Podiatry Abbreviations List and Importance

Updated: November 09, 2023

Podiatry, the branch of medicine dedicated to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremities, is an extensive field with a vast array of terms and technical jargon.

Like other medical specialties, podiatry often uses abbreviations to refer to standard conditions, procedures, and anatomical areas. This article serves as a guide to understanding some of the frequently used podiatry abbreviations better.

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Importance of Knowing Podiatry Abbreviations

Being familiar with podiatry abbreviations is crucial for a variety of reasons:

  • Efficiency: For healthcare professionals, the use of abbreviations streamlines communication and documentation.
  • Patient Understanding: For patients, understanding these abbreviations can demystify medical records and discussions, fostering better patient-doctor communication.
  • Continuity of Care: Ensuring that medical personnel understand and utilize standardized abbreviations helps maintain continuity and clarity in patient care across different healthcare settings.

List of Abbreviations

To navigate the complex language of podiatry, we’ve compiled a list of podiatric abbreviations, presented in their respective categories for easy reference.

The context in which the abbreviation is being used is crucial. In different contexts, an abbreviation might fit into a different category or have a different meaning altogether.

(Note: This list is by no means exhaustive and provides a glimpse into the numerous abbreviations in podiatry.)

Anatomical Abbreviations:

These refer to specific parts of the foot or lower extremity.

Joints and Structures:

  • MPJ: Metatarsophalangeal Joint
  • IPJ: Interphalangeal Joint
  • DIPJ: Distal Interphalangeal Joint
  • PIPJ: Proximal Interphalangeal Joint
  • STJ: Subtalar Joint
  • TMT: Tarsometatarsal
  • TTJ: Talonavicular Joint
  • MTJ: Midtarsal Joint
  • 1st MPJ: First Metatarsophalangeal Joint
  • 5th MPJ: Fifth Metatarsophalangeal Joint
  • IM: Intermetatarsal
  • 3rd Met Hd: Third metatarsal head

Muscles and Tendons:

  • EHL: Extensor Hallucis Longus
  • EHB: Extensor Hallucis Brevis
  • FCR: Flexor Carpi Radialis (note: This is more common in hand anatomy, not foot)
  • FDL: Flexor Digitorum Longus
  • FDB: Flexor Digitorum Brevis
  • TP: Tibialis Posterior
  • TA: Tibialis Anterior
  • TFL: Tensor Fascia Latae (note: This is a thigh muscle)
  • FHL: Flexor Hallucis Longus
  • FHB: Flexor Hallucis Brevis

Regions of the Foot:

  • FF: Forefoot
  • HL: Hindfoot Locked

Directional and Positional Terms:

  • Rt: Right
  • Lt: Left
  • Bilat.: Bilateral/both sides
  • Ant: Anterior (to the front)
  • Post: Posterior (to the rear)
  • Sup: Superior (above/over)
  • Inf: Inferior (below/beneath)
  • Med: Medial (towards midline)
  • Lat: Lateral (to the side)
  • Plant: Plantar (sole surface)
  • Dors: Dorsal (top/back of foot)
  • Apical: On the apex (tip/end of toe)
  • Dist: Distal (further out)
  • Prox: Proximal (closer in)
  • 1st web: First interdigital space

Dermatological Abbreviations:

These are related to the diagnosis, treatment, and anatomy of skin conditions.

  • HD: Heloma Durum (hard corn)
  • HM: Heloma Molle (soft corn)
  • Hmille: Heloma Millaire (seed corn)
  • HV: H. Vasculare (vascular corn)
  • HNV: H. Neurovasculare (neurovascular corn)
  • VP: Verruca Pedis (verruca or plantar wart)
  • enuc: Enucleated (commonly refers to removal of a core or center part)
  • prd: Pared (trimmed or reduced)
  • call.rcd.: Callus reduced
  • call.rdn: Callus reduction

Dermatological and Nail Abbreviations:

These encompass both skin and nail disorders, treatments, and anatomical references.

  • Onycho~: Specific nail dystrophy, e.g. onychomycosis (fungal toe nail)
  • ~nychia: Specific nail dystrophy, e.g. paronychia (infection of nail fold)
  • O/HD: Subungual heloma durum (hard corn under the nail)
  • O/C: Onychocryptosis (ingrown toenail)
  • O/G: Onychogryphosis (ram’s horn nail)
  • O/X: Onychauxis (thickening of the nail plate)
  • O/P: Onychophosis (buildup of skin under the nail)
  • PNA: Partial nail avulsion
  • TNA: Total nail avulsion
  • NT&F: Nails trimmed and filed

Diagnostic Abbreviations:

These are used for specific conditions or diagnoses.

  • PF: Plantar Fasciitis
  • PTTD: Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
  • HAV: Hallux Abducto Valgus (commonly known as bunions)
  • CSP: Cardinal sagittal plane
  • AVN: Avascular Necrosis
  • CMT: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • CRPS: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • CTS: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (used in reference to similar entrapments in the foot)
  • DJD: Degenerative Joint Disease
  • ICD: Interdigital Corns and Calluses
  • ITB: Iliotibial Band
  • LCL: Lateral Collateral Ligament
  • MCL: Medial Collateral Ligament
  • PFS: Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • PFPS: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
  • PVD: Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • RSD: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • SES: Subtalar Eversion Syndrome
  • TTN: Tight Triceps Surae
  • PN: Peripheral Neuropathy
  • RF: Rheumatoid Foot
  • VMO: Vastus Medialis Obliquus
  • ABPI: Ankle Brachial Pressure Index
  • DFU: Diabetic Foot Ulcer
  • TTS: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • VLU: Venous Leg Ulcer

Disease and Condition Abbreviations:

These denote specific diseases, disorders, or conditions affecting the foot and lower limb.

  • OA: Osteoarthritis
  • RhA: Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • IDDM: Insulin Dependant Diabetes Mellitus
  • NIDDM: Non-Insulin Dependant Diabetes Mellitus
  • PVD: Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • DVT: Deep Vein Thrombosis

Surgical and Procedural Abbreviations:

These refer to specific treatments or surgical procedures.

  • AFO: Ankle-Foot Orthosis
  • ORIF: Open Reduction and Internal Fixation
  • BRO: Bunionectomy with Re-alignment Osteotomy
  • HTO: High Tibial Osteotomy
  • TAL: Tendo Achilles Lengthening
  • TPR: Tibialis Posterior Reconstructive surgery
  • UAO: Under Anesthesia Osteotomy
  • MIS: Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • AKA: Above Knee Amputation
  • BKA: Below Knee Amputation
  • PNA: Partial Nail Avulsion
  • TPA: Total Contact Casting
  • PreOp: Before operating
  • PostOp: After operating

Clinical and Examination Abbreviations:

Used during physical exams or clinical settings.

  • ROM: Range of Motion
  • NWB: Non-Weight Bearing
  • FWB: Full-Weight Bearing
  • PWB: Partial-Weight Bearing
  • H/O: history of
  • C/O: complains of
  • EMG: Electromyography
  • LLE: Lower Limb Examination
  • SLR: Straight Leg Raise
  • VAS: Visual Analog Scale
  • DME: Diabetic Foot Examination
  • WB: Weight Bearing
  • Dx: Diagnosis
  • Tx: Treatment
  • Rx: Prescription/Recommendation
  • >>: Condition improved/improving
  • <<: Condition deteriorating/going backward
    x3, x5: Multiple lesions (e.g. HDs x3 would indicate three heloma durum instances)
  • TBW: To be worn (typically indicating the duration a dressing should be worn)

Imaging and Laboratory Abbreviations:

These refer to tests or imaging used to diagnose conditions.

  • X-ray views:
  • AP: Anteroposterior
  • LAT: Lateral
  • OB: Oblique
  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • CBC: Complete Blood Count
  • RAO: Radiographic Angles of the Foot

Organizational and Educational Abbreviations:

These relate to institutions, degrees, and certifications in podiatry.

  • DPM: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
  • ABPM: American Board of Podiatric Medicine
  • ABPS: American Board of Podiatric Surgery
  • PA: Podiatric Assistant

Therapeutic Abbreviations:

Referring to treatments or therapeutic modalities.

  • ESWT: Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
  • RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • HA: Hyaluronic Acid
  • NSAID: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug

Miscellaneous Abbreviations:

These can relate to other aspects not specifically mentioned above.

  • OTC: Over-the-Counter (referring to medications or devices available without a prescription)
  • CMC: Cuneometatarsal
  • TBS: to be seen
  • TCI: to come in
  • 3/7: three days
  • 1/52: one week
  • 1/12: one month

The extensive list of Podiatric Abbreviations by Musculoskeletal Key provides a detailed reference to essential abbreviations used in practice, education, and administration. It’s designed to support clear communication and accurate documentation for clinicians, students, and medical coders alike.

Related Resources

For a more in-depth exploration of podiatry abbreviations, a range of online resources can help. Here are some websites tailored specifically to understanding and mastering these abbreviations:

  1. American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA): The APMA’s official website, www.apma.org, provides a plethora of resources, including glossaries that can assist in deciphering common abbreviations.
  2. Podiatry Today: Found at www.podiatrytoday.com, this site offers a wide array of articles, some of which delve into the terminology and abbreviations central to podiatry.
  3. Podiatry Arena: Accessible at www.podiatry-arena.com, this platform serves as a forum for professionals to discuss a range of topics. There’s a good chance you can find threads discussing abbreviations and their applications.
  4. Foot Health Facts: Sponsored by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, this website, www.foothealthfacts.org, often touches on terminology and provides patient-friendly explanations, which can be useful for understanding abbreviations in context.
  5. Podiatry Network: At www.podiatrynetwork.com, you can find a comprehensive list of conditions, treatments, and more, often using and explaining various podiatry abbreviations.

By utilizing these resources, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the abbreviations found in podiatry and ensure effective communication within this medical specialty.

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Metatarsophalangeal Joint
Heloma Durum (hard corn)
Onychocryptosis (ingrown toenail)
Plantar Fasciitis

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