What do Podiatrists do?
Podiatrists assess and treat almost anything associated with feet; from ingrown toe-nails and corns, to sprained ligaments and inflamed joints. Podiatrists also treat walking abnormalities. These abnormalities can be visual; or they can be minor faults that place extra load, and therefore pain, on any structure further up the body, including the ankles, shins, knees, hips and lower back. Footsmart Podiatry uses high tech force platforms, synchronised with digital video cameras to provide computerised analysis of standing, walking and running patterns. This ensures the most comprehensive assessment possible, allowing the appropriate treatment required to be determined.
When should I visit a Podiatrist?
- Your feet hurt
- You have diabetes
- You have nail problems
- You have ankle, shin, knee, hip or back pain
- Your shoes hurt
- You need footwear advice for work, home or sport
- You think you might need orthotics
- You are concerned with how your child is walking
- You just want to make sure one of the most important, yet often neglected, parts of your body is functioning well
How often should I visit a Podiatrist
The feet are a classic example of where prevention is much easier than cure. As feet take the full force of bodyweight each and every step of each and every day, a minor problem can become difficult to resolve.
If you have a history of foot problems, or pain in other parts of your body that has been attributed to the function of your feet, we recommend an annual check-up (or bi-annual for children).
If you have diabetes, an annual check-up is an absolute necessity! Your podiatrist will recommend more regular appointments if required.
Do I need a referral?
No. You do not need a referral to see a podiatrist unless you have a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) gold card, in which case you need a referral from your G.P.
Is treatment painful?
No. Most treatments are completely painless! People often hobble into the clinic in considerable pain and walk out saying they feel like they are “walking on air”. This is because most general treatments involve removal of tissue with no nerve endings, so it is just like cutting your hair. Ingrown toe-nails are the exception. But most people are once again pleasantly surprised at how quick these are removed, with minimal discomfort and immediate relief.
Can Podiatrists arrange Xrays or Ultrasounds?
Yes. Your podiatrist can write referrals for x-rays or ultrasounds of the foot or ankle.
How often should I replace my running shoes?
There is no set amount of miles that a pair of shoes will last. There are way too many variables and influencing factors that determine how quickly your shoes will wear out. When your shoes lose their shape or lean to one side when placed on a flat surface it is usually time to upgrade.
What do I do when I arrive at the clinic?
Please report to the reception desk 10 minutes prior to your appointment time to fill out important paperwork.
Please provide any referral, X-rays or paperwork you may have for the podiatrist, to our receptionist.
What will happen at my first appointment?
Your podiatrist will ask you for a detailed medical/surgical history as well as for a list of any medications you are taking (it is advisable to bring a list if you are unable to recall all of your medications). You will then be asked why you have made the appointment to see the podiatrist.
Your podiatrist will conduct assessments related to the problem you have presented with. This will often involve a standing and walking assessment, as well as examination of any shoes you have brought along. At such time a diagnosis is often able to be made and a treatment plan formulated. Both will be explained in detail. The treatment plan may be immediate, such as removal of corns or ingrown toe nails, or it may be a multi stage process to alleviate stress on an inflamed tendon or muscle.
If an immediate diagnosis is not able to be made, further investigation will be arranged. This may involve a full biomechanical assessment and/or computer walking and running analysis, referral for x-ray or ultrasound, or opinion from another health professional.
Footsmart Podiatry uses state of the art force platforms, synchronised with digital video cameras, to provide the most accurate clinical analysis of your standing, walking and running posture. This may be used to attain or confirm a diagnosis, or it may be used to monitor treatment progress.
Most treatment plans will require active input by the patient. There may be exercises and/or stretches to be performed, application of ice or heat packs at specific times, or modification of active hobbies/sport.
It is important to understand that your input at home will often be as important as the treatment you receive from your Podiatrist.
How much time should I allow for an appointment?
Initial consultations take 30 minutes
What do I wear to my appointment?
A good rule of thumb is to wear similar clothes to what you would wear on a morning walk, or to the gym. At the very least, wear or bring shorts to the appointment. It is important for your podiatrist to be able to see more than just your feet when conducting an assessment. An exception to this is for an ingrown toe-nail or treatment of a corn.
Also, bring along shoes for evaluation. The shoes your Podiatrist needs assess are the ones you spend most of your time in, along with any specialised footwear for sport, walking or running.
Is car parking available?
All of our clinics have parking available.
Of particular note is our Nambour clinic. Situated opposite Nambour General Hospital, in an area notorious for parking difficulty, we have ample parking. Drive into our driveway on Mapleton Road and you will find plenty of parking at the rear of the building.