‘What is a Chiropodist / Podiatrist?’ Podiatrists assess, diagnose, and treat conditions related to the foot and lower limb. Many of the conditions treated are commonly associated with traditional ‘chiropody’, such as corns, callus, verrucae, and nail-cutting. We also treat other conditions, related to podiatry, analysing the way we walk (gait analysis) in order to identify the cause of a pathology and make a diagnosis so that treatment can be directed accordingly. In this situation, we may use orthotics (shoe inserts, insoles) to improve foot function, reduce pain, and prevent it from coming back. Minor surgeries are carried out by podiatrists, including nail surgery (for ingrowing toe nails), and electrocautery (permanent removal of persistent verrucas, unresponsive to conservative care). In addition we are very proud of our extra training enabling us to administer cortisone injections into the foot and ankle for persistent pathologies which haven’t responded to conservative care. Alongside routine chiropody and podiatry, we also treat the feet in the context of various systemic conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral vascular disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and many more.

‘Do I need a GP referral to see you?’ You do not need to see your GP first if you are paying for your own treatment. However, some health insurance companies require you to see your GP first. Check with you insurance company first if you plan on claiming on health insurance.

‘What is the difference between a Chiropodist and a Podiatrist?’ Quite simply there is no real difference. As of 1993, Chiropody changed its name to Podiatry, as it is the internationally recognised name for a foot specialist, and also more appropriate as podiatry encompasses a more modern approach to the profession, looking at pharmacology, biomechanics, orthotics, cortisone injections, nail surgery and foot surgery. The profession, like its name, is constantly changing due to the extensive training given to students and the continuing education that enables podiatrists to treat a wide array of foot, lower limb and kinetic chain problems. But never forgetting how the profession started and continuing to treat the more routine corns, callus, and nail care.

What is the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)?’ The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is and independent, UK-wide, health regulator which was set up to protect the public. The HCPC keeps a register of health professionals who meet their high standards of training, professional skills, behaviour and health. All of our practitioners at the Sussex Foot Centre are HCPC registered.

‘Who should see a Podiatrist?’ At the Sussex Foot Centre we see patients of all ages: young children, teenagers, adults and also senior residents of the Haywards Heath and surrounding areas. There is a common misconception that it is only elderly people that need treatment for their feet. It is estimated that 9 out of 10 of us will experience foot problems at least once in our life, this can happen at any age, at any time. It is important to see a podiatrist before any foot problems become worse. Get advice from your podiatrist about any family history of foot problems and how they may affect you (e.g. crossed over toes, bunions, flat feet, etc).