Orthopedic Foot Doctors are medical professionals (MDs or DOs) specializing in the field of orthopedics. Once graduating from medical school, they typically attend four years of undergraduate school, undergo rotations in several areas of medicine, and then complete a five-year residency in their chosen subspecialty. Orthopedic Foot Specialists then go further and complete additional fellowship training at an ambulatory clinic for orthopedic patients. During the final year of their residency, these orthopedic doctors are board-certified. Being board certified is a key factor in being eligible to take a medical board exam to become an MD.
One of the most common ailments for which orthopedic foot doctors are called upon is ankle pain. Among the orthopedic foot doctors in the nation, orthopedic specialists are called upon to treat a variety of different forms of ankle pain ranging from tennis elbow to Achilles tendonitis. Whatever the type of foot pain a patient has, the orthopedic foot doctor will be able to help alleviate it and restore his or her pain-free life.
Orthopedic surgeons have been proven to be exceptionally well qualified in treating a wide variety of ailments, including foot injuries. Some orthopedic foot doctors are highly specialized, while others focus on treating more general injuries. Orthopedic surgeons can provide treatment for ligament sprains, tendinitis, Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. However, not all orthopedic foot doctors are highly qualified. For instance, although many are highly trained clinicians, not all are certified in performing arthroscopic heel surgery.
Just as with any other type of specialist, an orthopedic foot doctor should be consulted only when he or she is absolutely necessary. Many people make the mistake of scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist or an athletic trainer without carefully considering whether the visit is actually needed. Indeed, many podiatrists and athletic trainers believe that patients often over-spend unnecessarily by visiting the wrong specialists. If you are in pain, make sure you make the effort to see your doctor.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that some foot and ankles heal themselves over time. As such, some people may actually be doing damage to their feet if they do nothing to correct the problem. Even among those who have legitimate pain and injury requiring immediate attention, many are not aware of the importance of consulting with a physician. In fact, many people who have severe ankle injuries do not seek treatment until they are in pain.
It is important to understand what to expect from a foot doctor. First, he or she will likely examine your feet and ankles. Then, he or she will take a closer look at the skin surrounding the ankle and toenails. He or she may order a biopsy if he or she determines that a tumor or other abnormal growth is present. Finally, he or she will probably recommend that you see a podiatrist or an athletic trainer for possible orthotics or footwear. In most cases, a foot doctor can set you up with a program of pain relief and recommend orthotic products that can help you return to your normal activities sooner.