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Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon v/s Podiatrist

Foot and ankle provide balance, stability, movement and propulsion. They are complex structures made up of 26 bones and 33 joints. They are further supported by number of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Diseases and disorders of ankle and foot can be treated either by a podiatrist or an orthopedic surgeon. However an orthopedic, foot and ankle specialist is a medical doctor with five years of intense surgical training along with advanced training in foot and ankle surgery. Moreover the knowledge of treatment of all musculoskeletal conditions helps an orthopedic surgeon in having a wider perspective of disease conditions aiding in treatment of complex foot and ankle problems. A good website to visit concerning orthopedic foot and ankles surgeons is below:

  • My Foot Care MD
  • The difference in the training and qualification between an orthopedic surgeon and a podiatrist are summarized in the table given below:

      • Orthopedic Surgeon
      • Podiatrist
      • Medical Doctor
      • Yes with M.D. degree
      • No
      • Training
      • Four years of medical school after college followed by one year of intern ship and three or four years of residency (at least 5 years of post graduate surgical training in general or orthopedic surgery). Also complete advanced training in foot and ankle surgery.
      • Four year of podiatric medicine program after college. Many also do one year of internship. Some do 4 years of advanced training as podiatric surgeons.
      • Certification
      • Both oral and written examination conducted by American Board of Orthopedic surgery need to be cleared (MD’s only).Moreover continued medical education required.
      • Written and oral exam which varies from state to state.
      • Usual Treatment Areas
      • Conditions of the musculoskeletal system that is all bones and joints with their supporting soft tissue muscle, tendon and ligaments. Thus they treat not only foot and ankle but also leg knee, hip, spine, shoulder, wrist and hand.
      • Only foot & ankle