What Are the Differences Between a Podiatrist and an Orthopedist?

It is not always easy to make a decision between a podiatrist and an orthopedic doctor. Both professions are meant to help individuals heal the bodies of their patients, but their services may not be offered equally in each state. While an orthopedic doctor can perform an array of foot-related procedures, podiatrists only deal with the feet. In order to find a physician that is truly suited for your individual needs, it may take some time to narrow down the options and make a decision on which one will be best for you.

The two occupations that deal most directly with the feet are podiatry and orthopedic surgery. Podiatrists are trained to repair damaged feet, and they focus mainly on specific types of foot disorders. An orthopedic doctor, on the other hand, is trained to diagnose and treat injuries to the foot. If you have problems with your feet, it may be in your best interest to look into orthopedic surgery as opposed to podiatry.

Podiatrists are also often considered by some to be medical doctors. They can see all types of physical problems with a foot. This means that if you have a broken bone or fractured tibia, you can visit your podiatrist for help. Orthopedic doctors, on the other hand, only specialize in foot injuries. If you suffer from foot pain, your orthopedic doctor can assist you in working through a treatment plan that can help you heal properly.

A podiatrist usually spends a great amount of time treating foot issues and working to prevent future problems in a patient. This means that podiatrists may be the best choice for individuals that experience several major problems with their feet over a short period of time. They can provide you with a non-surgical treatment plan that helps you work through your pain. If you have a chronic foot problem, however, your orthopedic doctor may be the best option for you.

Orthopedic doctors, on the other hand, focus on correcting the foot injuries that individuals experience on a consistent basis. In addition to dealing with injuries that involve the bones of the foot, they can also help with issues involving tendons, nerves, and the muscles. The orthopedic doctor can also diagnose foot conditions, and help people that suffer from scoliosis, as well as those that have knee or hip problems. A podiatrist, on the other hand, deals primarily with foot problems. While they can help individuals with any type of foot problem, they are better suited to dealing with conditions that involve the bones of the foot.

As long as you have an orthopedic problem that is serious enough to require a diagnosis by a podiatrist, you should consider a podiatrist first rather than an orthopedic doctor. Some individuals have very minor foot problems that are easily treated with over-the-counter medications. Other individuals need a more in-depth diagnosis from a podiatrist, and they can perform procedures that a doctor cannot do. You may also find that a podiatrist is the best person to consult with if you have one of the many conditions that affect the bones of the foot.

When you need a doctor who can determine if you have any type of foot condition that needs attention, you should consider a podiatrist. Your podiatrist can help you determine whether you have arthritis or another foot problem. These professionals can also help to diagnose specific problems, as well as being able to recommend treatments that are best for your situation. Foot doctor, on the other hand, are only good at prescribing certain medications for individuals that suffer from specific types of foot pain.

Podiatrists are often the first choice for individuals that have injured their feet in a serious way. Orthopedic doctors are not always the right choice for many individuals. Only you can decide which form of medical care will best suit your needs. Just remember that your physical health is much more important than the differences between two podiatrists.