Podiatry, known in the past as chiropody, is a branch of medicine which studies, diagnoses and treats feet, ankle and lower extremity disorders.
Podiatrists treat the disabilities of the foot by physical therapy, utilising mechanical devices, special shoes, pharmaceuticals or surgery.
Podiatry is a speciality in many countries and its level and aims are different from country to country.
The origins of podiatry date back to ancient Egypt and, until the 20th century, the discipline was separated from organised medicine.
To practise this profession, individuals need to get certifications and training which vary from country to country. In the UK, individuals need to obtain a degree to become podiatrists and their main aims range from simple skin care to joint surgery.
There are different types of specialities within this discipline, including reconstructive foot surgery, podiatric orthopaedic, sports medicine, podiatric medical physician, general podiatric physician, high-risk wound care, dermatology podiatrist and forensic podiatry.
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