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Orthopedic Surgeon or Podiatrist?

Posted by Mahatmelissama on 10/11/01 at 11:02 (062739)

Hi there,

I have had foot pain for years but thought it was all due to only me being overweight, so I
grinned and beared it, like all the good pioneer women in my family. Now, I want to do
something about it since I discovered links like this one and I am thinking of seeing a doctor
about my feet.

My mom is a neurologist and she is against me going to a podiatrist...she says if I see
anyone about my foot, it should only be an orthopedic surgeon.

Due to having Blue SHAFT, I mean Blue Shield, I do not know where they will send me if
I request a 'foot doctor', which I would through my primary doctor.

I am fearful of cortisone shots (I would never allow those since they weaken ligaments I hear) but
I am so sick of having sore feet, no matter if I excersize or not. I want to go get help but am not
sure which kind of doctor to go to.

I am over 30 but I do still listen to what my mother says concerning doctors...but I also realize she
does not know everything and she may have biases, that is why I am running what she said by y'all
here.

Thank you so much for your time, I really do appreciate this webpage.

Melissa

Re: Orthopedic Surgeon or Podiatrist?

D.Thomas on 10/11/01 at 15:13 (062757)

Everyone is going to have a personal opinion on this one, but I have seen four of each and I favor the podiatrists. But, the real answer is finding one that you like and trust. That's all that matters.

Re: Orthopedic Surgeon or Podiatrist?

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/11/01 at 16:33 (062767)

It sounds like you have had some bad experiences with doctors with regards to your foot problems and that has made you hesitant to seek care. Could you tell us what your experiences were?

Orthopedic surgeons have a lot of general knowledge about the musculoskeletal system and are well trained in musculoskeletal trauma. The foot and ankle was an area that was ignored by that profession for years until formation of the subspecialty of 'foot and ankle orhtopods.' That is a relatively new profession. Podiatrists have been dedicated specialists, albeit not MD's, focusing on the treatment of foot and ankle problems for over 150 years, as a profession. The total number of time in study for orthopods is longer than that for podiatrists but, on a proportional basis, podiatrists spend a significantly longer time in the study of the foot and ankle than any specialist.

There has been, throughout the years, competition between schools of thought in medicine. For example MDs had shown disdain for DO's but finally accepted that profession about 20 years ago, many MDs still don't like chiropractors. Podiatrists tend to be fairly well accepted but there are certainly a number of MDs who insist that only another MD render care.

I would be somewhat surprised that your mom would not have a problem by your having 'treatment' from untrained lay people at the Good Feet stores as opposed to a highly trained podiatrist. I have read your messages and you have read my messages on the 'Alznner' message board. I prefer to respond at this site as I feel that the tone here is better. One of the tactics of the Good Feet people is to attack professionals in order to justify some of the things they do. They are selling a decent prefabricated orthotic worth about $25 to $50 for over $200 with a lot of hype. Their device is very similar to prefabricated devices dispensed at a fraction of the price they are charging by professionals. Such devices can be very helpful for the right individual. They do not work for everyone and do not re-align one's entire body as they claim. Professionals operate under licensing laws and codes of ethics that prohibit the type of grandiose claims that the Alznner people often make. The important thing that professionals offer is not so much a device but rather advice on what to do. I use similar pre-fab orthotics, pre-fab orthotics that are different from the Alznner and custom orthotics. We will honestly tell patients what type of device will work best for them (if any) based on a
thorough exam.
Ed

Re: Orthopedic Surgeon or Podiatrist?

D.Thomas on 10/11/01 at 15:13 (062757)

Everyone is going to have a personal opinion on this one, but I have seen four of each and I favor the podiatrists. But, the real answer is finding one that you like and trust. That's all that matters.

Re: Orthopedic Surgeon or Podiatrist?

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/11/01 at 16:33 (062767)

It sounds like you have had some bad experiences with doctors with regards to your foot problems and that has made you hesitant to seek care. Could you tell us what your experiences were?

Orthopedic surgeons have a lot of general knowledge about the musculoskeletal system and are well trained in musculoskeletal trauma. The foot and ankle was an area that was ignored by that profession for years until formation of the subspecialty of 'foot and ankle orhtopods.' That is a relatively new profession. Podiatrists have been dedicated specialists, albeit not MD's, focusing on the treatment of foot and ankle problems for over 150 years, as a profession. The total number of time in study for orthopods is longer than that for podiatrists but, on a proportional basis, podiatrists spend a significantly longer time in the study of the foot and ankle than any specialist.

There has been, throughout the years, competition between schools of thought in medicine. For example MDs had shown disdain for DO's but finally accepted that profession about 20 years ago, many MDs still don't like chiropractors. Podiatrists tend to be fairly well accepted but there are certainly a number of MDs who insist that only another MD render care.

I would be somewhat surprised that your mom would not have a problem by your having 'treatment' from untrained lay people at the Good Feet stores as opposed to a highly trained podiatrist. I have read your messages and you have read my messages on the 'Alznner' message board. I prefer to respond at this site as I feel that the tone here is better. One of the tactics of the Good Feet people is to attack professionals in order to justify some of the things they do. They are selling a decent prefabricated orthotic worth about $25 to $50 for over $200 with a lot of hype. Their device is very similar to prefabricated devices dispensed at a fraction of the price they are charging by professionals. Such devices can be very helpful for the right individual. They do not work for everyone and do not re-align one's entire body as they claim. Professionals operate under licensing laws and codes of ethics that prohibit the type of grandiose claims that the Alznner people often make. The important thing that professionals offer is not so much a device but rather advice on what to do. I use similar pre-fab orthotics, pre-fab orthotics that are different from the Alznner and custom orthotics. We will honestly tell patients what type of device will work best for them (if any) based on a
thorough exam.
Ed