Deciding which type of doctor to see can be a real “pain in the foot.” One thing to always keep in mind is what feels right to you. It is important to see a provider that clearly explains your diagnosis and treatment plan. Here is some information about orthopedic foot and ankle specialists to help you decide if you are seeing the right doctor.
Orthopedic Foot Specialist vs. Podiatrist
Orthopedic surgeons attend four years of medical school, a five to six year residency, and a one year sub-specialty fellowship training focusing solely on the foot and ankle. Orthopedic surgeons are trained to treat all musculoskeletal injuries and, therefore, tend to consider how your foot and ankle injury may affect the rest of your body. They treat bones and joints, as well as their supporting soft tissue muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Podiatrists attend podiatry school and typically complete a brief residency thereafter. They are not medical doctors (MDs).
Common Conditions Treated by Orthopedic Foot Doctors
Orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons treat minor conditions, acute injuries, and complex injuries, including plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, broken bones and injuries, tendinitis and tendinosis, turf toe, hammer toe or claw toe, bunions, mid and hind foot arthritis, achilles tendon injuries, Liz Franc fractures, Charcot, and ankle arthritis. These conditions are often treated nonsurgically first, but orthopedic foot surgeons can also perform surgery when necessary.
Common Conditions Treated by Podiatrists
Podiatrists typically treat ingrown toenails, calluses, fallen arches, heel spurs, deformities of the feet, and some common foot and ankle injuries. They can also provide important treatment for foot problems related to diabetes and other systemic illnesses.
To make an appointment with an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at The Center, call 541-322-2352.