The Brisbane Foot Clinic offers a wide range of services to help with your foot health needs, such as
Corns and Callouses
General nail care
Ingrown toenails and surgery
Diabetic feet assessments
Sports injury and prevention
Stretching and strengthening regimes
We have recently purchased a Shockwave Therapy machine in order to provide the best, and most up to date treatments for our patients.
Shockwave therapy uses radial pressure waves to stimulate a healing response in chronic injuries. Shockwave is actually treating the CAUSE of the injury and not just improving symptoms. The main objectives of shockwave therapy is
- Improve blood and lymphatic circulation
- Reduce pain
- Reduce muscle tension
- Reduce calcification in long term conditions (eg. Achilles tendonitis)
- Strengthen connective tissues
- Increase cell regeneration process
Shockwave has been shown to produce great results in people suffering long term pain from conditions such as Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis.
Corns and callouses are patches of hard skin that build up in areas of high pressure. This high pressure might be due to tight shoes, which would cause corns over the toes or on the sides of the feet. Also, if the feet are not in the correct alignment or there are some joints affected by osteoarthritis, certain areas under the foot, especially in the ball of the foot, can develop corns and callouses. This can be treated by debriding the area, which is usually pain free. Your Podiatrist will then look at why the callouses and corns are forming and help reduce the risk of them recurring through a range of offloading measures, including padding, toe protectors, footwear advice, insole therapy and orthotics.
Often as a result of various mobility issues, it becomes quite difficult to cut your own toenails. A podiatrist is able to help with this by providing regular nail care. Most people require a general toenail treatment every 6-8 weeks, although it may be required more often if you are prone to ingrown toenails, corns, callouses or warts. Your podiatrist will be able to assist you with organising an appropriate schedule for your treatments.
An ingrown toenail is also known as onychocryptosis. It is a common condition that occurs when part of the nail pierces the skin on the toe, which can often cause pain and sometimes an infection. The ingrown toenail can also cause discomfort without piercing through the skin because it can lead to increased pressure at the side of the toe/nail fold from the nail pinching on the toe. In addition to pain, there may be swelling, redness and discharge of clear or yellow fluid from the side of the toe.
Ingrown toenails can occur from several factors. The most common cause is incorrect nail trimming technique. Other common causes of ingrown toenail include:
- Congenital toenail/toe shape. ie. An involuted nail that is more curved from side to side
- Pressure from poor fitting shoes, neighbouring toes or tight socks/hosiery
- Poor foot hygiene
- Fungal nail infection
- Pregnancy or obesity which affects the size of the toe
A skilled Podiatrist can remove the corner of nail that has pierced the skin, often with little discomfort. However, if the toe is very sore, local anaesthetic may be used to ease the discomfort. It is important to remove the protruding piece of nail as infection is likely to persist and may worsen if it is not removed. Your podiatrist will also talk to you about the steps you should follow to promote healing of the toe.
If the toenail recurs a number of times, your Podiatrist can perform a toenail surgery called a Partial Nail Avulsion. This is done under a local anaesthetic in the Podiatry clinic and involves permanently removing the piece of nail that is ingrown.
Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to produce or does not produce enough insulin for the body. Diabetes has the potential to affect many systems of the body, so it is important to visit a range of health professionals on a regular basis.
There are a range of health care providers to help in the management of diabetes, and they include a general practitioner, endocrinologist, diabetes educator, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, pharmacist, exercise physiologist and dietician.
A Podiatrist will assess 2 main things when you present for a diabetic assessment:
- The blood flow to your feet
- The nerves in your feet (how well you can feel things)
Diabetes can cause a reduced amount of blood flow to your feet and toes and it can also cause the feet to go numb. This means that you may not feel a small cut or blister on your foot, and because there is not enough blood flow to heal the small sore, it can become infected and turn into a much bigger wound very quickly. If an infection spreads to the bone, an amputation may be required.
Your podiatrist will also provide you with some in-depth education on how to look after your feet when you have diabetes. This will include how to tend to your own toenails, what type of footwear is best to you, what to look out for to prevent any future problems and how to do basic wound dressings at home to stop little problems from becoming big problems!
Warts can be painful and very difficult to get rid of. They are caused by an infection of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and there are literally hundreds of different types of warts. Often they are contracted by injury to exposed skin in public areas like bathrooms and pools.
Warts under the foot and on toes are often more painful as they are located on a weight-bearing surface and have a lot of pressure on them, making them hurt more. Treatment of warts on the feet can sometimes take a long time, as warts are quite resilient and often have their own blood supply, ensuring that they can continue to grow even in the worst conditions.
Your Podiatrist will be able to advise you of the best course of treatment for your wart. These can range from controlled acid treatments (which are mostly painless), to cryotherapy (freezing) of the lesions.
Orthotics are customised supports that you wear in your shoes that are made specifically and only for your feet. They provide support to help correct any abnormalities in foot alignment, and they can also change the positioning of the foot to offload any structures that may be injured as a result of overuse. There are a range of conditions that can be treated using orthotics and if your Podiatrist determines that you require a pair, a series of tests and and assessments are performed. This includes examining how your lower limbs are working, identifying areas of overuse and taking a 3D scan of your feet so the orthotics will fit perfectly to the contour of your foot when they are made.
Many conditions, such as diabetes, can cause a decrease in blood flow to your feet and lower limbs. This can be a real concern, as it can lead to delays in healing time, increased risk of infection and severe pain when having to walk even short distances. Your Podiatrist is able to assess the blood supply to your feet during a thorough vascular assessment. A Doppler Ultrasound is a tool that is able to be used to not only assess the amount of blood getting down to your feet, but can also be used to analyse if you may be at risk of ulcerations or if in fact you require a referral to a vascular specialist.
The feet are usually very sensitive and there is a good reason for this – we have lots of nerves in the area. Our nerves are responsible for allowing us to feel stimulus correctly and also they enable our muscles to work properly. A Podiatrist is able to check that the nerves are working as they should be, by taking a thorough history of your presenting complaint and following that up with a physical investigation to check your reflexes and how well you can perceive certain stimulus. If you are found to have any neural defiticts, you will be offered practical advice to help deal with the issue or a further referral where appropriate.
A biomechanical assessment is the comprehensive analysis of the foot, ankle and lower limb mechanics which includes the following:
- Non weight bearing assessment of leg length, hip joint, knee joint, ankle joint, rear foot and forefoot joints
- Muscle flexibility of the lower limb
- Muscle strengths of the lower limb
- Gait assessment to see how you are walking and what areas might be getting overloaded
A full biomechanical assessment is required if a custom orthotic device will be part of your treatment plan. The assessment allows the Podiatrist to determine what sort of orthotic will work best, which structures need to be offloaded, which areas might be at risk of injury in the future and what footwear will work best for you.
Footwear comes in all shapes and sizes, as do feet! Some of the most common complaints involving the feet such as plantar fasciitis, corns and callouses can be caused by poorly supportive footwear. Your Podiatrist will be able to assess your current footwear and discuss if they are suitable or if another style of shoe would help with your foot complaints. There are a range of things to look for in good shoes, and these are just a few of the examples.
- Firm midsole – to provide support under your arches
- Firm heel counter – to provide support around your heel and ankle
- Deep heel counter – to provide support for unstable feet & ankles
- Firm lateral heel midsole – to provide support and protect against lateral instability
Your Podiatrist will also have a list of suitable shoe stores in your area that can provide appropriate footwear no matter what your requirements. If you have 2 different sized feet or your feet are a more unusual shape and you have trouble finding shoes that fit properly, Podiatrists are able to refer you to an Orthotist or Pedorthist (shoe maker) for specially prescribed medical grade footwear. If you are referred as a Department of Veteran’s Affairs patient, you are eligible for this type of footwear if your condition warrants such treatment.
Podiatrists are trained to treat all conditions of the foot and lower limb, including any sports related injuries. Sometimes, in order to prevent an injury, or to protect an area while it is still in the rehabilitation stage, it is important to immobilise the affected structure during a sporting event. Your podiatrist is able to provide strapping before an event, or alternatively can recommend certain braces or strapping techniques that you can employ yourself in order to keep you active and painfree!
Tight or weak muscles are much more prone to injuries so strengthening and stretching them appropriately is a very important part of any injury rehabilitation or prevention. Your Podiatrist will be able to determine which muscles are tight, or weak, and can then prescribe a strengthening and stretching regime to suit your condition. It is also important to continue strengthening your muscles, even if you no longer have any pain as this is important to prevent a recurrence in the future.