Our office will be closed on 7/4/2022.

Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Doctor vs. Podiatrist

Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Doctor vs. Podiatrist

When you have a problem with your foot or ankle that requires medical attention, who do you see for treatment — an orthopedist or a podiatrist? Many people think a podiatrist is the same as an orthopedist, but there are several significant differences between the two.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in foot and ankle conditions. They typically treat issues like:

Podiatrists use surgical and nonsurgical procedures to treat foot and ankle problems. Podiatric surgeons perform procedures like reconstructive surgery, tendon repair and arthroscopic surgery.

What Is an Orthopedist?

An orthopedist — also known as an orthopedic doctor or orthopedic surgeon — treats the entire musculoskeletal system. If you have a condition affecting your bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue, an orthopedist can treat you. 

Orthopedic patients often have injuries like:

Orthopedic doctors may specialize in subfields such as foot and ankle care. Like podiatrists, they use surgical and nonsurgical forms of treatment. They can perform all types of foot and ankle surgeries, including ankle replacement, Achilles tendon repair and reconstructive surgery.

Sometimes, foot and ankle problems stem from issues with the knees, hips or lower back. Foot and ankle orthopedic specialists may review other orthopedic issues to understand and treat your condition effectively.

Do I Need a Podiatrist or an Orthopedist?

Both podiatrists and orthopedists can treat foot and ankle problems. You can see either type of doctor for surgical and nonsurgical solutions. If you want to see an orthopedist, it's a good idea to choose a doctor that specializes in foot and ankle pain.

Generally speaking, it's best to choose an experienced doctor with whom you feel comfortable. If you have a complex problem, a foot and ankle orthopedist can address any other musculoskeletal issues that may be contributing to your pain. 

Our award-winning foot and ankle specialists, Dr. Brian Thomson and Dr. Jeffrey Willers, have years of experience in treating ankle pain, foot arthritis, ankle replacement, fractures, heel pain, tendon disorders, avascular necrosis, neuromas, hammertoes, bunions, and claw toes. 

Schedule an Appointment With a Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Specialist

Persistent foot and ankle pain can make it difficult or even impossible to engage in physical activities you enjoy. If you've tried at-home treatments and your pain continues, contact the specialists at Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. We can examine your feet and ankles, provide an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.

Author
Nick Flory Nick is the Marketing Manager for Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. He has been writing and reviewing medical content since 2018. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholasflory/

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeons treat conditions in the knee, shoulder, elbow, back, hand, foot, and more. Learn more about orthopedic surgery and how you can find the best doctor near you. Elite has 12 highly skilled orthopedic surgeons in Nashville, TN.

The Back Doctor - What You Should Know

Do you need to see a back doctor in Nashville, TN? Our team of fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons include some of the best spine specialists near you. Learn about symptoms and prevention of back pain and back conditions.

The Hand Doctor - What You Should Know

Do you need to see a hand doctor in Nashville, TN? Our award-winning orthopedic surgeons include some of the best hand specialists near you. Check out this guide to see if you could live a lower pain lifestyle.

5 Things Every Athlete Should Know

As an athlete, a healthy body is the key to success within your sport. It is important to know how to prevent injuries and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle that supports the physical demands your sport requires.

Why Do My Shins Hurt When Running?

Have you recently taken up running? You may find yourself grabbing for your lower leg or unable to continue. This may be due to shin splints, one of the most common injuries in runners.

Sprained Ankle

Ankle sprains are a common reason that patients come to see us at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. This type of injury typically occurs from rolling or twisting the ankle. Learn common symptoms, causes, and treatment for a sprained ankle!