The foot is a critical - and complicated - component of the human body with 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments weaving all of the parts together.
More than 75 percent of Americans experience foot and ankle problems of varying degrees at one time in their lives, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Additionally, other health issues such as diabetes, anemia, circulatory disorders, arthritis, gout and kidney problems often reveal themselves through symptoms that affect the feet. For example, persistent swelling of your feet may be caused by kidney, heart, or circulatory problems.
Podiatrists, like other WellStar physicians, prescribe drugs, perform surgery and set fractures. Podiatrists also prescribe and fit orthotics, insoles, and custom-made shoes.
Any severe or chronic foot pain is reason to consult a WellStar podiatrist.
- Ill-fitting shoes contribute to a myriad of foot problems.
- Intense, high-impact exercise, such as running, may cause stress fractures and other injuries.
- Improper technique when trimming toenails may lead to infection
- Walking barefoot contributes to a number of foot problems, including skin infections and hookworm.
- Inadequate care in washing and drying feet encourages fungal growth.
- Inspect your feet regularly. Thick or discolored nails may be a sign of developing fungus. Any growth on the foot is not considered normal.
- Wash and dry your feet regularly, especially between the toes
- Trim toenails straight across
- Buy shoes that fit properly. Shop for shoes late in the day when feet tend to be at their biggest.
- Alternate shoes - don't wear the same pair every day
Tests and Screenings
- CT scan (computerized tomography)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
A physical examination is the first step in diagnosing problems with your feet, ankles or lower leg. Your WellStar podiatrist may order an X-ray or other imaging test such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Your podiatrist may also do blood studies, urinalysis and blood flow studies to determine the efficiency of circulation in your feet and legs.
When the pain of conditions such as bunions or hammertoe persists, surgery may be necessary to ease the chronic discomfort and restore the function of the foot.
WellStar’s world-class, community-based physicians utilize state-of-the-art medical centers and hospitals with the latest technologies and medical resources. Our clinicians are dedicated to:
- Helping you create and maintain healthy lifestyles
- Offering advice to prevent illness and injuries
- Providing early and appropriate care of acute illness to prevent its progression