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Different Kinds of Doctors

Posted by Lisa C on 7/06/01 at 01:30 (052321)

Could somebody explain the different kinds of doctors appropiate for feet? I have gone to a podiatrist and to an orthopedic surgeon. Is there a foot doctor 'above' a pod? I also need to learn how to use the doctor recommendation feature on heelspurs. I have tried many times with no sucess. I get to where I am supposed to fill out a questionaire rating a doctor. I have made an appointment with a new pod at the end of the month, but I feel like its going to be repetative. Is there a super specialist for feet?

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Julie on 7/06/01 at 06:38 (052327)

Lisa, there are podiatrists and podiatrists. They all specialize in feet, but some are better than others. This may have to do with differences in their training and/or experience, and/or their personal qualities. The point is, your experience with you new pod isn't necessarily going to be a repeat performance of the first.

Some podiatrists have done additional training in surgery, and are qualified to operate.

I think it is the general feeling on this website that orthopaedic surgeons tend to know less - or perhaps care less - about conservative treatments for pf. The only orthopaedic doctor I have spoken to knew very little and was dismissive of everything but injections and surgery.

The third option is a sports medicine doctor who specializes in feet.

I doubt there is any one 'super-specialist' with ALL the answers to all cases. You just have to keep looking around.The best line of attack is to inform yourself thoroughly so that you know what questions to ask, and are able to assess the competence and helpfulness of the doctor(s) you consult. Heelspurs.com will be a big help to you in the information-gathering process. Read the heel pain book, and keep reading the message boards, and good luck.

Re: Orthopedic surgeons

GinaC on 7/06/01 at 10:52 (052346)

IMO an orthopedic surgeon is an excellent choice, especially if you can find one with a fellowship in foot/ankle; this MD would only treat problems of foot/ankle in his practice. I thought the orthopedic surgeons I went to (1 general and 1 with fellowship in foot/ankle) had more knowledge than the podiatrists and were less eager to perform surgery. I will admit that these surgeons were not candidates for Ms. Congeniality, but I wasn't looking for that, especially when selecting someone to perform PF/TT release. Gina

Re: Orthopedic surgeons

cindyp on 7/06/01 at 16:37 (052372)

It all depends on what the diagnosis is i think. I went to two pods two orthopedists and then a ortho dr. who was a foot and ankle reconstrutive surgoen. Now after the length of duration of my problem the specialist could be construed as eager to perform surgery but again i say what the problem is depends of what the next step to take is. You just gotta keep looking and by all means check credentials, ASK QUESTIONS!!!!

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Lisa C on 7/07/01 at 01:17 (052387)

I guess I was hoping that there was some undiscovered breed of super foot doctors out there! Any tips re: locating a recommended Dr. in my area? Isn't this a feature of heelspurs? I have yet to figure it out. I am in northern California, the Bay area 45 minutes from San Francisco. What are THE most important questions to ask a new doctor? I think I have sensory overload when it comes to feet! I can't think of what I would ask right now. I went to the store today & ended up on the 'medical' isle. I looked at heel cups, ankle braces, packs that can be frozen & or microwaved, gel soles... The variety of items to buy & try are endless!!!

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Julie on 7/07/01 at 02:06 (052389)

Lisa, go to the 'Rate Your Doctor' section on the home page.
Click on 'Rate Your Doctor'. You will be taken to the page.
Click on 'Search Database'. You will be taken to that page.
Scroll down where it says 'Enter your state or province'
Click on 'Search'. Hopefully you will be given some details of doctors in your area.
That's it.

Do understand though, that the problem you're having is your problem, and that it's your body. You're going to have to deal with it: you can't expect a miracle doctor to give you a miracle pill to sort the whole thing out. He or she can suggest lines of treatment, but it's you who has to carry them out: you have to be actively involved in your healing.

You're in charge - and the more you educate yourself the better able you will be to take charge. As I've said before: read the heel pain book and keep reading the message board. I know it all seems overwhelming, and you won't learn everything all at once, but give it a bit of time and it will all sink in.

As for questions, I know that too seems overwhelming, and you don't know where to start, but perhaps you could make a start with how you feel right now. Write down your symptoms so you can give the doctor as much clear information as possible. Don't worry about the 'best questions', which will vary with each individual: think about what YOU want to know.

The most important thing is to discover the cause of the problem so that it can be addressed. A good foot doctor, whether podiatrist, sports medicine doctor, or orthopaedic doctor, will carry out a full examination including biomechanical evaluation of your gait (the way you walk) and other tests.

And go from there. Good luck!

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Laurie R on 7/07/01 at 02:44 (052390)

Hi Lisa,
I also live about 45 minutes from the city ... Have you been to Stanford yet?? Email me if you would like .... angels1108@msn.com Laurie R

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Lisa C on 7/07/01 at 03:18 (052391)

Thanks as always for your prompt reply & info Julie! I have read the heel pain book several times. I read almost all the posts every day. I've read the doctors articles on this site and most everything else as well. I feel that the best info I get has been from fellow pf suffer-ers. I got my PT to use cortizone today with ultrasound at the suggestion of a heelspurs poster. I have been dissappointed re: my doctors and their help. Neither knew of ESWT. I feel a pod should be up on the latest and know about it! They never suggested no barefeet... I would like to have an x-ray and or an mri, or maybe custom orthotics. I just feel like I have diagnosed myself & I am treating myself. I really am active in trying to heal. I wear my Slipper Shack arch support thongs in the shower, Teva's at the water park, Mephisto sandals at home ALL the time. I have purchased Brooks sneakers for over pronaters and inserts. I stretch in the am & ice in the pm each day. I am going to PT and taking advil, or aleve as I can handle the side affects. Also chondroiten/glucosimine. I use the ibuprophen cream and I'm in the Jade trial. I am not keen on the taping. I am going to buy a different type of tape and try a few more times. The PT said today that my feet are hypermobile, I'll look into that now. I do confess that I would like a magic pill or cure! I am interested in the post re: synthyroid on the sucess board. (I have taken synthyroid forever) Deep down inside I know it isn't that easy and that her PF was getting better anyway. Just a coincidense timing wise. A good doctor is important, especially someone experienced with PF would be nice. Heelspurs has been my best doctor so far. I have had the most improvement from the advice I have followed on heelspurs! Thank you Thank you!!(once for each foot :o) )

Re: Why I choose orthopedic foot/ankle doc

Beverly on 7/07/01 at 13:38 (052406)

Here is why I prefer orthopedic surgeons over pods (with the exception of Dr. Z. who would be my 1st choice if I didn't live so far from him).

1. Orthopedic surgeons seem less inclined to suggest surgery. I've had this for 1.5 years and none of the three I've seen have suggested surgery. I have only seen orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the foot and ankle. Most of them had a Fellowship in foot/ankle, and they were sports med docs. I think it is important to get the foot/ankle specialist. Orthopedics is very specialized these days.

2. They are M.D.'s. This means they went through medical school and were trained on the whole body before going onto their speciality. This was very important to me.

3. Very important. They don't make orthodics... usually not in the orthodics business or at least none of the ones I've seen were. This meant that I felt like I was getting a less biased opinion both on the type of orthodic I needed and where to get them. The worst set I had were made by a pod.
(I saw several pods before I found orthopedics.)

4. At least my experience was that they are eager to send you to PT, agreeable about renewing PT scripts. The pods I met were chinchy with PT scripts.

5. My experience with pods vs. orthopedic docs is that orthopedic docs are much more conservative and cautious with cortizone.

Of course at the end of the day, there are good pods who will help just as well as an orthopedic doc, but I think they are harder to find.

Take care,
Beverly

Re: Why I choose orthopedic foot/ankle doc

Lisa C on 7/07/01 at 21:07 (052437)

Thank you for your post Beverly! How do you find out if they specialize in foot/ankle? Just call & ask I guess?

Re: Finding an Foot/Ankle Orthopedist

Andrea R. on 7/09/01 at 07:44 (052529)

Lisa,

Go to http://www.aofas.org and they have an option for locating a foot and ankle specialist.

Andrea

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Julie on 7/06/01 at 06:38 (052327)

Lisa, there are podiatrists and podiatrists. They all specialize in feet, but some are better than others. This may have to do with differences in their training and/or experience, and/or their personal qualities. The point is, your experience with you new pod isn't necessarily going to be a repeat performance of the first.

Some podiatrists have done additional training in surgery, and are qualified to operate.

I think it is the general feeling on this website that orthopaedic surgeons tend to know less - or perhaps care less - about conservative treatments for pf. The only orthopaedic doctor I have spoken to knew very little and was dismissive of everything but injections and surgery.

The third option is a sports medicine doctor who specializes in feet.

I doubt there is any one 'super-specialist' with ALL the answers to all cases. You just have to keep looking around.The best line of attack is to inform yourself thoroughly so that you know what questions to ask, and are able to assess the competence and helpfulness of the doctor(s) you consult. Heelspurs.com will be a big help to you in the information-gathering process. Read the heel pain book, and keep reading the message boards, and good luck.

Re: Orthopedic surgeons

GinaC on 7/06/01 at 10:52 (052346)

IMO an orthopedic surgeon is an excellent choice, especially if you can find one with a fellowship in foot/ankle; this MD would only treat problems of foot/ankle in his practice. I thought the orthopedic surgeons I went to (1 general and 1 with fellowship in foot/ankle) had more knowledge than the podiatrists and were less eager to perform surgery. I will admit that these surgeons were not candidates for Ms. Congeniality, but I wasn't looking for that, especially when selecting someone to perform PF/TT release. Gina

Re: Orthopedic surgeons

cindyp on 7/06/01 at 16:37 (052372)

It all depends on what the diagnosis is i think. I went to two pods two orthopedists and then a ortho dr. who was a foot and ankle reconstrutive surgoen. Now after the length of duration of my problem the specialist could be construed as eager to perform surgery but again i say what the problem is depends of what the next step to take is. You just gotta keep looking and by all means check credentials, ASK QUESTIONS!!!!

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Lisa C on 7/07/01 at 01:17 (052387)

I guess I was hoping that there was some undiscovered breed of super foot doctors out there! Any tips re: locating a recommended Dr. in my area? Isn't this a feature of heelspurs? I have yet to figure it out. I am in northern California, the Bay area 45 minutes from San Francisco. What are THE most important questions to ask a new doctor? I think I have sensory overload when it comes to feet! I can't think of what I would ask right now. I went to the store today & ended up on the 'medical' isle. I looked at heel cups, ankle braces, packs that can be frozen & or microwaved, gel soles... The variety of items to buy & try are endless!!!

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Julie on 7/07/01 at 02:06 (052389)

Lisa, go to the 'Rate Your Doctor' section on the home page.
Click on 'Rate Your Doctor'. You will be taken to the page.
Click on 'Search Database'. You will be taken to that page.
Scroll down where it says 'Enter your state or province'
Click on 'Search'. Hopefully you will be given some details of doctors in your area.
That's it.

Do understand though, that the problem you're having is your problem, and that it's your body. You're going to have to deal with it: you can't expect a miracle doctor to give you a miracle pill to sort the whole thing out. He or she can suggest lines of treatment, but it's you who has to carry them out: you have to be actively involved in your healing.

You're in charge - and the more you educate yourself the better able you will be to take charge. As I've said before: read the heel pain book and keep reading the message board. I know it all seems overwhelming, and you won't learn everything all at once, but give it a bit of time and it will all sink in.

As for questions, I know that too seems overwhelming, and you don't know where to start, but perhaps you could make a start with how you feel right now. Write down your symptoms so you can give the doctor as much clear information as possible. Don't worry about the 'best questions', which will vary with each individual: think about what YOU want to know.

The most important thing is to discover the cause of the problem so that it can be addressed. A good foot doctor, whether podiatrist, sports medicine doctor, or orthopaedic doctor, will carry out a full examination including biomechanical evaluation of your gait (the way you walk) and other tests.

And go from there. Good luck!

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Laurie R on 7/07/01 at 02:44 (052390)

Hi Lisa,
I also live about 45 minutes from the city ... Have you been to Stanford yet?? Email me if you would like .... angels1108@msn.com Laurie R

Re: Different Kinds of Doctors

Lisa C on 7/07/01 at 03:18 (052391)

Thanks as always for your prompt reply & info Julie! I have read the heel pain book several times. I read almost all the posts every day. I've read the doctors articles on this site and most everything else as well. I feel that the best info I get has been from fellow pf suffer-ers. I got my PT to use cortizone today with ultrasound at the suggestion of a heelspurs poster. I have been dissappointed re: my doctors and their help. Neither knew of ESWT. I feel a pod should be up on the latest and know about it! They never suggested no barefeet... I would like to have an x-ray and or an mri, or maybe custom orthotics. I just feel like I have diagnosed myself & I am treating myself. I really am active in trying to heal. I wear my Slipper Shack arch support thongs in the shower, Teva's at the water park, Mephisto sandals at home ALL the time. I have purchased Brooks sneakers for over pronaters and inserts. I stretch in the am & ice in the pm each day. I am going to PT and taking advil, or aleve as I can handle the side affects. Also chondroiten/glucosimine. I use the ibuprophen cream and I'm in the Jade trial. I am not keen on the taping. I am going to buy a different type of tape and try a few more times. The PT said today that my feet are hypermobile, I'll look into that now. I do confess that I would like a magic pill or cure! I am interested in the post re: synthyroid on the sucess board. (I have taken synthyroid forever) Deep down inside I know it isn't that easy and that her PF was getting better anyway. Just a coincidense timing wise. A good doctor is important, especially someone experienced with PF would be nice. Heelspurs has been my best doctor so far. I have had the most improvement from the advice I have followed on heelspurs! Thank you Thank you!!(once for each foot :o) )

Re: Why I choose orthopedic foot/ankle doc

Beverly on 7/07/01 at 13:38 (052406)

Here is why I prefer orthopedic surgeons over pods (with the exception of Dr. Z. who would be my 1st choice if I didn't live so far from him).

1. Orthopedic surgeons seem less inclined to suggest surgery. I've had this for 1.5 years and none of the three I've seen have suggested surgery. I have only seen orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the foot and ankle. Most of them had a Fellowship in foot/ankle, and they were sports med docs. I think it is important to get the foot/ankle specialist. Orthopedics is very specialized these days.

2. They are M.D.'s. This means they went through medical school and were trained on the whole body before going onto their speciality. This was very important to me.

3. Very important. They don't make orthodics... usually not in the orthodics business or at least none of the ones I've seen were. This meant that I felt like I was getting a less biased opinion both on the type of orthodic I needed and where to get them. The worst set I had were made by a pod.
(I saw several pods before I found orthopedics.)

4. At least my experience was that they are eager to send you to PT, agreeable about renewing PT scripts. The pods I met were chinchy with PT scripts.

5. My experience with pods vs. orthopedic docs is that orthopedic docs are much more conservative and cautious with cortizone.

Of course at the end of the day, there are good pods who will help just as well as an orthopedic doc, but I think they are harder to find.

Take care,
Beverly

Re: Why I choose orthopedic foot/ankle doc

Lisa C on 7/07/01 at 21:07 (052437)

Thank you for your post Beverly! How do you find out if they specialize in foot/ankle? Just call & ask I guess?

Re: Finding an Foot/Ankle Orthopedist

Andrea R. on 7/09/01 at 07:44 (052529)

Lisa,

Go to http://www.aofas.org and they have an option for locating a foot and ankle specialist.

Andrea