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Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Posted by Jana on 6/06/01 at hrmin (050111)

I have been working with one podiatrist for the last two years with my PF. I have just been diagnosed with TTS and after a cortisone injection in both places (didn't work), I'm considering surgery. What is the difference between an orthopedic surgeon at a podiatrist? Do they both do the surgeries? And if so, with whom am I more likely to be successful? The podiatrist I've been working with says he has only seen 10 cases of TTS in his career (roughly 25 years). Does this mean he simply does not have a lot of experience in this area, or, is TTS really that rare?

I am having to pay out-of-pocket to interview some of the potential surgeons because I am on an HMO and have already seen the two podiatrist on my plan. I'm trying to figure out who to invest in before I lose all my money.

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Mary S on 6/07/01 at 11:24 (050156)

After seeing several doctors, including a pod., I decided on an orthopedic surgeon who deals only with feet and ankles. My surgery is about two weeks old and so far I am pleased with my progress. It does sound like your Pod doesn't have much experience with that procedure. A wise choice can make all of the difference and save you money in the long run. good luck!!

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Andrea R. on 6/07/01 at 12:33 (050161)

Jana,

I'm three weeks post-op and haven't had any problems except coordinating the crutches. My surgery was done by a orthopedist who specializes in feet and ankles.

Check out the 'Heel Surgery Patient Database' under Surgery on this site. You can see how the two types of doctor are rated by some of their patients.

Have you tried all the conservative methods yet? night splints, physical therapy, walking casts, etc. Remember - surgery is the last resort and may not work.

Good Luck,

Andrea

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

GinaC on 6/07/01 at 16:58 (050179)

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the additional diagnosis of TT, take your time making a decision about surgery, which is not always successful. You might also want to check out your insurance coverage. If the pod you've been seeing suggested surgery, most insurance plans provide for at least partial coverage of a second opinion visit to a different doctor. If you go to a new doctor, be sure to take all test results, x-rays, and maybe even a short history of the condition and attempted treatments/results from your viewpoint.

Over the 4 years I had PF, I went to a number of orthopedic surgeons and pods and, personally, was more comfortable with the orthos, one of whom told me never to have surgery under any condition! Conflicting advice is always so helpful! The doctor I chose to do my surgery was an orthopedic dr. with a fellowship in foot/ankle. So far, I'm pleased with the way things have gone and am now 12 weeks post op. This surgeon works with a similarly-trained doctor in an even larger orthopedic group. He does many surgeries of various kinds, but is very selective about who receives PF release. He feels screening patients is an important part of successful surgical outcomes.

Good luck with whatever you decide, whenever you decide it--even if it takes a while to reach a decision it's worth it to take your time: you will only get to make this decision once, with no 'do-overs.' Gina

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Dr. Marlene Reid on 6/07/01 at 20:05 (050193)

Oops, I answered part of this in my response above to Tara about pod vs. ortho and your HMO. Sorry. And sorry to Tara.

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Julie on 6/08/01 at 07:33 (050239)

Gina, I thought this was a masterly, succinct exposition, and if I ever need surgery (touch wood: I won't) I will refer back to it. I'm sure it will be a help to Jana, and many others.

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Sherry BB on 6/08/01 at 10:14 (050262)

I have had both feet done by a podiatrist that specializes in surgeries. He is called a Podiatric Surgeon. Another Podiatrist in the facility handles the patients up to the point that they may need surgery and this one steps in. He really knew his stuff.

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Mary S on 6/07/01 at 11:24 (050156)

After seeing several doctors, including a pod., I decided on an orthopedic surgeon who deals only with feet and ankles. My surgery is about two weeks old and so far I am pleased with my progress. It does sound like your Pod doesn't have much experience with that procedure. A wise choice can make all of the difference and save you money in the long run. good luck!!

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Andrea R. on 6/07/01 at 12:33 (050161)

Jana,

I'm three weeks post-op and haven't had any problems except coordinating the crutches. My surgery was done by a orthopedist who specializes in feet and ankles.

Check out the 'Heel Surgery Patient Database' under Surgery on this site. You can see how the two types of doctor are rated by some of their patients.

Have you tried all the conservative methods yet? night splints, physical therapy, walking casts, etc. Remember - surgery is the last resort and may not work.

Good Luck,

Andrea

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

GinaC on 6/07/01 at 16:58 (050179)

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the additional diagnosis of TT, take your time making a decision about surgery, which is not always successful. You might also want to check out your insurance coverage. If the pod you've been seeing suggested surgery, most insurance plans provide for at least partial coverage of a second opinion visit to a different doctor. If you go to a new doctor, be sure to take all test results, x-rays, and maybe even a short history of the condition and attempted treatments/results from your viewpoint.

Over the 4 years I had PF, I went to a number of orthopedic surgeons and pods and, personally, was more comfortable with the orthos, one of whom told me never to have surgery under any condition! Conflicting advice is always so helpful! The doctor I chose to do my surgery was an orthopedic dr. with a fellowship in foot/ankle. So far, I'm pleased with the way things have gone and am now 12 weeks post op. This surgeon works with a similarly-trained doctor in an even larger orthopedic group. He does many surgeries of various kinds, but is very selective about who receives PF release. He feels screening patients is an important part of successful surgical outcomes.

Good luck with whatever you decide, whenever you decide it--even if it takes a while to reach a decision it's worth it to take your time: you will only get to make this decision once, with no 'do-overs.' Gina

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Dr. Marlene Reid on 6/07/01 at 20:05 (050193)

Oops, I answered part of this in my response above to Tara about pod vs. ortho and your HMO. Sorry. And sorry to Tara.

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Julie on 6/08/01 at 07:33 (050239)

Gina, I thought this was a masterly, succinct exposition, and if I ever need surgery (touch wood: I won't) I will refer back to it. I'm sure it will be a help to Jana, and many others.

Re: Orthopedic surgeon vs. podiatrist?

Sherry BB on 6/08/01 at 10:14 (050262)

I have had both feet done by a podiatrist that specializes in surgeries. He is called a Podiatric Surgeon. Another Podiatrist in the facility handles the patients up to the point that they may need surgery and this one steps in. He really knew his stuff.