What is a podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a highly trained specialist health professional who deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the foot, ankle and lower limbs.
What can podiatry treat?
- Bone and joint disorders such as arthritis and soft-tissue and muscular pathologies, acute and chronic conditions, foot injuries gained through sports and other activities.
- Neurological diseases such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, Morton’s neuroma, diabetic neuropathy, diabetic neuroarthopathy (Charcot’s joint), cerebral palsy, myasthenia gravis, Charcot Marie Tooth Disease etc
- Circulatory diseases such as Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Lymphoedema secondary to heart or kidney conditions, pressure ulcers etc.
- Skin and nail disorders such as corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, viral warts, fungal skin and nail infections, eczema, Athlete’s Foot etc.
A podiatrist’s recommendations might include physical therapy, specific exercises, the use of custom-made inserts for your shoes, medications or surgery to treat skin conditions. You do not usually need a referral from a GP to see a podiatrist. However, some funding schemes may require a referral, for example those under
- i) Chronic Disease Management (Enhanced Primary Care)
- ii) the Department of Veterans Affairs
- iii) Workers Compensation
The above-mentioned need you to have a referral. If you’re under ones of those schemes, check before making your appointment.
Some areas in which podiatrists may develop a special interest include:
- Sports medicine
Health fund rebates available: