Podiatrist or Foot and Ankle Surgeon?

One of the main differences between an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon and a podiatrist is the amount of training and education each completes. An orthopedic foot and ankle specialist completes four years of medical school, a five to six year orthopedic surgery residency, and an additional year of fellowship training in the foot and ankle.

As a medical doctor, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the foot and ankle has a better understanding of the entire body, including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints, as well as medical conditions that may affect your overall health. Through this training, an orthopedic surgeon intimately understands the impact that the entire body can have on a foot and ankle condition.

Podiatrists attend podiatry school and typically complete a brief residency thereafter. As such, podiatrists are not medical doctors (MDs). Podiatrists typically treat ingrown toenails, calluses, fallen arches, heel spurs, deformities of the feet, and some common foot and ankle injuries. They can provide important treatment for foot problems related to diabetes and other systemic illnesses.

Orthopedists also treat the same foot and ankle problems as podiatrists but are trained to manage the full spectrum of problems involving the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues of the foot, ankle, and lower leg.

If you are suffering from a foot or ankle injury or condition, schedule an appointment with our foot and ankle specialist at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron by calling (810) 985-4900.