Dr. Kushal Nag, Podiatrist in Kolkata. Podiatry or podiatric medicine is a branch of medicinedevoted to the study, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot & ankle.
The term podiatry came into use in the early 20th century in the United States and is now used worldwide, including countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia.
The professional care of feet was in existence in ancient Egypt as evidenced by bas-relief carvings at the entrance pharaoh’s tomb dating from about 2400 BC, where work on hands and feet is depicted.
Corns and calluses were described by Hippocrates who recognized the need to physically reduce hard skin, followed by removal of the cause. He invented skin scrapers for this purpose and these were the original scalpels.
Until the turn of the 20th century, chiropodists—now known as podiatrists—were separate from organized medicine. They were independently licensed physicians who treated the feet, ankles and related leg structures.
There are records of the King of France employing a personal podiatrist, as did Napoleon. In the United States, President Abraham Lincoln suffered greatly with his feet and chose a chiropodist who not only cared for the president’s feet, but also was sent by President Lincoln on confidential missions to confer with leaders of the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War.
Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat only diseases of the foot and ankle. Whether it is sports medicine, pediatrics, dermatology or diabetes, today’s podiatrist can treat the many diverse facets of foot care. Podiatrists can be the first to identify systemic diseases in patients, such as diabetes and vascular disease.