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Could Podiatrists be trained to do this

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Lovefeet, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Lovefeet

    Lovefeet Banned

  2. mancity76

    mancity76 Welcome New Poster

    I think you are underestimating the skill and knowledge required to become a prosthetist. Which requires completion of a 4 year degree.
  3. Lovefeet

    Lovefeet Banned

    Hi Mancity....Yes, am aware of the degree. However, was just thinking because podiatry in the UK has evolved by taking bits and pieces from various other professions, podiatrists could overlap once again and learn to do monthly servicing of the prosthetic.

    Originally toenail surgery done by GPs - now Pods can do it. Originally, prosthetics dept did insoles - now Pods can do it. However, on the flip side....Physios can do insoles and nurses can use scalpels (with reference to ulcers, etc)...and anyone can cut toenails, use scalpels to deal with corns and callous.....
  4. mancity76

    mancity76 Welcome New Poster

    Prosthetists didn't do insoles orthotists did and still do. I understand your point about professions overlapping but cutting someone's nails is a small part of your profession whereas prosthetists are solely and highly trained to assess design fit and review prostheses and nothing else. In my opinion those who are experts in a certain role should be doing that role. Not sure what you mean about servicing the prosthesis? This would be done by a technician not a prosthetist who is a clinician.
  5. agreed the other thing is most Podiatrists do not understand enough about mechanics to be playing prosthetics in the 1st place
  6. Lovefeet

    Lovefeet Banned

    Mancity, did not mean to offend. The degree you referring to is a Prosthetic and orthotic degree, 3/4 years - depending which part of the country folk study at. I thought (which is probably wrong) due to the overlapping of professions - that prosthetists were also able to do orthotics, and vice-versa, as it appears to be the same degree....Truthfully, i think cutting toenails is a large part of the podiatry profession. Have no facts to back up that statement - so best i keep quiet on that one...

    According to the article, the point i picked up on, was that the chap was saying that he needed his orthotics tightened, etc regularly. That was the part i was referring to that pods maybe trained to do that part of it. Help this man out and others who find themselves in the same boat....

    Once again apologies if upset you - it was just a thought....
  7. LisaN

    LisaN Welcome New Poster

    We are trained in both professions, however because both are so intense most of us choose to specialise in one or the other. Servicing prosthetic limbs is not just a case of tightening a few screws and off the patient goes. Prosthetists, as well as orthotists are, as has already been said, highly trained in their field as are the technicians who service the limbs. Whilst podiatry and orthotics do overlap in a small way, prosthetics and podiatry are 2 completely different fields. The thing to also note is, that although this chap may think he needs these state of the art limbs, they may not be suitable for him for many, many reasons. It is shameful that more advanced limbs are not available on the NHS but unfortunately that is the way it is, and although you may think this is not right, there will more than likely be more to this story than what the media are reporting. There are many patients out there who feel that they should have top of the range limbs, but in fact are not good canditates whatsoever.....and THAT is the bit you cannot get through to them at times.
  8. Lovefeet

    Lovefeet Banned

    Thanks Lisa...very informative...
  9. greatwhite

    greatwhite Active Member

    It would be useful if there were courses available for Podiatrists to attend regarding this even if it is for information purposes only. It's something I would be interested in but wouldn't know where to start looking for courses. I can't remember seeing any advertised in UK (although I must admit I'm not always the most observant of people!).
  10. lusnanlaogh

    lusnanlaogh Active Member


    I'm sorry to arrive on this thread a bit late in the day.

    I last posted a while back - I'm a pod and an amputee, and I was the later before I was the former. :D

    I can understand why someone would think there would be a transfer of skills between podiatry and prosthetics. Some of the knowledge I've picked up as a patient I've been able to apply to my profession ... and it's been very useful. However, as others have explained, it isn't that simple.

    Yes, both professions use biomechanics, but podiatry is primarily (human) tissue focused, whilst prosthetics is mechanical/materials focused. The terminology can be quite different too. And, in my experience, some podiatrists aren't that great at recognising that a patient may need an accommodative orthotic ... just sayin' ... ;)

    Even though I feel confident in 'diagnosing' the cause of alignment issues I may have, in all honesty, I am not always right. And, I wouldn't dream of taking an Allen key to, say, a knee component, as it's a minefield!

    That's not to say that there isn't a need for more prosthetists. Treatment for everyone with limb loss in the UK has reached an all time low. Both ex-servicemen and civilian amputees in the UK are in desperate need in an increase in the number of prosthetists and of prosthetists with experience (!!!) - as in many areas, experienced staff are leaving in droves, whilst young relatively inexperienced staff are employed in their place. The situation is bad enough for the elderly ... you can imagine, I'm sure, what life is like for many young, active amputees.

    As for the guy in the article. He looks young and fit (in amputee terms) and, seeing as he's ex-service, he probably spent some time at Headley Court. Taking all that into account, it would probably IMO be clinically appropriate for him to use the hardwear he says he needs.

    The government have promised £11 million over the next 2 years to help fund hardwear for some 300 - 400 personnel who have lost limbs before a certain date (I think it's 2007?) ... anyone injured before isn't entitled to the funds or help from H4H (to my knowledge).

    If you want to learn more, why don't you contact BAPO or look into the Diabetic Foot Masterclass (it's run by an orthotist).

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