Our podiatrists work to get to know you, your medical history and your immediate needs.
Injuries and illnesses can harm the health of your feet. When your feet and ankles become compromised, it’s important to seek out expert intervention.
A podiatrist is a medical specialist trained in caring for this part of your body. Long Island Select Healthcare (LISH) offers podiatry services for patients whose feet and ankles need extra attention.
Feet, Ankles and Legs
You probably depend on your feet to get you where you need to go. Foot pain or disease can hinder your mobility.
If you’re in a wheelchair, you may not rely on feet for getting around, but it’s still important to maintain your foot health. Otherwise, you may develop sores and infections.
Podiatry is the branch of medicine related to the feet and ankles. Podiatrists have special training in caring for these body parts, known as the lower extremities. Since the feet, ankles and legs are closely connected, podiatrists sometimes address issues in the lower legs as well.
These specialists care for both internal and external foot conditions. In other words, they treat sores and growths on the skin as well as injuries to the bones and muscles.
Whether your feet need care because of an injury, an illness, a disability or another issue, a podiatric physician may be the best person to treat your condition.
Common Podiatric Conditions
Your feet go through a lot each day. As a result, it’s not uncommon for them to need medical attention.
Some foot problems, such as clubfeet, are congenital and may necessitate surgery, braces or other interventions as children grow.
In other instances, feet get hurt suddenly. You might fracture a bone or sprain your ankle when you’re playing sports or taking a walk. Dropping something on your foot, stubbing your toe against a piece of furniture or stepping on a toy can lead to serious injuries.
It’s also possible for foot conditions to develop over time. The problem may get a little worse each day. Eventually, finding relief may require expert intervention.
Chronic foot and ankle conditions include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Bone spurs
- Ingrown toenails
- Morton’s neuroma
- Nail fungus
- Plantar fasciitis
- Plantar warts
- Stress injuries
These conditions can make walking or wearing shoes uncomfortable, but early medical intervention may help you find relief.
It can be a good idea to set up an appointment with the podiatrist if you are experiencing persistent pain, discomfort or swelling. Peeling skin, uncomfortable cracks, misshapen toes, lingering sores or unusual growths are additional reasons to seek medical treatment. Other concerning symptoms include numbness, tingling and discoloration.
Foot Care and Diabetes
People with diabetes are particularly at risk of developing foot conditions. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should pay special attention to your feet.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage so that you’re no longer able to feel your feet well. This condition is called diabetic neuropathy. Another foot-related diabetes complication is poor blood circulation to the lower extremities.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to check your feet for changes every day. Symptoms like sores, cracks or a change in color should prompt you to visit the podiatrist’s office. You should also make an appointment if you notice strange sensations like prickling, tingling or numbness.
Even if you’re not currently experiencing troubling symptoms, your doctor can provide tips for everyday diabetic foot care.
Foot Health for People in Wheelchairs
Sitting in a wheelchair can reduce circulation to your lower extremities. As a result, it can take a long time for foot problems to heal.
Also, if you don’t have full sensation in the lower half of your body, new sores can easily go unnoticed. This could lead to more serious infections.
As a wheelchair user, it’s a good idea to pay careful attention to your feet and visit a specialist when problems arise.
At your first appointment, the podiatric specialist will ask you about your foot concerns and perform an examination. To obtain a clear picture of the situation, X-rays or other imaging techniques may be used. A thorough exam will help the doctor provide an accurate diagnosis and tailor a treatment plan for your needs.
The many techniques and treatments used in podiatric care include:
- Anti-inflammatory injections
- Laser treatment
- Oral medication
- Topical medication
Your treatment plan may require a combination of approaches. Sometimes, your podiatrist may need to involve other doctors, such as infectious disease specialists or endocrinologists.
Set Up Your Podiatry Appointment at LISH
Podiatrists provide valuable medical care for feet and ankles. Whether you need tips for everyday foot care or treatment for an injury, visiting a podiatric specialist can help you achieve optimal foot health.
LISH offers podiatric care at multiple locations in Suffolk County. Interested residents can learn more by calling our central office at (631) 650-2510. We also encourage you to reach out through our online contact form.