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Old 12-19-2004, 06:52 PM   #1
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Pod. or ortho.??????????

Im having surgery soon and have had opinions from both orthopidic(sp) and podiatrists and I'm wondering how to decide which doctor should do my surgery. They both recomended the same exact surgery. Can someone help?
Thank you,

Sue

 
Old 12-19-2004, 08:20 PM   #2
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

Does the orthopedic surgeon specialize in ankles/feet? What was his training?

Personally, if I was going to have surgery (which I did 3.5 weeks ago), I would want an orthopedic surgeon. They go thru a very long surgical residency (7 yrs?) and the ones that do ankles/feet also do a 2 year fellowship. I think that is superior training to what the podiatrists get. I know that podiatrists have some great things they bring to the table (many are more holistic and focus more on feet mechanics and may be less likely to jump to recommend surgery) but I think that orthopedic surgeons on average have superior surgical training as compared to podiatrists. I think it was wise for you to get opinions from both types of doctors.

 
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Old 12-19-2004, 08:21 PM   #3
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

I have had a lot of foot problems, including surgery for heel spurs and have found the podiatrists I have seen to not only do a better job, but to have much better bedside manner. Something else to consider is that podiatrists don't do anything else so I would think as a general rule they have more experience with foot problems.

Nancy

 
Old 12-19-2004, 10:54 PM   #4
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

I had my surgery for hallux limitus and hammer toes done by a podiatrist surgeon. My feet are worse than they were before, and I wish I had got a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon before going ahead with the op. I'm going to get that second opinion next month, but I don't fancy having surgery again so soon. The last one was in January, and I've had a painful year. It is very wise to get opinions from both before having surgery.

 
Old 12-20-2004, 04:44 AM   #5
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

I had an excellent experience with my podiatrist who is actually part of an orthopedic group. The O/S in that group send all of their foot problems and many of their ankle issues down to him.

My suggestion is to go with the one who has had the most experience performing the surgical procedure you are to undergo. If experience is about equal, go with the Dr. you are most comfortable with.

Wishing you the best. -eko
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Old 12-20-2004, 04:52 AM   #6
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences and opinions.I have had 4 surgeries by 2 different podiatrists.The first one totalally messed up my foot that is why Im heading for another surgery soon.The second doctor that I had do two of the surgeries is great!He is actually the Doctor that has been sending me for all of the other opinions.He wants to make sure that the correct procedure is done to correct the complication from the first surgery.He says that he can do the surgery but the main thing is "what is the correct thing to do"I'm confused, I really like him but i have heard so many great things about orthopedic surgeons.The orthopedic surgeon that I saw does specialize in foot and ankle.
Well what ever I decide I have to do it soon because I have lived with pain long enough.

Thank you again,

sue

 
Old 12-20-2004, 05:45 AM   #7
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

I'm with the podiatry camp on this one---a big switch from my first impression a year ago.

My first double bunionectomy was done by an orthopedic surgeon who had done a specialty in foot and ankle. I was a definite MD snob. HOwever, my feet moved back to their original position within 6 months of my surgery. He said, "hmmm...not the outcome we had hoped for." He had no other solution. Three weeks ago I had the procedure done again by a podiatrist and I can already see a huge difference. First off, he does this procedure hundreds of time a year (compared with the orthopod who only does about 3 bunions a month---that should have tipped me off). The orthopod never casted (or fixated) me, allowed immediate weight bearing and overall I had much more pain, bruising and swelling following surgery. I can now see how much better my feet look after just 3 weeks. In addition, I am so much less miserable in terms of pain and mobility. I am allowed some weight bearing (to tolerance).

As the rest of the folks have said, ensure the doc had done your procedure a lot and go with your trust in him/her. Ask for a detailed surgical plan and don't skimp on the questions. You can even ask for references. I saw 3 podiatrists before going with my guy and this really helped me solidify my view.

Best of luck.

 
Old 12-20-2004, 07:46 AM   #8
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

I have seen both. Bedside manner wise the pods are definitely better. I trust my pod and he knows his limits. I am seeing an os w/specialization in foot and ankle, but if I could find a pod who would do my next surgery I would. But with the other medical aspects they won't touch it. OS's do get more training, but you have to realize that residency is 5 years, 2 years general surgery (no feet) and 3 years orthopedic surgery (generalized) and then at least now a days its a 1 year fellowship. I have literally gone to one of the best OSs for feet and ankles and he was horrible. He did the surgeries (series of two in 3 days) but when I had problems afterwards didn't care. Am now seeing someone else far away from home which is not fun either. It really depends, if they are both offering the surgery, go with the one you like best. There are good and bad pods, just as there are good and bad os's.. Also, foot and ankle specialists do more ankles than feet.. just a note.

 
Old 12-20-2004, 11:28 AM   #9
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

I talked to both types of docs over a period of years before I decided to have my bunion surgery. I ended up going to the podiatrist after a friends husband (who IS an ortho) suggested that the pod was the better idea! My doctor does several bunionectomy's a week, and has been doing them for 15 years, compared (as another poster mentioned) to maybe a few (or less) a month like the ortho.

My suggestion, however, is to talk to the doc you are considering and find out how many of your surgeries he/she has done and compare :-)

 
Old 12-20-2004, 02:41 PM   #10
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

It amazes me how different each podiatrist and ortho can be. My podiatrist surgeon has done hundreds of bunion surgeries, etc. After my surgery I was immediately weight bearing wearing surgical shoes for 3 weeks. I was able to go up and down stairs, and get around (very slowly and painfully). Most other pod. and ortho. seem to prefer casts and crutches or whatever. Which is better? My feet are a mess. They're worse than before the surgery. Yet my surgeon has done hundreds of successful surgeries using this method. He reckons I have joint adhesions, but he didn't take x-rays, and my feet seemded to be improving for a while before getting worse! I don't understand it.

 
Old 12-20-2004, 02:54 PM   #11
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

Have you tried PT? I have a slight loss of mobility (all xrays are good and I am not in any pain) following my november 2 surgery. They doctor had given me instructions on manipulating my foot/toe abotu 3 weeks after wards and I am guessing I didnt follow throw enough and now am limited because of it (again, adhesions). The PT is helping immensly though, I went from only moving my toe up 15 degrees to raising it 45 degrees after two sessions. Trying to get the 60 degrees that is in my other foot, and after the last somewhat painful session I am eager to have it remeasured. I think maybe its getting there :-)

 
Old 12-20-2004, 09:49 PM   #12
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

When the surgical shoes came off I had to flex my big toes for 30 secs every hour, and had to walk for at least half an hour every day. I did this, and got some flexibility, but now I've got much less flexibility. The surgeon says PT doesn't help with adhesions, and I would have to have surgery to remove the adhesions.

 
Old 12-21-2004, 07:34 PM   #13
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

Thanks again,
Why is it that some Drs. cast and some don't?After all of my foot surgeries I was never casted.The last Ortho. doc said he would cast my foot and when I told my pod. he said I should not need a cast.Tomorrow I'm going for another opinion from an ortho. Doc. we will see what he says.I would think that a cast would be much better.Seeing that I'm a single mom and have to keep moving(if you know what I mean)Just for protection.
Thanks, Sue

 
Old 12-21-2004, 07:45 PM   #14
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Question Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

I am considering surgery for hallux rigidus (stiff big toes) and I don't know if it will make me better. I have used orthotics for several years but now i can't run or dance and I can only wear trainers if I need to walk more than a few yards, (ugly in the evening and hot in summer). will I be able to run and dance (not to Olympic standard you understand, just for 30 minutes or so for fun and fitness)
I don't have much pain while I do nothing, but my soles ache if I walk around the shops etc. as I have an unusual gait,. Will my gait improve? My orthopedic surgeon won't commit to an outcome so I'd like some first hand accounts.
thanks and good luck to anyone who is recovering from surgery, I'd love to hear from you

Last edited by timmie; 12-21-2004 at 07:46 PM.

 
Old 12-22-2004, 05:23 AM   #15
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Re: Pod. or ortho.??????????

Timmie - are we talking fusion here? I didn't have a problem with hallux rigidus, but have had one toe fused. If you are having a fusion, I'd be happy to answer any of your questions regarding my experience. -eko
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