Our feet play a vital role in not only supporting our body weight, but also allowing us to walk, run, and perform many different activities. They also encompass a quarter of the bones in our entire bodies as well as numerous bones, muscles, and joints.
They can be vulnerable to injury, disease, and serious infection, so looking after our feet and keeping them healthy is paramount to our overall health. There are many different healthcare providers, primarily podiatrists and orthopedic doctors, who can specifically assess and treat conditions affecting the feet.
With these different options insofar as physicians, it can be confusing and difficult to decide on who may be right for your needs. Let’s talk about the differences and similarities of podiatrists and orthopedists to give you some parameters and distinctions.
What Is a Podiatrist?
Podiatrists are physicians who specialize in disorders and the overall health of the foot and ankle. They have specialized knowledge about the structure and movement of the foot and ankle, and this specialization enables them to diagnose many different foot-related conditions. They can provide complete care, preventive measures, and treatment plans for severe ailments as well as for common, day-to-day foot problems.
Podiatrists are experts in assessing the signs and symptoms of many foot and ankle conditions, including:
- Athletic/sports injuries
- Joint pain
- Foot or heel pain
- Soft-tissue masses and tumors
- Bunions, warts, corns, and calluses
- Toe deformities (hammertoe, claw toe, mallet toe, etc.)
- Pediatric foot conditions such as flatfoot
- Ingrown toenails and other nail conditions
- Nail and foot infections and ulcerations
- Fungal infections
- Skin or nail diseases of the foot
Podiatrists not only treat injuries and infections, but they can also treat foot and ankle problems due to health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and poor blood circulation.
What Is an Orthopedic Doctor?
An orthopedic surgeon is specially trained in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of injuries and conditions affecting the entire musculoskeletal system, not just the foot and ankle. Although an orthopedic doctor may specialize in the foot and ankle, they may not be able to treat certain foot conditions that are not related to a musculoskeletal condition.
An orthopedic surgeon can evaluate foot problems specifically, but their primary approach tends to be surgery-based. This may not always be the most appropriate treatment method for foot conditions.
Foot and Ankle Doctors in Cincinnati
Here at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, we are here for all of your podiatry needs – whether it is for routine foot care or for a more serious problem, such as diabetic foot. We have highly-trained and experienced podiatrists who can provide comprehensive care for all of your foot and ankle problems. We offer same-day or next-day appointments, and we have 18 offices conveniently located throughout greater Cincinnati.
To find out more about the conditions we treat or the services we offer, call us today at the location nearest you or use our convenient appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you.