a podiatrist do?
Podiatrists are experts in foot, ankle and lower limb health. We help to prevent, diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions including:
Our recommendations might include specific exercises, the use of custom-made inserts for your shoes, or medications to treat skin conditions.
Some podiatrists specialise in different areas of practice, including sports, children and workplace health. Call our office to see if we can help you.
Note: You don’t usually need a referral from a GP to see a podiatrist. However, in certain situations, if your GP prepares a care plan, also referred to as a Team Care Agreement (TCA) he can give you a referral under the Enhanced Primary Care system, which may entitle you to medicare rebates on some podiatry visits.
Toes & Nails
Almost everyone will suffer from some kind of nail or toe problems.
Common Toes & Nails problems:
- Fungal nails - Fungal infections can cause the nails to thicken, discolour, deform, crumble and split. Often they are often of cosmetic concern as they are unsightly, and at times, painful.
- Hammer Toes - When your toes begin to curl in at the middle toe joint, this could be the early stages of a hammer toe or clawed toe and it can affect people of every age and gender.
- Ingrown Toenails - ingrown toenails, medically known asonychocrytosis, is a common condition that impacts people of all ages. An ingrown nail is caused by a piece of nail protruding from the side of the nail sulcus skin, or into the nail bed itself. This allows for the entry of bacteria into the area which can cause an infection in the toe.
- Bunions - Bunions are one of the most common foot disorders that affect people. Over time, patients with bunions will notice the bony lump enlarging and pain developing around the joint. This can make simple tasks such as walking and wearing shoes uncomfortable and painful
- Corns & Calluses - A callus is an area of dead skin production usually under the soles of the feet. These can also be seen on the palms of hands. Corns are very similar to calluses in that they are made up of the same material.
- Forefoot pain - The forefoot (or ball of the foot) is made up of many small bones, muscles ligaments, tendons and other body tissues. This makes pain in this area complex to diagnose.
- Morton's Neuroma - Commonly this involves the 3rd and 4th toes, however, may affect the 2nd and 3rd toes. Repeated trauma or compression of these nerves causes the nerves to swell and thicken causing Morton’s neuroma to develop.
- Plantar Plate Tear - A plantar plate tear is often a cause of persistent pain and swelling in the ball of the foot. It is also commonly associated with a bunion and a hammer toe.
- Sesamoiditis -Sesamoiditis is a common ailment of the plantar forefoot, causing pain in the ball of the foot specifically under the big toe joint. The sesamoid bones are very small bones which are located under the big toe joint within the tendons that run to the big toe.
Arch pain is commonly experienced by middle-aged women whose feet have a tendency to overpronate or roll in. It is also commonly associated with bunions and hammer toe. The plantar plate is a thick ligament type structure with attachments which inserts into the base of our phalanges (toe bones) in the area of the ball of the foot. The plantar plate is designed to protect the head of the metatarsal from pressure and prevent overextension of our toes preventing our toes from spreading or splaying.
Flat feet is a term often used to describe feet that are hypermobile or roll in excessively. When your feet “roll in” excessively during stance, this gives the appearance that there is a loss of arch contour of the foot. This, however, is a misnomer. Most feet, when studied in the sitting position, have an arch. Only during weight bearing do they collapse, hence these feet are said to be compensating for a particular condition and are displaying a movement called pronation.
- Cracked Heels -Cracked heels are a common form of foot pain most often seen in the summer when people wear more sandals and thongs or flip-flops. Cracking or splitting in the skin is most often seen around the heels of the feet.
- Heel pain - Heel Pain (plantar fasciitis) is a common condition causing severe pain under the heel bone. Pain in the heel or pain in the arch often indicates inflammation of the long band of tissue under the foot (the plantar fascia).
- Heel Spurs - Heel spurs are bony protrusions that grow on the posterior and bottom surfaces of the heel bone and they develop over a long period of time. They usually develop in conjunction with long-term Plantar Fasciitis and long-term Achilles Tendonitis.
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