What is Podiatry?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM). They are also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon. Podiatrists are qualified by his or her education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.
Podiatry or podiatric medicine is a branch of medicine devoted to Lower Extremity care. Podiatrists diagnosis and treat all disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. There are numerous conditions that can affect all areas of the foot, ankle and lower leg. Podiatrists also manage non-healing foot and leg wounds, help with chronic nerve pain and treat patients experiencing Neuropathy. A Podiatrist can help correct foot and ankle problems, and help patients get back on their feet. Below is a list of common conditions which a Podiatrist can treat. At Heart Vascular and Leg Center’s Podiatry and Wound Healing Office, our providers and staff pride themselves on delivering world class care to patients in the Bakersfield community. We have convenient locations in Bakersfield and Delano, which positions our group to serve Kern County’s Podiatry needs. Our goal is to help Kern County keep their feet healthy, and above all else, help people walk stronger and live longer.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a disorder that effects the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot. This condition results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot that is usually causes the most discomfort during the morning hours, of just after a prolonged resting period. Pain is also commonly caused by bending the foot and toes up towards the shin. The pain typically comes on gradually, and it is common to affect both feet in about one third of cases.

Chronic Ankle Instability

Each day, an estimated one out of every 10,000 people sprain their ankle. This is an injury in which one of the two major ligaments on the outer portion of the ankle is stretched and/or torn. Chronic ankle instability is a condition characterized by the ankle frequently giving way on the outer (lateral) side of the foot. This condition is often caused by repeated ankle sprains.


Inflammation of one or more of your joints is called Arthritis. It is common in the small joints of the foot and ankle, and it can cause pain and stiffness which can make walking uncomfortable. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, many of which affect the foot and ankle.


Flat feet, also called fallen arches or pes planus) is a postural deformity. The arches of the feet collapse, causing the entire sole of the foot to make complete or near complete contact with the ground while you walk. This causes improper wait distribution in the foot which can result in the breakdown of support structures and pain.

Flat Feet

Bunions are bony bumps that can form on the joint at the base of your big toe. They are caused when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. The skin over the bunion can become red and sore. Wearing tight or narrow shoes may cause bunions or make them worse.

Breaks, Fractures and Trauma Care

Sprains and fractures in the foot and ankle often can heal with nonsurgical treatments. However, many fractures are more severe and happen in awkward locations. In these cases surgery may be required. Our Podiatry specialists work closely with each patient to determine if he or she requires surgical intervention.

Diabetic Foot Conditions

Diabetic Foot Conditions are complex and if left untreated, can lead to amputation. Signs and symptoms of Diabetic Foot Conditions include tingling and burning sensations, reduced ability to feel pain, numbness, inability to sense temperature changes, cramps, sharp pains, extreme sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, limited or complete loss of reflexes in the foot and ankle, loss of balance and coordination, bone and joint pain, infections and Foot and ankle ulcers.

Non-Healing Wounds

Chronic or non-healing wounds are defined as a wound that does not improve after four weeks or does not heal in eight weeks. These wounds can be caused by Diabetes, which are called Diabetic Foot Ulcers. They can also be caused by surgeries or trauma.

Ankle Replacement

Ankle arthroplasty, or ankle replacement is a surgical procedure using prosthetic components to replace the damaged articular surfaces of the ankle joint. This procedure is becoming the treatment of choice for patients with severely damaged ankle joints. Historically, bones were fused together With the advances in ankle replacement technology, patients see much better results with arthroplasty. Ankle replacement restores the range of motion, and helps patients to regain a more natural walking motion.

Ingrown Toe Nails

An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis or unguis incarnatus, is a painful condition in which the sharp edge or corner of the toenail digs into the skin at the side or end of the toe. It can be caused by wearing tight shoes which crowd your toes, or due to cutting your toe nails too short. Injuries can also play a role in ingrown toe nails. Symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, and in severe case, limping.

Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is a deformity that causes your toe to curl or bend down instead of pointing forward. This deformity can happen with any toe on your foot. It is most commonly found in the second or third toe. Hammer toe can be present at birth, but it generally develops over time due to arthritis or wearing tight or poor fitting shoes. Hammer Toe can be treated and corrected by a podiatrist.

Custom Orthotics and Braces

Foot orthotics are custom made by our Podiatrists. They are inserts that are designed to be placed in your shoe to relieve symptoms associated with a misalignment of foot structure. This misalignment can either be acquired when the naturally support structure relaxes, or it can be congenital. Custom braces are support structures that are designed to stabilize and strengthen joints. They are worn on the leg, and can be customized for areas from the ankle to the knee.

Bone Spurs

A bone spur (osteophyte) is a small, sharply pointed outgrowth of bone. Bone spurs are generally caused by localized inflammation. Some of these inflammatory conditions include degenerative arthritis or tendonitis. Bone spurs develop near cartilage or tendons, or close to areas where trauma or injury has occurred.