What is podiatry?

Podiatry is the study of the function of the foot, ankle and lower limb. Its practices involves the identification, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases affecting the lower limb.

Podiatrists treat conditions such as ingrown nails, fungal nails, corns, calluses and warts using minor surgical interventions. Conditions originating from biomechanical anomalies such as tendon/ligament dysfunction are managed through thoroughly researched interventions and the use of mechanical interventions such as custom made foot orthotics and other splinting devices.

Podiatrists also assess and assist in the management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and hypertension to prevent adverse complications such as limb amputations.

 

Services Offered

 

Biomechanical evaluations

Biomechanical evaluations are performed by podiatrists in order to identify the cause of the presenting signs and symptoms of a foot related pain or pathology. Biomechanical evaluations identify structural problems and compensation mechanisms that lead to abnormal foot function.

The eventual goal of any type of biomechanical evaluation is to provide a sound basis for the prescription of any therapy or device to correct the problem and alleviate symptoms of the related foot pain or pathology.

 

Custom made foot orthotics and insoles

Custom orthotics are specially-made devices designed to support and comfort your feet. Prescription orthotics are crafted for you and no one else, they match the contours of your feet precisely and are designed for the way you move. Orthotics are only manufactured after a podiatrist has conducted a complete evaluation of your feet, ankles, and legs, so the orthotic can accommodate your unique foot structure and pathology.

Podiatrists use orthotics to treat foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendinitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and foot, ankle, and heel pain. Clinical research studies have shown that podiatrist-prescribed foot orthotics decrease foot pain and improve function.

 

Prescription orthotics are divided into two categories:

  1. Functional orthotics which are designed to control biomechanical errors in your feet and supports your foot structure. They are used to treat foot pain caused by abnormal motion and mechanical compensation. Foot orthotics can also be used to treat injuries such as plantar fasciitis, tendinopathies, shin splints and numerous other conditions. Functional orthotics are usually crafted of a semi-rigid material such as plastic or dense rubber materials such as those used in the soles of running shoes.
  2. Accommodative orthotics are softer and meant to provide additional cushioning and support. They can be used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, painful calluses on the bottom of the foot, and other uncomfortable conditions. Accommodative orthotics are made from soft less dense rubber materials such as the sock liners of your shoes.

 

Foot Balance orthotics

Personalised Custom insoles that provide proper fit and natural foot alignment in minutes. Foot Balance are 100% custom insoles which support your feet in a properly neutral position aiding in a balanced stance which assists in your posture.

Foot Balance orthotics are developed by medical professionals such as physiotherapists, podiatrists and professional athletes to ensure the insoles provide natural foot alignment, comfort and perfect fit, enhanced performance and better foot health.

The insoles are fitted to your foot on site and allow you to walk of the practice with confidence and peace of mind.

 

Nail Surgery

Ingrown toenails are a common problem which have many causes including improperly trimmed nails, sweaty feet and poorly fitting shoes. Patients commonly present with pain in the affected nail with progression, drainage, infection, and difficulty walking being the main reasons for seeking treatment.

Excision of the lateral nail plate combined with lateral matricectomy is thought to provide the best chance for eradication. The lateral aspect of the nail plate is removed with preservation of the remaining healthy nail plate. The nail matrix is then destroyed using a caustic chemical agent. The area is then dressed with a antiseptic dressing and kept on 3-5 days after the procedure before the podiatrist redresses and reviews the affected nail.

 

Laser treatment for warts and fungal nails

Nail Fungus is a common nail condition and is responsible for 50 percent of all nail pathologies reported to podiatrist. With only partial efficacy and various side effects from pharmaceutical options, laser treatment is fast becoming the option of choice for nail fungus eradication.

In the past few years, the 1,064nm wavelength of the Nd:YAG laser has demonstrated superior results in nail fungus removal, showing safety and efficacy. The 1,064nm wavelength provides excellent results with deep penetration, ensuring effective treatment through the nail, without impacting other surrounding structures.

 

Benefits of the nail laser include:

  1. No Medication – The nail laser enables treatment of nail fungus without need of medication, which carries significant toxicity risk to the liver and is typically prescribed over a lengthy period of time.
  2. Effectiveness – The nail laser is an efficacious tool for nail fungus and wart eradication. With proper treatment technique coupled with effective reinfection prevention measures, the laser provides excellent results with >80% improvement in clearance.
  3. Safety – The neoV1064 provides a safe tool for treatment of patients in Podiatry with no side effects, accept for temporary heating of the treatment site.

 


Lucas Breedt Podiatry