Podiatry Vs. Orthopedics
Did you know that the bones in your feet make up one quarter of all the bones in your entire body? At some point, 75% of Americans will experience some form of a foot problem in their lives and need to seek treatment, so it’s no surprise that many are asking, why should I see a podiatrist instead of an orthopedist? What’s the difference, anyway?
Orthopedists are trained to treat the entire muscular and skeletal system, though some do specialize in certain areas of the body. Podiatrists, however, treat only the foot and ankle, and are trained in biomechanics or proper foot balance, as well as the making of custom shoe orthotics. Their expertise and knowledge of the bones and muscles of the foot give them a ‘leg up’ when it comes to diagnosing and treating conditions specific to the feet! Podiatrists can also surgically repair many conditions with cutting-edge technology and surgical methods especially for ailments like bunions or hammer toes.
Podiatrists look at a variety of factors when diagnosing any foot or ankle condition, and are experienced in seeing specific abnormalities that may not be as recognizable by orthopedists or primary physicians. Podiatrists can also provide services at their offices that orthopedists can’t, such as nail trimming, ingrown toenail removal, gait analysis, custom orthotic fitting, and crucial treatment of foot problems related to diabetes and other systemic conditions.
Just as you would see a dentist for the care of your teeth, your feet should be in the hands of specialists! If you have problems related to or originating in your feet, a podiatrist should be your first call. Even lower back pain, knee pain and ankle pain could be originating from your gait, and should be analyzed by a podiatrist.
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