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Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

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Old 09-23-2007, 09:02 AM   #1
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Energymom HB User
Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

Hi all,
After suffering with my ankle for about 9 months I was told by my podiatrist that an MRI showed "severe osteoarthritis " in the subtalar joint and more than likely would need an ankle fusion.

I went to an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion. After looking at the MRI and xrays and moving my ankle all around ( I had no pain while he did this) he was unsure about the ankle fusion. He kept pushing my big toe and there was extreme pain through my foot and up to my achilles tendon. I also have an "os trigonum" which is an extra bone behind my ankle. The OS wants to do a CT scan , but thinks I may just need to have the FHL tendon released and removal of the extra bone. This is obviously much better than an ankle fusion!!! What, if any, have your experiences been with ortho surgeons vs. podiatrists?
Thanks in advance

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:47 PM   #2
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Carol41 HB User
Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

Don't trust Podiatrists at all. Go with an Orthopedic Surgeon.

Old 10-18-2007, 04:44 PM   #3
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Calrunner HB User
Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

OS all the way.

Old 10-18-2007, 06:36 PM   #4
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relteach HB User
Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

I would contact the offices of the closest pro sports team or university athletic dept. and ask for the name of a doctor they use for their athletes. Let them know you are looking for someone who specializes in ankles. You may be suprised that the doc they use could very well be a podiatic surgeon who is trained in foot and ankle surgery.

When I broke my foot while on a business trip, I knew no doctors in the area, but knew enough that the pro and university teams in Miami had to have specialists on retainer. I automatically thought that an OS would be the obvious choice, but to my surprise, they have a podiatric surgeon and I had a great experience. He even referred me to a classmate and former colleague in private practice in OH where I live. It worked out GREAT and I am so glad I went with my gut and made that call to the Miami Heat offices.

Good luck!!


Old 10-18-2007, 07:49 PM   #5
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debincalif HB Userdebincalif HB User
Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

I would say that it depends on each doctor's specialty and credentials. I went with a podiatrist who specializes in foot and ankle pain and is a specialized surgeon. There were no orthopedists in my area who specialized in foot or ankle conditions.

Good luck,

Old 10-18-2007, 08:21 PM   #6
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Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

Actually, Relteach did what I preach! I don't know where Matthews, NC is but if you are near Charlotte, call the Panthers front office...or UNC or NCSU's athletic depts....

Old 10-19-2007, 11:03 AM   #7
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cosmic1 HB User
Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

I had severe bunion corrections. SEVERE!
I saw a POD and an OS.
I do not claim to be an expert at alllll.
However, I reallly did not think that the OS was going to treat it correctly.
His approach was really different from the POD.
I just felt that the POD really knew what he was talking about and I felt confident going to him.
Gut feeling is improtant.
Board certification is improtant for POD and mine was a national board examiner for foot and ankle surgery.
It is hard to make these decisions and only you can do it.
I was tormented about it all......................

Old 11-04-2007, 10:43 AM   #8
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phil1978 HB User
Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

Originally Posted by Carol41 View Post
Don't trust Podiatrists at all. Go with an Orthopedic Surgeon.
Podiatrist have more than 3 times the amount of foot and ankle training than the Foot and ankle OS. I am not sure I agree with this statement. I would see a board certified POD.

Old 11-04-2007, 12:46 PM   #9
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relteach HB User
Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

I agree. I would go with a podiatrist board certified in foot and ankle surgery! Most pro teams, esp. NBA teams have this type of specialist on retainer for their players. I went with one and was thrilled!!!

Old 11-05-2007, 03:51 PM   #10
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lynn40 HB User
Re: Orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist?

I tend to lean towards the OS. I have dealt with both sometimes for me and others for my son. Both can be good but I feel the OS has a little more know-how...maybe this is just my "feeling" but anyway.

If you aren't sure of the diagnosis you can always get a third from either another OS or another pod.

Good luck to you and let us know what you go with.


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