The Podiatry corresponds to medical foot care and thus a medical professional category that deals with the curative and preventive treatment of the feet by using individual applications such as foot baths, anointings and measures for nail and callus care.
Podiatrists work closely with doctors, shoemakers and physiotherapists, whereby a doctor usually refers his patients to certified podiatrists in the context of symptoms such as the diabetic foot, so that the treatment costs for curative foot care are often covered by the health insurance. Since 2012, podiatry can be learned in a three-year course, whereby the professional title of podiatrist is legally protected and abuse is sanctioned with a fine of up to 2500 euros.
Podiatry corresponds to medical foot care and thus a medical professional category that deals with the curative and preventive treatment of the feet.
The term podiatry includes curative and preventive measures in professional foot care that are carried out by a non-medical agency. Podiatry meets dermatological, surgical, orthopedic and diabetological requirements with regard to the foot, whereby the term podiatrist corresponds to a protected medical profession within Germany.
This means that only people who are officially authorized to do so may identify themselves as podiatrists. Podiatry works closely with doctors, shoemakers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, with most podiatrists holding a health insurance certificate. Podiatrists work in hospitals or in their own podiatry practices. Since 2012 there has been a separate course in podiatry, which usually lasts three years.
Podological measures are extremely versatile. Special applications are available in this area for almost every symptom related to the foot. So far, however, diabetic foot syndrome is the only disease for which patients can receive a prescription for podiatry treatment from a doctor, which can be submitted to the health insurance company.Currently, diabetic foot syndrome as a secondary disease of diabetes mellitus is responsible for around two thirds of all amputations carried out in Germany.
As a result of circulatory disorders, wounds occur on the lower leg and especially on the foot in the context of diabetic disease, but nerve damage also occurs. In part, a so-called Charcot foot is formed as part of the syndrome, which means that the joints and bones of the foot are destroyed. Anyone who is sent to a podiatrist because of diabetic foot syndrome receives curative treatments that are fully covered by health insurance. These treatments focus primarily on wound care and maintenance. In addition to a lukewarm foot bath, this care includes conscientious skin care of the affected foot, with creams containing urea in particular, which are intended to prevent cracks in the long term.
After the professional footbath, the spaces between the toes are carefully rubbed dry by the podiatrist so that athlete's foot doesn't stand a chance. Then the podiatrist inspects the foot carefully for injuries and other pathological phenomena in order to get an overall picture. He discovers any inflammations and ulcers as well as open wounds, pressure points and blisters or nail problems. The podiatrist then takes care of the phenomena discovered in this way.
For example, he takes care of the nails and calluses of the affected foot. As a rule, he does not use sharp objects for this, as this would damage the sensitive foot even more. Instead, he uses nail files and pumice stones and also works with skin-caring ointments that are placed on the soles of the feet and the back of the feet, but not in the spaces between the toes. In addition to the treatment, the podiatrist may give the patient helpful tips for daily foot care at home.
Podiatry foot treatment is not associated with any risks or side effects for the patient as long as it is carried out by a competent body. The opening foot bath in particular is geared towards relaxation, so that most patients find their visit to the podiatrist as pleasant as possible. Podiatry treatments are, however, relatively time-consuming and take around 40 minutes with individual advice, inspection and care of the foot.
If the doctor orders complex podiatry treatments related to a specific complaint, the visit to the podiatrist can last up to an hour. Complex treatments prescribed by a doctor at a professional podiatrist are usually not one-off events, but take place at regular intervals. Usually around three individual meetings per month are arranged. The treating podiatrist regularly consults the referring doctor to get an overview of the situation and in return to report to the doctor about his findings and treatment measures.
For such medically prescribed podiatrist visits, the treatment costs are borne by the health insurance company. However, this only applies if it is a certified podiatry practice or if the treatment takes place directly in the hospital. If, on the other hand, you visit a podiatrist without a doctor's referral slip and only for prevention, you will usually not receive this visit reimbursed by the health insurance, but must pay the full amount independently.
Although podiatry treatments can be carried out in the course of a hospital stay, such treatment is inherently outpatient. This means that anyone who is in hospital anyway may receive podiatry treatment as an in-patient. However, no one is admitted to the hospital just for podiatry treatment.