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Podiatry

Podiatry remains a relatively unusual healthcare profession in that it is defined by a focus on a discrete body part, rather than a specific role, philosophy or approach to treatment, and as a profession has been broadly depicted in the international literature as health care specialty devoted to the treatment and prevention of afflictions of the foot. However, such a broad, all embracing definition does little to illuminate the range of roles, skills and knowledge that inform modern podiatric practice. A more specific definition of the role of the podiatrist is: A podiatrists deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. The conditions podiatrists treat include those resulting from bone and joint disorders such as arthritis and soft-tissue and muscular pathologies, as well as neurological and circulatory disease. Podiatrists are also able to diagnose and treat any complications of the above which affect the lower limb. Foot injuries and infections gained through sport or other activities are also diagnosed and treated by podiatrists.

The aim of the podiatrist is to identify the risk factors involved and to treat and prevent certain complications. Detailed examination such as vascular and neurological assessment, assessing mobility and biomechanics play a major role in the diagnosing and treating foot complications.

In Malta Podiatry is a relatively new profession. When the first clinic was opened 30 years ago, little did we realise the impact that this new service would have. From 4 podiatrists, and just 4,000 treatments offered in the first year of service, nowadays we are a 50 podiatrists strong team offering more than 130, 000 treatments annually. The number of clinics and specialities has also mushroomed throughout these years.

Podiatry Service is currently offered from all Health Centres​, all Homes for the Elderly (including PPP Homes) and Mater Dei Hospital.

Services that we currently offer include:

  • Core podiatry which includes routine podiatry such as corns, callosities, foot infections (Fungal, bacterial or viral infections), nail pathologies, detailed examination including biomechanical and vascular and neurological examination.

     
  • Gait Analysis. At B’kara HC we have a clinic specifically dedicated to Biomechanics. In this clinic we carry out a detailed biomechanical and gait analysis through visual and computerised means.

     
  • Foot Screening. We currently offer a service of neurological and vascular screening of all patients living with diabetes. This service is practically offered at all clinics, where patients who fail the initial tests are referred to three more specialised clinics one in Floriana, one in Paola and another one in B’kara for further examinations.

     
  • Podopaediatrics. A specialised clinic dedication to the examination and treatment of children was introduced two years ago at B’kara. This clinic had an instant success, and after just a year we had to double the staff to meet the demands of the general public.

     
  • Rheumatoid. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have their particular needs. To meet their needs we have a specialised clinic twice a week.

     
  • Diabetes. Whilst all podiatrists through their examination are able to identify any diabetes related foot problems, we have a strong team of podiatrists who have specialised in the examination and treatment of patients with diabetes. As a team in collaboration with the other podiatrists, Tissue Viability Unit, and Orthotics and Prosthetic Unit, and other Health Care Professions work hard to reduce the rate of amputations through treatments, education and preventive measures.

  • Nail Surgery. We have a clinic (B’kara) which is entirely dedicated to nail surgery.

  • Wound Management. We form part of the Tissue Viability Unit team. We collaborate closely both with other podiatrists, other departments and other Health Care professionals (HCP) to reduce to a minimum the number of amputations. Due to the vastness of this service we are in the process of increasing the number of staff in this area.

  • Prescription and supply of Orthotics from Orthotics and Prosthetics Unit St Lukes Hospital. These podiatrists work very closely with other podiatrists and other HCP. It is a very important service where their timely intervention help to improve mobility and reduce the number of amputations. 

  • Podogeraitrics. This is one of our strongest teams. Services are offered in all Government homes and residencies, in a number of private Old People’s homes (where there is a PPP arrangement) and in most day centres.


Collaboration with Local Councils

To date this service is in its initial phase where we had reached an agreement with two local councils (Kalkara and San Gwann). Once a month we attend their offices/clinics and offer a service from there.

 

As podiatrists we aim to give a timely, cost effective and best possible service to all. Clients who need our service can either come through a self-referral, or through a referral from another Health Care Professional. All clients need to do is contact us at their respective Health Centre, where they are given an appointment. After the initial examination the clients are directed to the most appropriate clinic, according to their needs. 

 

Podiatry Clinic Menu