What does a Podiatrist do ?

A podiatrist is health professional who deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. The conditions podiatrists treat include those resulting from bone and joint disorders such as arthritis and soft-tissue and muscular pathologies as well as neurological and circulatory diseases.

Podiatrists are also able to diagnose and treat any complications of the above, which affect the lower limb, including skin and nail disorders, corns, calluses and in growing toenails. Foot injuries and infections gained through sport or other activities are also diagnosed and treated by podiatrists.

Do I need a doctor's referral to make an appointment ?

Not normally. Only patients entitled to services paid by the Department of Veteran's Affairs or Medicare require referrals from their GPs. Anyone wishing to claim treatment through Work Cover must contact their Case Manager for permission to proceed with podiatry services. We require written authority from the Case Manager ensuring us that Work Cover will pay for the Initial Consultation and report if required.

Is Podiatry covered by Medicare ?

Not generally. Medicare has introduced the Enhanced Primary Carer's Program which enables GPs to refer patients with chronic disabilities or illnesses to Allied Health Service Providers for a certain number of visits per year. Podiatry is one of these services. See your GP to discuss your eligibility. Your GP is required to provide us with a Medicare-EPC referral and Care Plan.

Is Podiatry covered by private health insurance ?

Podiatry is covered by many private health insurance funds under “Extras” tables. Please check with your fund as rebates are dependent on the level of cover for which you are insured. We have HICAPS, which enable an instant rebate from your health fund, leaving only a gap fee for you to pay. Please bring your health fund card with you when you attend your appointment.

What is the difference between a Podiatrist and a Chiropodist ?

Not a great deal, Chiropodists changed their name to Podiatrists in 1977. At this time in some states it also saw an increase in the level of education, Podiatrists look after all of your foot and ankle complaints.

What is an Orthotic ?

Orthotics are devices put inside your footwear to provide your foot with the most efficient and correct way for your foot to function. In the past orthotics have been known as arch supports, insole or inserts. Although these all may share some of the characteristics with orthotics, things have progressed a great deal.

There are generally two types of orthotics, over the counter devices such as those sold in shoe shops or at a chemist. Secondly custom made devices, generally these are far more complex and made from a plaster cast of your feet.

So what is the difference between custom made devices and over the counter devices?

Over the counter (OTC) devices generally come in 3 or 4 sizes small to extra large. They do not come in different arch heights. Are your feet the same as your best friends?

Over the counter devices are generally made from fairly cheap materials, and have a much shorter life span, than custom-made devices. They do no cope well with body weight or the pressure of walking.

These devices are generally excellent at quick and short term pain relief. In fact some heel pain conditions, for example, resolve well with over the counter devices as part of the treatment regime. Others however do not !

Custom made devices are made from a plaster cast of your feet in combination with a long list of biomechanical measurement, which reveal your feet, legs and bodys best way of running, walking or playing.

Materials for custom-made devices are more hard wearing and will last for an average of 2 to 3 years. Custom made devices are exactly that, custom made so that may be designed to be accommodated in your footwear more precisely, too suit your chosen sport and activity levels.

Is it important to have my childrens feet assessed ?

Yes, especially if your child trips over a lot, complains of sore feet, knee pain or leg pain after sport, or complains that their shoes hurt. These are all signs that something is not right and the child should be professionally assessed by a podiatrist before the problem becomes worse.

How often should i visit a Podiatrist ?

You should think of your feet the same way you think about your teeth. Prevention is better than cure so be sure to have regular check ups. We recommend that you have your feet checked at least once a year. This is even more important if you have orthotics as they may need adjusting.

Those who suffer from more complex conditions such as Diabetes should have your feet checked much more frequently.

Any problems or soreness should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to avoid further injury.