Why choose our practice?
The difference in our training and experience results in a more qualified podiatric specialist in the most important aspect of patient care: proper diagnosis.This also empowers the podiatric physician to offer and directly provide a full array of conservative (non-surgical) treatment options, perhaps the most obvious clinical distinction from most orthopedic specialists. In most cases, conservative treatment options are exhausted prior to considering surgery. In the event that conservative care fails, much is learned by the patient and physician in the process, helping to determine the most appropriate of surgical options to consider. This is a common sense approach to patient care, and one that ultimately improves both non-surgical and surgical treatment outcomes, and a practice philosophy that is greatly appreciated by our patients and the dozens of primary care physicians who have referred their patients to our practice, year after year.
What is Podiatry?
Podiatry is the practice of diagnosing and treating injuries, diseases and disorders of the foot and ankle. Every podiatrist has completed four years of podiatric medical school. This includes completing a curriculum which is quite comparable to any allopathic or osteopathic medical school over the first 2 years. The next two years of podiatric medical school differ dramatically in the additional specialized academic and clinical education in the diseases and disorders of the foot and ankle. The podiatric physician’s specialization begins in medical school, including years of study of biomechanics, understanding the intricate function of the foot and ankle, and the causes behind common ailments. Also included in this training is the appreciation of past research and publications of both the podiatric and orthopedic communities, participation in research projects tailored to the diagnosis of foot and ankle ailments, treatment protocols, and surgical options and outcomes, from the earliest point of education. This experience is indeed unique to the podiatric physician. Surgical training and expertise in podiatry occurs in a multi-year residency program following podiatric medical school.
Podiatrist or Orthopedist?
A general orthopedist treating hips, knees and shoulders is probably not the best option for treating foot and ankle conditions, however, between the podiatric physician and an orthopedist who specializes in foot and ankle surgery, there are more similarities than differences with regard to surgical expertise. Though there can be different schools of thought influencing surgical treatment strategies for any particular surgeon, the technology, equipment, and execution of foot and ankle surgery is largely the same between well-trained podiatrists and foot and ankle orthopedists.
The distinction between the two specialties lies in the scope of practice. Orthopedists practice solely in the care of bone, joint, and soft tissue conditions of the whole body. Many today, if not most, have sub-specialized to a certain area of the body, exclusively working on the shoulder, hip, knee, hand or spine. Podiatrists specialize in ALL aspects of foot and ankle care, often addressing neurologic (nerves), dermatologic (skin), and vascular (circulation) conditions, in addition to orthopedics (bone and joint), sports medicine, and reconstructive surgery.