Podiatry is a medical discipline that focuses on the assessment, diagnosis and management of lower limb health problems. Podiatrists diagnose and manage numerous problems including gait disorders in children, adults, elderly and other specialist groups, sports injuries, foot and ankle pathologies and other painful conditions, using therapies such as foot orthoses, ankle-foot orthoses, exercises and gait re-training. 

In order to become a Podiatrist, it is necessary to complete a three or four year BSc(Hons) Degree in Podiatry. The profession is regulated by the Health Professions Council (HPC) and all Podiatrists working within Ramsay Hospitals are HPC-Registered. You can check a Podiatrist’s registration by visiting www.hpc-uk.org.

Conditions treated

This may vary from hospital to hospital, but, in general:

  • In-growing toenails
  • Foot and ankle problems in general
  • Flat feet / over-pronation
  • High-arched feet
  • Children’s foot problems
  • Sports injuries
  • Running Injuries
  • Gait and biomechanical problems
  • Toe abnormalities
  • Pain at the front of the foot
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Plantar fasciitis / heel pain
  • Collapsed arches
  • Recurrent ankle sprains
  • Rheumatoid foot problems
  • Diabetic foot problems
  • Achilles tendon pain
  • Tibialis Posterior dysfunction / adult acquired flatfoot
  • Post-op rehab after foot / ankle surgery

Treatments available

May vary between hospitals, but, mainly:

  • Foot orthoses
  • Ankle-foot orthoses
  • Ankle braces
  • Exercise programmes
  • Laser treatment
  • Acupuncture
  • Mobilisation / manipulation
  • Biomechanical assessment
  • Video gait analysis
  • Foot pressure analysis
  • Steroid injections
  • Taping
  • Footwear assessment & advice
  • Help and advice on how to manage your condition
  • Nail surgery: Podiatrists are qualified local anaesthetists and perform toenail surgery for the permanent removal of part, or, all of the nail. As this is done under local anaesthetic (like a dental injection), no hospital admission is required, allowing you to get up on your feet again more quickly.

Specialist care

Podiatrists are specialists within their field. However, because of the way Ramsay hospitals are structured, with an ethos of team working, you can be assured that your Podiatrist will be working as part of a specialist team, including Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, Podiatric Surgeons, Physiotherapists, Radiology / Diagnostics, Rheumatologists and others, ensuring that, no matter what your condition, your treatment can be provided in one location and within the same team, in most instances.

Going to see a Podiatrist

Please contact your nearest hospital to make an appointment with a Podiatrist. When attending for the first appointment, it is important that you take along some shorts or short trousers so that the Podiatrist can properly assess you lower limbs; a selection of shoes you would normally wear; any orthoses or braces you have previously been provided with and details of any previous or current medical treatment.

Private medical insurance

If you intend to see a Podiatrist using your medical insurance, it is very important to check with the insurer the level of cover provided, as it can vary widely. A number of insurers will cover your appointments, but very few will pay for foot orthoses and other appliances. Some insurers also require a referral from a GP or Consultant before cover is provided. 

To find out more about Podiatry, please visit the Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists, who are the representative body of Podiatrists, at www.feetforlife.org.

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