In recognition of International Podiatry Day (October 8), we’d like to answer the three most common questions about podiatrists:

What exactly is podiatry?
It’s the medical specialty that deals exclusively with ailments of the feet, ankles, and lower legs.

Who needs a podiatrist?
People of all ages and from all walks of life experience problems with their feet and ankles. Problems may result from an accident or injury, or you may have been born with characteristics that make specific issues more likely. Whatever the issue with your lower limbs, a podiatrist can help.

What does a podiatrist do?
Podiatrists are medical doctors, just like doctors in any other kind of specialty. We attended medical school for four years and train for three years as hospital residents. We help individuals improve their mobility and eliminate foot or ankle pain. We prescribe pain medications; we provide custom orthotics, braces, and pads to fix problems with gait; we perform surgery to heal injuries. We’re trained to prevent and treat hundreds of foot problems, making your feet look and feel better.

As a fun illustration of the myriad ways’ podiatry can help you, we’ve created this alphabetized – though not exhaustive – list of conditions and diseases podiatrists treat:

Arthritis, arch pain, athlete’s foot
Bunions, blisters, burning feet
Calluses, cracked heels
Diabetic foot issues
Fractures, flat feet, foot odor
Gangrene, ganglion cysts
High arches, hallux limitus, hallux rigidus
Ingrown toenails, itchy feet
Joint pain
Kids’ special foot needs
Lisfranc injury
Neuromas, neuropathy
Plantar fasciitis, pigeon toes, poor circulation
Quarantine-related foot problems
Running injuries
Swelling, sprains, sweaty feet
Toe deformities, turf toe, top of foot pain
Underlapping and overlapping toes
Viruses that affect the feet (including the virus that causes COVID-19)
Yellow toenails

And you thought two letters were missing
We use the latest trends and techniques, including digital X-ray technology. And all of us at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center strive to provide only “Z” best when caring for our patients.

Here are a few more letters: DPM, which stands for Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM, is our board-certified podiatrist. If you live in Fairfax County, Virginia, we encourage you to contact him when your feet or ankles need medical care. Call our Centreville office at (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online.

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