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What We Do and When To See UsWritten by: Dr. Chelsea Viola, Board Certified Podiatrist

Step into the World of Modern Podiatry

When it comes to overall health, we often focus on major organs and systems, sometimes forgetting the foundation that carries us through life – our feet. Podiatrists are specialized healthcare professionals dedicated to treating your feet and ankles. In this post, we’ll explore the multifaceted role of today’s podiatrists and shed light on when it’s time to consider seeking their expert care.

Today’s Podiatrist: Who are we?

Gone are the days when a podiatrist simply trimmed toenails and treated corns. Modern podiatrists are highly trained medical professionals specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of various foot and ankle conditions. Podiatrists undergo a professional four year medical doctoral program after their bachelor’s degree which earns them the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree; this is abbreviated as DPM. They then undergo a rigorous residency training of at least three years that includes specialized surgical management of foot and ankle conditions. Some podiatrists even pursue further fellowship training after residency depending on their interests. Podiatrists play a crucial role in maintaining not only foot health but overall mobility and quality of life.

Some podiatrists work in an outpatient office setting, treating daily injuries, deformities, and ailments of the foot and ankle. Others work in a hospital setting treating limb and life threatening infections, chronic wounds, and broken bones. At Vale Foot and Ankle Surgery, we actually do both! Most of our doctors split their time between the community hospitals and our offices. If you are hospitalized for a foot or ankle ailment and see one of our doctors there, you can then follow up with that same doctor in the office.

When to See a Podiatrist:

In general, today’s podiatrist will treat the skin, circulation, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, nerves, and overall function of the foot and ankle.

Persistent Pain or Discomfort:

If you’re experiencing persistent foot or ankle pain, it’s time to consult a podiatrist. Ignoring pain can lead to worsening conditions and may affect your ability to carry out daily activities.

Changes in Skin or Nail Health:

Any changes in the color, texture, or thickness of your skin or toenails, as well as the appearance of rashes or skin discoloration, should prompt a visit to the podiatrist.

Diabetes and Circulatory Issues:

Individuals with diabetes should consider adding and maintaining regular podiatric check-ups to their healthcare routine. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage and poor circulation, increasing the risk of foot complications.

Sports-Related Injuries:

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often face foot and ankle injuries. Whether it’s a sprain, strain, stress fracture, or other sports-related issue, a podiatrist can help get you back to your sport faster.

Foot Deformities or Abnormalities:

Conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet may require professional intervention, especially if they are painful. Podiatrists can offer conservative treatments or, if necessary, surgical solutions to these painful deformities.

Modern Podiatry: Beyond the Basics

Diagnostic Technology:

Modern podiatrists leverage advanced diagnostic tools such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasound to accurately assess and diagnose a wide range of foot and ankle conditions.

Conservative Treatments:

While surgery is an option, podiatrists emphasize conservative treatments whenever possible. These may include oral and topical medications, physical therapy, custom orthotics, a variety of injectable treatment options, and lifestyle modifications. At Vale Foot and Ankle Surgery, we strive to exhaust all conservative treatment options prior to recommending surgical intervention.

Foot and Ankle Surgery:

Contrary to common misconceptions, many modern podiatrists are highly skilled and specialized surgeons, capable of performing intricate foot and ankle surgeries. Whether correcting deformities, addressing injuries, or alleviating chronic pain, surgical intervention is a viable and often very successful option. Our podiatrists offer a variety of surgical options including minimally invasive procedures boasting smaller scars, faster recovery, and less pain.

Your Feet Deserve the Best!

Your feet are your foundation, and caring for them is essential for a healthy and active life. Modern podiatrists are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and technology to address a wide array of foot and ankle concerns. With customizable and patient specific care options, your podiatrist can help keep you active. Regular check-ups, prompt attention to symptoms, and a collaborative approach with your podiatrist can ensure your feet walk you through life comfortably and pain-free.

If you’re experiencing foot or ankle issues, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us! Please call (203) 941-6999. We have three convenient office locations in Oxford, Shelton, and Glastonbury. For more information, please visit our website at www.ValePodiatry.com.

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