Here's my distorted view on orthopedist verses podiatrists. I'm not saying it's right, it's just my take on it. A podiatrist will make more money the longer I am afflicted with PF. What is his/her incentive to get me well? Referals? Naaa. However, to a good Orthopedist, my heel spurs are small potatoes and he would just as soon get me well and out of his office, or at least help me manage it as quickly and easily as possible so that he can get on with the hip and knee replacements he has lined up for the afternoon.
The orthopedist I went to see got the x-rays done right there in his office that day and was able to show me the heel spurs on film. One on left and a smaller one forming on the right. He had $10 heel cups there which I was able to leave with, they help a little, at least I didn't have to sink a bunch of money into them. He also had free samples of anti-inflammatory meds for me to try. I recommend Vioxx if you have a sensitive stomach, otherwise, I hear good things about Celebrex.
All and all, I'd say go see a caring Orthopedist who has good reputation (and is not scalpel happy). You'll get more bang for your buck and your time. I still have PF, but then again, I haven't been as aggressive as I should have been in countering it. I've been trying to wait it out. After 9 mo. of very conservative approach, I am just now seriously considering cortizone injections into the sites.
When I went to see my internest regarding my FM, I relayed the heel spurs story to him and he said much of the same thing I have read here at the spurs site. Loose weight, exercise, take meds that I can tolerate and stretch that tight calf muscle. He suggested night splints, but I supsect they will hender what is already a very trouble sleep. So I am currently pursuing information on better stretching pratices for use during my waking hours. I must admit, I do have less pain when I do a stretching program everyday. I just need more dicipline and less complacency.
Learn the right way to stretch or you can do more harm than good btw. This is a good site, there is so much information to digest, it takes time. Good Luck, and I hope others here will offer you their best advice.
Rregards, Kim B.