Podiatry & Chiropody at the Fairbourne Clinic

 

Chiropody is the total care of feet. It includes corns and calluses, nail problems, verrucae and many other conditions. Sports injuries, stress and biomechanical problems are also covered. Our feet are made for walking, for running and dancing, for working and playing, for balancing our lives. Yet they are often taken for granted and we expect them to be there at all times. Regular foot care and appropriate shoes can help ensure they are functioning correctly and comfortable.

 

We sometimes do not know when we need to see a podiatrist, If your feet hurt, this is not normal and should not be ignored.  It is recommended that you visit a podiatrist who will work with you and advice you on the best course of treatment tailored to your needs.

You can visit the podiatrist for advice on how to keep your feet healthy to enable you to prevent foot problems before they occur.

Here at the Fairbourne Clinic, the podiatrist is best placed to diagnose and treat diseases and conditions that affect the feet.  The Podiatrist can treat or advise you on

 

  • Ageing feet
  • Athlete's foot
  • Podiatric Biomechanics
  • Blisters
  • Bunions
  • Callus/ hard skin
  • Chilblains
  • Corns
  • Cracked heels
  • Diabetes ( foot related)
  • Footwear
  • Fungal infections
  • Gout
  • Heel pain
  • Insoles (Orthotics)
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Podopeadiatrics ( children's feet)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Sweaty feet
  • Toe deformities
  • Toe nail cutting
  • Verrucae

 

Services Provided

 

  • Routine Footcare Treatments
  • Nail Surgery
  • Biomechanical Assessments
  • Foot Orthotic/Insole therapy
  • Foot Health Checks
  • Diabetic Annual Foot Checks/Screening
  • Verrucae Treatments

 

Routine Footcare Treatments

Our feet walk a lot of miles, and with time we can develop corns and calluses (hard skin) over high pressure areas on the feet which require regular pairing down by a Podiatrist. We offer nail care for thick painful and difficult to manage toenails, ingrowing nails, and fungal nails.

 

Nail Surgery

Nail Surgery can be indicated for the treatment of painful, ingrowing, involuted or thickened deformed toenails. Some nail conditions can be treated successfully with conservative treatment, this is usually the first-line of treatment, however, for the re-current persistent ones, nail surgery is an option for permanent resolution.

Ingrowing toenails can be caused by improper nail cutting, tight fitting footwear or trauma to the nail leaving a rough edge or spike in the corner of the toenail which can penetrate the surrounding skin causing pain , this  can often lead to infection in the toe.

Involuted nails are excessively curled on the borders of the nail causing pressure and pain to the surrounding soft tissues. In some cases hard skin and corns can develop in the corners and under the nail, again causing discomfort and pain

 An initial assessment will be carried out to include a detailed Medical history.  And a convenient time and date will be set for the surgery including two follow-up appointments.

Nail surgery is carried out in a sterile environment and usually takes an hour.

You will be given two injections of local anaesthetic at the base of the toe, to numb the toe and block the pain. The effects of the anaesthetic can last up to three hours.

Once numb,  a tornicot is put on the toe and the appropriate part of the nail is painlessly lifted and removed, no stitching is involved. A chemical called phenol is applied to the nail matrix where the nail grows out from, to prevent regrowth of the unwanted part of the nail.

A large dressing is then applied to the toe, you will be able to walk normally in open-toed sandals. You remain in the clinic for approximately 10 -15 minutes after the procedure before you are taken home by a relative or friend.

 

Biomechanical Assessments

Biomechanics is the science that examines the forces acting upon and within a biological structure and the effects produced by such forces.

Podiatric biomechanics is the assessment of the lower limb movement and function, where the Podiatrist looks closely for abnormalities and compensations in the foot, and the presenting signs and symptoms to enable a diagnosis. A tailored treatment plan to treat the underlying cause is set, with your agreement.

Examples of common complaints that can benefit from a biomechanical assessment are:

  • heel pain
  • knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • pain in the ball of the foot
  • sports injuries

Treatment interventions can involve one or more of the following:

  • Footwear advice
  • Exercises to stretch and/or strengthen muscles
  • Foot orthotic therapy
  • Referral on to other members of the healthcare team if further specialist input is indicated

The assessment usually lasts an hour where the podiatrist can observe you sitting, lying down, standing and walking to measure joint function and locomotion to give an overall picture. Please bring along a pair of shorts, for ease of carrying out the assessment.

 

Orthotic/Insole therapy

Orthotics are devices often prescribed to treat foot pain and are worn in the shoe to reduce pain, to correct misalignments in the foot, to support the foot, to prevent foot deformities or keep them from getting worse, to relieve pressure on certain areas of the foot, and in general to improve the functioning of the foot.  

When your feet are in pain, it can affect other structures in the body such as your knees, hip and back.  The podiatrist will assess you to fit you with the right orthotic to suit your requirements.

There is good academic evidence to show that when orthotics are prescribed correctly, they are extremely beneficial in treating foot pain.

 

Diabetic Foot Checks/Screening

The diabetic foot requires an annual check according to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, NICE. This can be done by your Podiatrist or a trained healthcare professional at your GP practice.
 
The diabetic foot check is carried out following a grading system to classify the diabetic foot.

The purpose of the foot check

 

  • To establish your foot health requirements
  • Provide a baseline for a treatment plan
  • Provide a yearly reference point
  • Provide foot health information
  • Establish a reference pathway if necessary
  • Monitor outcomes of treatment
  • Screening for abnormalities

 

This involves checking  the sensation and circulation in the feet,  you can raise and discuss any concerns about your feet with the podiatrist.  This includes a treatment of nail cutting and pairing down of corns and callouses.

 

Foot health checks

Having a specialist eye check the general health of your feet on a periodic basis is important as a preventative measure against possible foot problems before they occur.

 

Verrucae treatments

Verruca Pedis (VP), or commonly known as warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and can be highly contagious. They come in different shapes and sizes with a cauliflower appearance and can often develop on the skin of the feet. They may develop singly or in clusters.

They can be contracted by close skin- to-skin contact or picked up in communal changing rooms/swimming pools through invisible cuts or scratches on the surface of the skin.

Most people will develop verrucas at some point in their life which can be usually painless.  In some cases, as seen in some young children, verrucas can disappear with no treatment.  So leaving  the verruca to go away by it self is an option. It may take up to 2 years or more for the verruca to leave the system, and the length of time it takes to disappear varies between individuals.

If you decide to have your verruca treated because it is causing you pain, or is in an area on the foot where it is causing discomfort, below are common methods employed for treatment of verrucas. Your podiatrist  will talk through with you which option best suits your needs.

 

  • Salicylic acid
  • Freezing the skin cells ( cryotherapy)
  • or simply, pairing down of painful hard skin that forms around the verruca, and pressure relief

 

Salicylic Acid

This is a chemical which acts by destroying the affected area of skin. Before applying the treatment to the verruca/e, the overlying hard skin is paired down, and the surrounding healthy tissue is protected using a barrier.

It has been shown that Salicylic acid treatments is as effective as cryotherapy for treating verrucas.

 

Cryotherapy

This is a chemical which acts by destroying the affected area of skin. Before applying the treatment to the verruca/e, the overlying hard skin is paired down, and the surrounding healthy tissue is protected using a barrier.

It has been shown that Salicylic acid treatments is as effective as cryotherapy for treating verrucas.

Liquid nitrogen is applied to the verruca for a few seconds to freeze and destroy the affected skin cells. After the treatment a blister forms, followed by a scab which is left to drop off within 7-10 days.

A session of cryotherapy usually takes  5- 15minutes , and can be painful. This treatment is therefore not recommended to treat young children.  Large verrucas usually require a few sessions before they disappear. If cryotherapy has not been successful within three months , further treatment is likely to be ineffective.

 

There are a number of treatments for verrucas, however no single treatment is 100% effective and the verruca may return, due to the nature of the virus and the body' s ability to recognise and fight the virus.