Foot Notes





What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine – D.P.M.) is the only health care professional whose total training focuses on the foot, ankle, and related body systems. After obtaining an undergraduate degree, one must attend a college of podiatric medicine for four years to obtain a doctorate degree. Following graduation, the podiatrist must complete a hospital based surgical residency. National and state examinations must be taken in order to be licensed by the state in which they practice.

A podiatric physician cares for people of all ages. Certification by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery requires a podiatrist to successfully complete a credentialing and examination process and demonstrate knowledge of podiatric surgery. This includes the diagnosis of general medical problems and surgical management of foot diseases, deformities, and trauma of the foot, ankle, and related structures. The podiatrist must complete a required number of different types of surgical procedures.


When to Call a Foot Doctor

People call a doctor of podiatry for help diagnosing and treating a wide array of foot and ankle problems. Please contact our office if you experience one of the following:

  • Persistent pain in your feet or ankles
  • Changes in the nails or skin on your foot
  • Cracking, scaling, or peeling on the heel or foot
  • Blisters on your feet


Anatomy of the Foot

The foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and numerous tendons. Complex biomechanics keep all these parts in the right position and moving together. Given these intricacies, it is not surprising that most people will experience some problem with their feet at some time in their lives.

Within each foot, the essential structure can be summed up as follows:

  • Seven short tarsal bones make up the heel and back of the instep
  • Five metatarsal bones spread from the back of the foot toward front and make up the structure for the ball of the foot. Each metatarsal is associated with one of the toes
  • Fourteen phalanges, small bones, form the toe structure
  • Tarsal and metatarsal bones provide the structure for the arch of the foot
  • Bands of ligaments connect and hold all the bones in place
  • A thick layer of fatty tissue under the sole helps absorb the pressure and shock that comes from walking and everyday movements


Foot Fitness