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Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

Posted by Megan on 1/19/99 at 00:00 (003644)

My general practictioner finally decided he couldn't do anything for me. After a month and a half and three different drugs.... They said it didn't matter which specialist that I went to see. Only that a Podiatrist couldn't prescribe drugs and an Orthopaedist could. (I have since found that they are full of baloney about that) Makes me wonder why I ever believed that a GP could deal with something like this. Anyway....I need to know the pros and cons between the two and would love to hear from people regarding which they chose. Thank to all of you here on this board It helps so much to know that I am not crazy and that my foot really does hurt. (I knew it wasn't all in my head.)

Re: Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

Sally T. on 1/19/99 at 00:00 (003645)

Megan, I first went to a podiatrist. I got cortisone shots, taped and finally $300.00 orthodics. None of these worked for very long. I went to see a different podiatrist who told me sometimes we just have to live with the pain. (Never went back to her again.) I went to see an orthopedist who tried everything he could to help me. I would go back to an orthopedist before ever going back to a podiatrist.

Re: Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

John on 1/20/99 at 00:00 (003656)

Megan, I went to a podiatrist about six months ago. I don't think he did a particularly good job. I got the standard 2 shots. A waste of time and money. After discovering this web site, I got him to prescribe custom orthotics. At least, by going to him, my insurance paid for the orthotics. The orthotics has helped a lot and that is all that I got from him that was worth the time. Would an orthopaedic have done better? I doubt it. I believe that an orthopaedic would probably have gone thru the same routine.

This web site has much better information than you are likely to get from either type of doc. If I had it to do over, I would still go to the Pod. just to get my insurance involved. But, I would mostly work on it myself with the help of this web site.

Thank you, Scott...

Re: Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

Barbara on 1/20/99 at 00:00 (003661)

Dear Megan: I went to a Podiatrist who did the usual things--hard plastic orthotics which I wore faithfully for 6 months and did not work, stretching exercises which do work, cortisone shot, which did not work. I am now seeing an orthopedic surgeon who said he never gives cortisone in the heel because of the danger of causing permanent damage to the heel pad. He has given me foot strengthening exercises which he said were the only thing that caused his pf (which he had for three years) to go away. The underlying cause of pf according to him is weak feet, specifically the muscles that support the arch. He is sending me to physical therapy starting today to get me motivated to do the exercises. He also sent me to get a different kind of orthotic (not the hard plastic kind) which were made to fit and cost 1/3 the price of the other orthotics. I have worn the new ones for two days and must admit they feel great and have relieved the stress on the heel enormously. It might take up to six months of the strengthening exercises for the pf to go away but he swears it will so I am giving it a try. I would never go to a podiatrist again.

Re: Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

roz on 1/20/99 at 00:00 (003662)

What type of orthotic is this? I've got over ten pairs both soft
and hard, each costing over $300, and all of them hurt my
heels. I think what I need is the combination of a good arch
support with really really soft cupped heel, but I haven't been
able to find one. Thanks.

Re: Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

Barbara on 1/20/99 at 00:00 (003663)

Hi Roz: The type I got is considered to be a semi-rigid orthotic made with a high density EVA (a type of carbon polymer used in running shoes). The fit was obtained by computer generated technology using a machine put out by AMFIT, out of the Silicon Valley. The price was $120 for a pair of 3/4 length orthotics. The last hard plastic kind I had were also 3/4 length and cost $400! Hope this helps.

Re: Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

Gina on 1/20/99 at 00:00 (003669)

I vote for the orthopod., especially one specializing in foot and ankle. Much more knowledgeable than a podiatrist. My podiatrist couldn't figure out how to get me a night splint after I suggested one; the ortho guy made it for me in the office! Also feel, after seeing both types of doctors, that podiatrists are much more optimistic about surgery and more eager to perform it. The ortho guys take surgery much more seriously. The best one told me, 'I'd put up with a lot of pain before I'd let someone perform this procedure on my foot.' I think that's a fair assessmetn of surgery!

Re: Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

Lynne on 1/21/99 at 00:00 (003704)

I have been told I have pf. I was told in August of 1998. I have been going to see a podiatrist and my sister in law who is a nurse suggested I go to a orthopaedist. I like my podiatrist but I am getting very frustrated as I am not getting any relief. I have had tapeing, cortizone shots, drugs and know I have a ski boot on. When I go back in 2 weeks he said if not any better he was going to try a cast. I don't know what a orthopedist would do different. I would like to hear what some of you have to say. Getting frustrated in NC

Re: Podiatrist or orthopaedist???

Nadine on 1/22/99 at 00:00 (003733)

I have spoken with a podiatrist, and he wanted to start an expensive orthotic right away. I then spoke to an orthopedic surgeon.. who also happens to be my neighbor. He very reluctantly did one cortisone shot, and is highly resisting doing another one. He refuses, however, to do surgery. He said that can do more damage to the heel pad than anything, including the cortisone shot. I also talked to a nurse today, though, and she said the magic # for many steroid shots to work is 3, but wow.. the risks involved in that are so high. Good Luck