Woman Visiting Her OrthopedistIf you are experiencing foot pain, do you know whether you need to see an orthopedist or a podiatrist? Knowing what each doctor specializes in and their training will help you make a more informed decision if you experience an injury or pain to your legs or feet.
Once an orthopedist has earned their undergraduate degree, they will attend four years of medical school. After a one-year internship and a four-year surgical residency, they will earn their M.D. degree. They will also have to take exams to be board certified.
Their expertise is in disorders of the entire muscle and skeletal system of the body. Instead of just concentrating on the foot, they look at the whole body in general to find the exact problem.
An orthopedist will treat bone fractures and issues with bones that support ligaments, soft tissues, tendons and muscles. They are known for treating sports injuries and getting the player back to the game as soon as possible.
They will also perform surgeries to repair torn ligaments, joint replacements, knee replacements, ruptured discs in the spine and hand surgeries.
After receiving their undergraduate degree, a podiatrist will attend a four-year podiatric medicine program in order to graduate with a podiatric medicine (D.P.M.). They will have to do a year of residency and complete state certification to be licensed.
They will graduate with an expertise is the foot, ankle and lower leg. Their training focuses on biomechanics or proper foot balance, as well as the making of custom shoe orthotics. They will also learn some surgical foot-related procedures.
A podiatrist will typically treat foot and ankle injuries, heel spurs, calluses, ingrown toenails, corns, bunions, foot infections, arthritis of the foot and diabetic foot issues.
They will turn to medications, physical therapy and in some instances surgery to treat the patient′s condition.