Yet, if you or I were asked when the last time was that we visited a podiatrist, we would probably say, "Never.
While that may be true in some cases, the fact remains that most of us take our feet for granted. Since they never give us much trouble, they must be hardy soles indeed. That could be the reason why, when our feet start giving us trouble, we either ignore the pain, or try to fix the problem ourselves.
Many are the times when a person with a huge corn has tried to carve off offender off with a sharp knife, only to cut his foot badly, or watch the site later become infected.
Maybe you're one of those people who think that the solution to aching feet is a pair of Dr. Scholls inserts- when the problem is actually that cheap pair of shoes you snagged from the thrift store bargain bin.
But when you're dealing with a structure made up of 26 bones, 33 joints and scores of muscles, tendons and ligaments, something is bound to go wrong from time to time- and that something will probably be the one thing you know nothing about .
And if that mysterious condition persists and then begins to deteriorate, it will most likely start causing more serious problems in other parts of your body.
While many foot problems can be treated with the aid of such things as ointments, splints, medications and therapy, there are other disorders that require surgery. These conditions include: flat feet, rearfoot osteotomies, medial column stabilization, tendon transfers and lengthening, bone fusion, joint movement limitation, hammertoes, sprains, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ingrown toenails, gout, calluses, corns and warts.
If you or someone you know is putting off a visit to the podiatrist because of some fear or misunderstanding about what is involved, know this:
o Examinations for suspected problems can also reveal early stages of diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease
o 99% of all foot surgery is not done in a hospital, but rather an outpatient clinical setting, or the podiatric surgeon's office.
o Most procedures are finished within a couple hours.
o The patient then leaves for home under his or her own power, in most cases using nothing more than a surgical sandal for walking assistance.
So, when should you see a foot doctor?
1. When you're having more painful days than non-painful ones.
2. When non-surgical treatments have not yielded satisfactory results.
3. When foot pain keeps you from enjoying the things you like to do.
Given the fact that a pair of feet support one's body weight all day long, and as such are subject to more abuse, pressure and stress than any other part of your body, it's fair to say that they are probably taken for granted.
It's also fair to say that if you want them to continue their tireless service for years to come, you should pay more attention to them. Buy them a decent pair of shoes once in a while …