Few things impact us as much as problems with our feet, ankles, and legs. These lower extremities literally carry us through life. So when they experience health problems, our routine and functionality suffer as a result.

We understand the difficulties posed by this type of health issue, and we have services that can help. Our podiatry providers offer both medical and surgical care to fully treatment conditions involving the feet, ankles and lower legs. Additionally, for chronic health conditions affecting the feet (such as diabetes), patients can rely on their Premier primary care team to work with our podiatrist when necessary to manage their health. Contact us today if you’re ready to get back on your feet!

Premier Medical Associates, an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network, is the largest multi-specialty physician practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Our podiatric providers see patients with general foot and ankle care needs at One Monroeville Center and Penn Hills. Additionally, outpatient procedures and surgeries are performed at Forbes Hospital and UMPC East.

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FAQs on Podiatrist for Foot, & Ankle Care:

What Is A Podiatrist?

Podiatrists are medical specialists who focus on treating problems of the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Health issues involving the bones, joints, skin, muscles, connective tissues, nerves, and circulation of a lower limb may all be overseen by this branch of medical care. Some podiatrists also specialize in the surgical care of these areas, and carry the title of podiatric surgeon.

Podiatrists can prescribe medication, set fractures, and utilize lab and imaging tests for diagnostic purposes. And in cases where lower extremity issues are connected to another ailment, podiatrists are able to work to coordinate care with other medical professionals.

What Are Examples Of Conditions Podiatrists Can Help With?

Podiatrists are able to diagnose and treat any condition affecting the bones, joints, skin, muscles, connective tissues, nerves, and circulation of a lower limb. Examples of this include the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetic foot disorders
  • Foot deformities (ex. flat feet, high arched feet, bunions, and hammertoe)
  • Foot and ankle injuries (ex. sprains, strains, and fracture)
  • Heel and arch pain (ex. heel spurs, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis)
  • Skin and nail conditions
  • Sports injuries

When Should I See A Podiatrist?

Chronic medical conditions and acute pain alike may each benefit from the attention of a podiatrist. Swelling, trouble walking, redness, and increasing pain following an injury are all reasons to see a podiatrist. You should also consider making an appointment should you ever find yourself in these specific situations:

  • You become a runner. Runners are at a high risk of dealing with foot, ankle, and leg problems. A podiatrist can provide an assessment of your current condition and provide recommendations for avoiding the problems you're at the highest risk of developing. They can also make recommendations for footwear that will protect your body even further.
  • You begin feeling joint pain in your feet and ankles. If the joints in your feet are often swollen, red, stiff or tender, see a podiatrist. These symptoms can be the result of injuries or arthritis, both of which require prompt care to avoid disabling complications.
  • You have diabetes. Foot problems are a big problem for diabetics. Possible conditions of the feet range from minor dry skin to serious injury, infections, and even amputation. Diabetics should therefore have a foot exam at least once a year to minimize their risk of complications.
  • Pain begins limiting your activities. Any pain in the foot, ankle, heel, and so forth that affects your daily life should be seen by a podiatrist. This will allow you to find relief ASAP, as well as obtain a treatment plan that will help you avoid permanent disability.
  • You suspect a serious injury. Some foot and ankle pain requires more advanced care than R&R. Podiatrists are experts at treating these types of issues, including sprains, strains, and broken bones in the foot or the ankle.
  • You need foot surgery. Sometimes, health issues do not respond to conservative treatment, and surgery is needed to reach a positive outcome. In these cases, specialized podiatrists can perform necessary procedures of the foot and ankle. Conditions that may require surgery include bunions, recurring ingrown toenails, and broken bones.

Keep reading to learn more about specific care guidelines for your feet, ankles, and legs, as well as if you are living with diabetes.

FEET

What Causes Foot Pain?

Everything from poorly fitted shoes to overuse (i.e. long walks or runs), to sprains, to strains, and to trauma (such as stress fractures of the foot bones) can cause foot pain. Because the causes of foot pain are so varied, meeting with a professional that can provide proper exams with advanced diagnostics is a critical part of addressing the specific source of foot pain.

When Is It Time To See A Podiatrist For Foot Pain?

You should consider seeing a podiatrist if you have severe foot pain, swelling, numbness or tingling, open sores or wounds, and/or an infection of the foot. Any foot issues that do not respond to at-home rest and care should also be reported to a specialist. Finally, always call a podiatrist or family doctor immediately if you are unable to walk or can’t put weight on your foot.

I’m Dealing With A Broken Foot - Can A Podiatrist Help?

Yes! While many broken bones are initially treated at urgent care centers or ERs (which provide fast relief from painful symptoms), a podiatrist is a wonderful resource during your recovery. A broken foot bone often requires a range of support and follow-up care as a patient recovers. This may include x-rays that track the healing process, as well as therapy that supports the muscles and ligaments of the feet. Every case is a little bit different; so working with medical professionals will be the key to determining exactly what you need as you recover.

ANKLES

What Causes Ankle Pain?

Like foot pain, ankle pain can be the result of multiple issues or factors. Footwear, sprains, strains, overuse, lack of use, or trauma may all contribute to the development of ankle pain.

What If I’m Dealing With Something Common, Like A Sprained Ankle?

Believe it or not, sometimes specialist help is needed to provide sprained ankle treatment. An ankle sprain injury stretches and tears the ligaments of the ankle, which help to keep the entire ankle and foot stable. As a result, even a minor ankle sprain has the potential to turn into something more serious. Serious complications include permanent damage, a risk of repeated injury, and perhaps even a need for corrective surgery.

With this in mind, you should contact a podiatrist any time you find yourself “grinning and bearing” your way through a sprain, as well as any time you experience repetitive ankle injuries.

Can A Podiatrist Help With A Fractured Ankle?

Yes. Podiatrists can be especially helpful in these cases because breaks of the ankle don't always occur immediately after an injury. Instead, long-term strains related to muscle or tendon issues may contribute to ankle fractures. With this in mind, specialist testing can help patients diagnose a long-developing break. Additionally, a podiatrist may be able to contribute to surgical corrections in the event that they are needed.

LOWER LEGS

What Leg Issues Do Podiatrists Treat?

While these specialized are associated with the feet and ankles, they can also help with some conditions of the lower leg. Examples of this include:

  • lower leg fractures
  • tendon tears
  • wounds
  • skin problems

Additionally, because the lower extremities are so closely connected and intertwined, podiatrist care for an issue in one area can often help address pain points in another!

DIABETES

What Does A Podiatrist Have To Do With Diabetes?

A lot! A podiatrist is an important part of your diabetes health care team. This is because podiatrists are specifically trained to assess the nerve damage from diabetes, including two 2 diabetes, in your feet. These specialists will also identify your specific foot health risks, and help you come up with a treatment and prevention plan.

What Should I Expect From A Visit With Your Team?

Premier Medical Associates, an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network, is the largest multi-specialty physician practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area. We understand the difficulties posed by lower extremity pain, and our services are targeted to address and improve these difficulties. Both medical and surgical care can be used to help you find relief and will be recommended based on your specific health needs and goals.

Our podiatric providers see patients with general foot and ankle care needs at One Monroeville Center and Penn Hills. Additionally, outpatient procedures and surgeries are performed at Forbes Hospital and UPMC East.