Podiatry Overview: Q&A with Dr. Michael J. Cornelison

by James Florence


Dr. Michael J. Cornelison is owner of Cupertino Podiatry Inc. 

As owner of Cupertino Podiatry Inc., Dr. Michael J. Cornelison has been serving patients in Santa Clara County for more than 15 years. We took a few minutes to speak with Dr. Cornelison to learn more about his field of expertise and gain some helpful knowledge. Here’s the interview:

Q: What is a podiatrist, exactly?

A: A podiatrist, also known as a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), is a health care specialist who deals exclusively with problems pertaining to the foot and ankle, including injuries, diseases and disorders. 

Q: Can a podiatrist do things like prescribe medications or perform surgery?

A: Yes. We can prescribe medications for pain, infections and other issues, and we’re able to perform surgical procedures to correct deformities and treat injuries like bone fractures. In addition to treating patients at a private practice, we can visit and treat them at a hospital, if needed.

Q: Is there a primary demographic of people who experience foot problems?

A: It’s more accurate to say that different demographics experience particular issues. For instance, younger patients often experience “growing pains” as their growth plates start to fuse, as well as pain or injuries arising from sports-related activities. Older patients, on the other hand, tend to have issues related to wear-and-tear over the years, such as pain from progressive foot deformities or diminished padding on the undersides of feet. We also see an increase in fractures and dislocations as bones start to weaken and balance begins to diminish. There are, however, certain issues that are experienced by young and old patients alike, such as warts and ingrown toenails.

Q: Why should I pay attention to the health of my feet?

A: Often, things that don’t seem significant at first can cause problems in the long run. For instance, a common thing people experience is heel or arch pain for the first few steps after they get up and start walking. This issue is easy to overlook because it goes away quickly, but the underlying condition progressively gets worse and can result in mobility issues later in life.

Additionally, like many parts of the body, your feet can serve as a window into the state of your general health. A feeling of numbness or tingling in the toes can be a precursor to diabetes; changes in toenails may indicate pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis; and a new mole that appears on the bottom of your foot can be a sign of skin cancer or another issue. In most cases, you can take proactive steps to treat and control these problems before the symptoms become too severe.

Q: What are the best ways to preventively care for my feet?

A: First, it’s important to make sure your shoe gear is appropriate for your foot shape and the kinds of activities you engage in on a regular basis. If you have a family history of foot problems, make sure your shoes proactively address this, whether by ensuring adequate arch support or other considerations.

Another way to care for your feet is to stay fit and active. The “use it or lose it” idiom certainly applies here, even for those who are developing arthritis. In fact, one of the best medicines for arthritis is to keep those joints moving. Walking at least 20 minutes a day is good for maintaining your muscle and bone strength in the lower extremities. Body weight is also an important consideration, as heavier individuals have a lot more wear and tear on their feet over the long term.

Last but not least, go see a podiatrist on a recurrent basis. Just as you make it a point to have your eyes, teeth and general health assessed routinely, you should do the same for your feet.

Use Diamond Certified Resource to find top rated companies.

Related Articles
The Essential Guide to General Health and Wellness
Get Expert Advice From Owners of Top Rated Local Companies
Become a Diamond Certified Preferred Member (Always Free)