Podiatric Surgery is the surgical treatment of the foot and its associated structures. It is carried out by a Podiatric Surgeon, usually as a day case procedure and often but not always under local anaesthetic. Podiatric Surgeons are Fellows of the College of Podiatric Surgeons or the Surgical Faculty of the College of Podiatrists, whose qualifications are registered under the Health Professions Council.
Whilst many foot problems respond to non-surgical treatment, some are best treated by podiatric surgery. This is particularly effective for persistently painful conditions or where the foot is being affected by deformity. Common problems include hallux valgus (bunion surgery), hammer, mallet and claw toes, foot arthritis, plantar corns, neuromas (enlarged nerves) and plantar fasciitis (inflammation of connective tissue).
Chiropodists and podiatrists deal with the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limb such as arthritis, diabetes, nail surgery and sports injuries. Chiropodist and podiatrist are interchangeable titles, according to the preference of the practitioner.
Some podiatrists who are members of the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists are qualified to undertake nail and soft tissue surgery and can administer local anaesthetics. More complicated procedures are done by a Podiatric Surgeon.