As a branch of the allied healthcare professions, podiatry deals with diagnosing, assessing, and treating ankle and foot problems. Currently, this service is frequently requested among RA patients. The delivery of this healthcare service continues to expand and change. While many clinicians have embraced this evolution and change, a few are still stuck on the old-fashioned treatments. As the best foot and ankle clinic in Celebration, Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute has detailed the evolution of this procedure. More than just a trip down memory lane—which you are sure to love—this evolution will help you identify the best clinics to visit for consultations.

What Podiatry Looked Like In The Past

In the past, this service was called chiropody. It refers to the professional care of a person’s feet. Carvings dating back to 2400 BC, show hands and feet that are being cared for at the doorway of Ankmahor’s tomb in Egypt. A Greek physician, Hippocrates, who is tagged the father of medicine, also described corns and calluses and why they need to be removed. Thus, he invented skin scrapers called scalpels. However, by the 1800s, this procedure had become a well-established and respected profession. For example, history has it that Abraham Lincoln had a chiropodist remove ingrown toenails and troublesome corns. It became so popular that in 1985, the professional chiropody society was first established in New York. In 1911, the first school was opened. Chiropodists are licensed independently to treat ankles, feet, and legs. At the onset of World War II, it became necessary for practitioners to obtain a Doctor of Surgical Chiropody degree. However, in 1960, the school started granting Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM).

How It Looks Like Today

Today, a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine has a doctoral-level degree. APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association calls it “the career of the health sciences that deals with the treatment and diagnosis of conditions affecting the ankle, foot, and other related structures, by all recommended means and methods.” Training involves comprehensive education and board certification. It involves treating and diagnosing foot and ankle diseases. It also requires biomechanics of the ankle and foot. Podiatrists are also professionals in the ankle and foot’s neurological, dermatological, musculoskeletal, and vascular systems.

What Podiatrists Are Licensed To Do

Podiatrists are involved in several roles. These include:

  • Conduct physical examinations and medical histories 
  • Order and analyze ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs, and others. 
  • Diagnose and treat disorders and injuries 
  • Prescribe medications
  • Set both fractures and other abnormality structures 
  • Perform both microsurgery and reconstructive surgeries
  • Accurately prescribe and fit casts, orthotics, prosthetics, and insoles. 

In the United States, podiatric surgeons and physicians must complete four years of baccalaureate medical school. After that, they will follow it up with many years of residency. Wherever they are practicing, DPMs are state-licensed. Many will love to add to their credentials by obtaining board certification to certify them for surgical care. 

Contact Us

Have more questions about the world of podiatry? Are you or a loved one suffering from a foot and ankle problem? Our team of highly trained podiatrists in Celebration is here to help you. We are committed to helping people get back on their feet. Contact us today at Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute.