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The quick answer to what exactly are foot doctors named or what exactly a Foot Doctor does most commonly is either a podiatrist or an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist. Both of these professionals are specialists in the field of podiatry and both are recognized as “Podiatrists” by the American Podiatric Medical Association or APMA. A podiatrist refers to a physician who is specialized in treating foot and ankle conditions. An orthopedic foot and ankle specialist, on the other hand, specialize in treating disorders of the feet, ankles, and legs.
If you have had a recent injury that has caused you some pain or discomfort in your ankle or foot, see a podiatrist first to see if there is any damage to your bones or joints that need to be evaluated. This can prevent further injury or pain in the future from being caused by an infection. If you do not have any issues with your bones or joints that require evaluation, see a foot specialist for foot and ankle problems. Your primary care physician should be able to refer you to a podiatric physician for further care if necessary.
Some of the foot and ankle problems that a podiatrist can treat include fractures, dislocations, sprains, meniscal tears, plantar fasciitis, heel spur syndrome, fractures of long bones (both feet and legs), and many more. Many of these conditions will require surgery at one point or another. You may find that your pain requires surgery at one time only to find that the condition does not need surgery. You may also need a foot doctor or an orthopedic surgeon for various foot and ankle problems. Each of these doctors will be qualified to treat different problems and give you specific treatment recommendations as well as opinions about which foot problems require surgery and which do not.
When you are considering foot and ankle services from a podiatrist, it is important that you take the time to learn as much as possible about your doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) and the office that he or she works in. Ask how long the office has been in business and learn about their podiatric work history. Do some research online to find reviews about that office and about the various services that they offer. Do not feel rushed when you call and make an appointment, as you will want to feel comfortable with the person who answers the phone.
Bunions and corns are very common foot and ankle complaints, but they can also occur on either foot or both. Bunions and corns are painful, often painful to the spot where the bunion or corns are, and they can even be painful while walking! Your foot doctor will be able to analyze your situation and recommend treatments for both bunions and corns to eliminate further pain and suffering. If you are experiencing pain that interferes with daily activities, or if your bunions or corns are tender or inflamed, it may be time to talk to a foot doctor to see if he or she can help you.
If you decide that you want to see a podiatrist for your foot or ankle problems, you will still have an excellent selection of qualified doctors to choose from, including primary care doctors, orthopedists, surgeons, pediatric surgeons, physical therapists, and more. Be sure to get a thorough history and examination by one or more of these health care professionals so that you will know whether or not you are a good candidate for treatment. It is always important to compare one podiatric surgeon’s results to another before making your final decision. You can do this by calling the state medical board and asking for a recommendation. Remember, it is important to trust your doctor; however, it is equally important to be informed so that you can trust your choice of treatment.