In 1998, the formerly unaffiliated School for Podiatric Medicine merged with Temple University to create the Foot and Ankle Institute, a respected institution whose clinic treats 50,000 patients a year who limp in with sore feet. Some bring complaints as simple as an ingrown toenail, but the issue is usually something more serious — plantar fasciitis, a deforming bunion or hammer-toe, a cyst or nerve tumor. The innovative Gait Study Center provides doctors with a tool to study the way a patient walks in order to identify pressure points that may be causing the agony of de feet. With a diagnosis comes a solution — an orthotic, surgery, or maybe just trading in those pointy-toed Manolos for Naturalizer pumps. Researchers here are working on everything from ways to prevent shin splints to foot problems associated with pregnancy to whether yoga helps older women improve balance and prevent falls (8th and Race streets, 800-220-FEET, podiatry.temple.edu).
Professional dancers, athletes, runners, seniors with sore feet, kids with plantar warts — they all visit the Ankle and Foot Medical Institute of the Delaware Valley, an innovative podiatric center whose credo is “Nobody should walk with pain.” The board-certified podiatrists have broad experience in problems of the foot, frequently lecture on the subject, and contribute to scientific journals. Whether it’s complex surgery to replace a toe joint or repair a congenital deformity, ankle arthroscopy, medication, physical therapy, care for a common condition like Morton’s neuroma or a sports injury, they’ve seen it all and know what to do. They work closely with the specialists at Penn Orthopedic Care and the Diabetes Center, since foot problems are a common diabetic complication (Presbyterian Medical Center, 38th and Market streets, with satellite locations in Radnor and Doylestown; 800-789-7366, pennhealth.com/podiatry/presby).