When you have a problem with your foot or ankle, you have a choice to make: Should you see an orthopedic surgeon with a foot and ankle subspecialty or a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon? Both medical professionals are highly trained and extremely knowledgeable on conditions pertaining to the foot and ankle. Learning more about these specialties can help you make the best decision for your care.
What Is Training Like for These Doctors?
Orthopedic surgeons obtain either an MD (doctor of medicine) or DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) degree. They attend a four-year medical school, after which they undergo a five-year general orthopedics residency, followed by a one-year fellowship for a foot-and-ankle–focused subspecialty.
Podiatric surgeons are DPMs (doctors of podiatric medicine). They attend a four-year podiatry college, followed by a three or four-year residency with a focus on the lower extremity. Some podiatrists will then complete a one- or two-year fellowship.
Who Treats What?
The two specialties have a lot of overlap. Both orthopedic and podiatric surgeons treat conditions such as:
- Achilles tendon tears
- Deformities of the foot and ankle, including bunions and hammertoes
- Fallen arches
- Heel spurs
- Plantar fasciitis
At Summit Medical Group, our orthopedic and podiatric foot and ankle specialists are all surgeons specializing in conditions and procedures below the knee.
So Which Is Better?
Neither option is “better” than the other. Choose the specialist with whom you connect best, or who has the most experience in treating your condition. Since Summit Medical Group has both types of specialists, you’ll be able to choose the physician with whom you’re most comfortable.
If you’re seeking treatment for a foot or ankle condition, contact us today to request an appointment with one of our foot and ankle experts.