Sometimes other Health Care Professionals (HCPs) spend a day with us at Health First Foot & Gait Clinic, and they are always surprised at the range of problems we deal with and the extent of our training, knowledge, skills, and experience.
As an example, a Foot Health Professional (FHP) recently visited us and gained valuable insight into how to cure foot-related problems and to safely care for feet. On that day, we had patients ranging from 9 to 90 years old, with lifestyles ranging from sedentary to active in sports. The FHP learnt about and got involved with so many different things that presented that day:
- Thorough history-taking and relevant investigations on all new patients to establish diagnoses and expectations
- Neurovascular assessments to check for nerve or circulation problems
- Dermoscopy to check for early signs of skin cancer (melanoma)
- Gait assessment and leg length measurement for someone with longstanding mobility issues
- Use of local anaesthetic to ensure pain-free treatments
- Nail surgery to permanently cure an ingrowing toenail
- Surgical needling for a troublesome verruca
- Lacuna method for unsightly fungal toenails
- Nail reconstruction for a thickened, damaged toenail
- Strapping & exercise programme for heel pain (plantarfasciitis)
- Intensive treatment programmes to cure corns & calluses
- Supply of appropriate medications including antibiotics and antifungals
- Provision of functional foot orthoses (orthotics) and insoles to address biomechanical anomalies
- Joint mobilisations / manipulations and warm wax therapy to ease painful feet
- Routine foot care on high-risk diabetic feet to help avoid ulceration / infection
Perhaps next time we have a HCP visitor to our clinic (and they are always welcome), they will get to see other interventions available such as a steroid injection (eg for neuroma), management of a diabetic foot ulcer according to NICE guidelines, and laser or shockwave therapy for musculoskeletal (MSK) problems.
Reflecting on my clinic day as a Podiatrist (Foot Specialist), I realise that I am in a fortunate position to be able to make a real difference to patients lives, not just in alleviating discomfort and maintaining mobility, but also in improving quality of life and preventing amputation or worse. I really am #ProudToBeAPod as #PodsFixFeet.