What Is the Difference Between Podiatrist and Chiropodist?

Is There a Difference Between a Chiropodist and Podiatrist?

Doctors typically recommend seeing a podiatrist when people need foot or ankle treatment. Podiatry is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on the identification and treatment of foot issues and conditions affecting the lower limbs and feet.

As healthcare professionals, podiatrists will provide the diagnosis and the most suitable solution for abnormal foot issues because they handle anything from bunions to toenail infections.

Yet, another term for a foot doctor is still widely used, particularly by older patients: chiropodist. But what exactly does a chiropodist do, and how does it differ from what a podiatrist does?

Simply put, chiropodist and chiropody are archaic words for doctors specializing in foot disorders. There is actually no technical distinction or significant difference between a podiatrist and a chiropodist in their performance. Around the middle of the 20th century, the terms podiatrist and podiatry replaced the terms chiropodist and chiropody.

However, some countries still consider there to be a difference between these occupations. So, although both a chiropodist and a podiatrist are foot doctors who diagnose and treat foot problems, can you expect the same level of foot care from both of them?

Read on to learn more.

What Does a Chiropodist Do?

The first trained healthcare professionals with a focus on the study and treatment of the lower legs and feet emerged after the first officially recognized medical organization for foot doctors was founded in New York in 1895.

The organization was known as the society of chiropodists. In fact, that organization still exists under the name the New York State Podiatric Medical Association or NYSPMA.

While the U.S. has stopped using the term chiropodist, some countries, such as Canada, still use the term.

In Australia, the title chiropodist was replaced with podiatrist in 1977. In the UK, the term podiatry is recognized and used more, even though the term chiropody has been traditionally used. Other countries may also use the term chiropodist today.

A chiropodist was considered a foot specialist who could handle a range of foot disorders, including blisters, hard skin, and heel complications. They can also relieve pain, treat infections and sports injuries, as well as correct deformities.


What Does a Podiatrist Do?

Typically, in countries such as the U.S., licensed podiatrists can perform bone surgery, nail surgery, as well as other foot and ankle surgical procedures. They can also carry out reconstructive procedures, interpret X-rays, set fractures, diagnose and treat sports injuries, as well as perform physical examinations.

Podiatrists can diagnose and treat foot problems and skin conditions such as Athlete’s foot, cracked heels, flat feet, and ingrown toenails.

A podiatrist can administer anesthetics or sedation if someone is suffering from ankle or foot pain. Prescribing medications, prosthetics, casts, orthotics, tailor-made insoles, and arch supports can also be expected from podiatrists.

One can also visit a podiatrist, even if their feet are perfect. As a result, foot, toe, and nail problems can be prevented. In addition, podiatrists can advise on the best shoes and insoles for your feet.

Podiatrist VS Chiropodist

The term “foot specialists” is frequently used to describe podiatrists and chiropodists. Podiatrists must possess a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree, a post-degree bachelor’s that takes four years to complete. They have to pass comprehensive board exams to be licensed to practice. However, keep in mind that despite having the title “doctor,” they are not actually medical doctors.

Those countries that do not consider chiropodists and podiatrists to be the same refer to chiropodists as primary care providers trained in the diagnosis and treatment of foot problems. They offer comprehensive nail and skin care to patients, perform soft tissue surgeries under local anesthesia, as well as recommend and prescribe custom orthotic footwear and fit ankle-foot orthoses. A chiropodist may also prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications based on your condition.

In some cases, podiatrists are a better choice if you require urgent foot surgery because only podiatrists can operate on the bones in your feet.

Podiatry services can be covered or partially covered under health insurance plans in some countries. On the other hand, chiropody services are typically not covered, although some private insurers include chiropody coverage.

If you still have questions about the difference between a Podiatrist and a Chiropodist and you are not sure where to turn to, a podiatrist in Santo Domingo can be the best person to clarify everything and answer all your questions.

What Is the Most Common Problem Treated by Podiatrists?

Athletes’ foot, bunions, heel pain, and ingrown toenails are among the common foot conditions podiatrists treat.

However, many consider heel discomfort as the most common foot issue that podiatrists treat. Many disorders can cause heel pain. Heel pain is commonly treated with stretching exercises, cortisone injections, and orthotic devices. However, if therapies are ineffective, surgery may be required.


How Can a Podiatrist Help with Foot Health?


We rely on our feet for stability and movement, so taking care of them and keeping them healthy is vital. That can include everything from clipping toenails to seeing a foot doctor at the first sign of trouble.

Unfortunately, some people ignore their foot health to the point where once uncomplicated problems become serious health issues, which can adversely affect your health.

If your feet hurt for whatever reason or you suffer from discolored nails, growth-like warts, or any other problem related to the feet, Dr. Ivan Silva may be able to help.

Despite being a podiatric surgeon in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, he also has offices in New York and New Jersey. He is a nationally recognized specialist in multiple areas of podiatry. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.