Podiatrist vs Orthopedist Q&A
The podiatric specialists at Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates are dedicated to providing you with all of your foot and ankle-related needs. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Walnut Creek, CA, and Brentwood, CA.
Table of Contents:
What’s the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedic doctor?
Do I need a podiatrist or an orthopedist?
When to See a Podiatrist?
Podiatry is the medical specialty that focuses on the health of the foot, ankle and lower leg and conditions, including diseases and injuries, that affect this region. Podiatrists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower leg. They also specialize in the management of injuries and diseases that can affect the lower extremities. Common conditions that podiatrists treat include bunions, corns, calluses and foot pain; they may also specialize in tendon, bone and joint disorders, such as foot fractures and arthritis.
Podiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the health of the feet and ankles and the treatment of conditions that affect the lower extremities. They treat a variety of foot, ankle and lower leg problems and provide advice on how to prevent, treat and improve these problems. Orthopedic doctors, also known as orthopedists, are medical doctors who specialize in the health of the bones, joints and soft tissues in the body. They treat a variety of orthopedic problems and injuries, such as strains, sprains, fractures and subluxations, and provide advice on how to prevent, treat and improve these problems.
To better understand the difference between podiatrists and orthopedists, it helps to learn the areas of the body each professional treats. Podiatrists care for and manage virtually any type of injury, disease or condition that affects the feet or ankles, from bunions to fractures. Orthopedists, on the other hand, specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of injuries, diseases and conditions that affect any area of the musculoskeletal system, from the neck to the knees and beyond.
Because the two professions are inherently similar, determining whether you need to see an orthopedist or a podiatrist can be a little confusing. As a general guideline, if you have an injury, condition or symptoms affecting your foot or ankle health, it is best to see a podiatrist; these physicians strictly specialize in foot and ankle care, making them the leading professional in caring for these conditions. If you have an injury, condition or symptoms affecting any other part of your musculoskeletal system, such as the arms, shoulders, hips or wrists, it is best to see an orthopedist; these doctors focus on the entire musculoskeletal system, so the range of conditions they can treat is much broader.
While orthopedic physicians may be able to perform the same procedures as a podiatrist, when experiencing problems in a specific area of the body, like the feet, it is always better to choose a professional who has the most experience treating this area. Podiatrists are foot and ankle specialists, so they exclusively handle conditions affecting this region, making them the best choice for any foot and ankle-related problems.
There are many signs and symptoms that indicate it is time to see a podiatrist; some of the most common include:
Pain While Walking: We use our feet every day to get from place to place; they are the most fundamental aspect of mobility. Walking should not be painful, so if any pain in the feet or ankles occurs from walking, it is time to see a podiatrist.
Persistent Ankle Pain: Persistent pain in the ankle may be a sign of arthritis and should be evaluated as soon as possible by a podiatrist.
Numbness or Decreased Sensation in Feet: We all occasionally experience the uncomfortable, pins-and-needles sensation that occurs when we sit cross-legged for too long, a phenomenon known as paresthesia. Sometimes it can be the result of poor circulation, which can be ameliorated with techniques that improve circulation in the feet. However, if numbness is persistent, or if there is a loss of sensation in the feet on a regular basis, the issue may be more serious and requires prompt medical attention.
Other reasons to see a podiatrist include:
– A Sore That Does Not Heal
– Swollen Feet
– Uncomfortable Corns or Calluses
– Painful Bunions
– Stubborn Athlete’s Foot
– Toenail Issues
Call us today to book an appointment with our podiatrist, or visit one of our two clinics: we have one in Brentwood, CA; and one in Walnut Creek, CA (Near Rossmoor). We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Walnut Creek CA, Brentwood CA, Danville CA, Concord CA, Pleasant Hill CA, Pittsburg CA, Alamo CA, Antioch CA, and Oakley CA.
Additional Services You May Need
▸Custom Foot Orthotics
▸Ingrown Toenail Specialist
▸Traditional Podiatry Care
▸Foot and Ankle Surgery Clinic
▸Corns and Calluses
▸Foot Arthritis and Joint
▸Video Gait Analysis
▸Pediatric Foot Specialist
▸Chronic Foot Injury
▸Diabetic Foot Specialist
▸Acute Foot Injuries
▸Podiatric Sports Services
▸Plantar Fasciitis Specialists