If you’re having foot and ankle problems, you may be wondering who should you call – a podiatrist or an orthopaedic specialist?
What’s the difference between the two?
Podiatrist vs Orthopedist
The key differences between a podiatrist and an orthopedist are training and scope of practice.
Podiatrists are differentiated physicians. They are not medical doctors but are called doctors of podiatric medicine.
Generally, they complete four years of undergraduate school, followed by four years of training at an accredited podiatric medical school, and three to four years of foot and ankle surgical residency training.
Podiatrists are trained to help you specifically with problems affecting the feet or lower legs. They are not trained to treat other areas of the musculoskeletal system.
Some of the conditions a podiatrist can manage include fractures and sprains, bunions and hammertoes, nail disorders, diabetic foot, arthritis, growing pains, and heel pain.
The orthopaedic specialists, on the other hand, are medical doctors. To become one, one has to complete four years of undergraduate school, four years of accredited medical school, five years of generalized orthopaedic surgical residency training, and additional fellowship training specifically for treating foot and ankle disorders.
As medical doctors, orthopaedic specialists consider the entirety of the musculoskeletal system and not just the extremity.
Seeing an Orthopaedic Specialist
If you have a foot and ankle issue and also experiencing other issues or symptoms in any other part of your musculoskeletal system, then you should see an orthopaedic specialist.
Our foot and ankle specialists at Ozark Orthopaedics are well-experienced in assessing and treating conditions affecting these areas. From Achilles tendon injuries to fractures of your foot and ankle, our doctors will make sure that you get the best orthopaedic care possible so you can get back on your feet in no time.
For appointment requests, you may call us at (479) 521-2752.