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Pod or Ortho???

Posted by Ashley S. on 5/16/02 at 12:19 (084157)

I have an appt. scheduled with a pod in a couple of weeks, but I don't know if that is where I should be going. I have heard that an orthopedic surgeon was the MD to go to......my internal med. MD said I should see the ortho???

Ashley

Re: Pod or Ortho???

Sharon W on 5/16/02 at 12:27 (084160)

Ashley,

The doctors may or may not choose to answer this one because it refers to an ongoing... difference in orientation between doctors. There are some primary care doctors who prefer sending their patients with foot problems to orthopedic surgeons, and others who prefer podiatrists. Sometimes it simply comes down to which specialists they are more familiar with, or which specialists they have gotten better reports about from their patients. Was the appointment with the pod arranged by another doctor? If so, your Dr. has probably referred you to someone he/she thinks is GOOD.

-- Sharon

Re: Pod or Ortho???

Carole C in NOLA on 5/16/02 at 13:59 (084168)

Ashley, as I mentioned in my other post, I've never been to an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist either one. But from what I've read on the message board, there are good and bad podiatrists, and good and bad orthopedic surgeons. Hope this helps.

Carole C

Re: Pod or Ortho???

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/16/02 at 15:41 (084177)

I obviously have a bias in answering this question as I am a podiatrist.
Nevertheless, orthopedic surgeons are free to post their opinions on this board---few have take such an interest.

Podiatrists are the only practitioners exclusively trained in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. Most orthopedic surgeons are 'generalists' treating the entire musculoskeletal system. There are a few orthopedic surgeons who have taken a fellowship to become foot and ankle orthopods.

Podiatrists clearly have more training and expertise in treatment of foot problems compared to the general orthopedist. That gap is narrowed considerably when comparing foot and ankle orthopods to podiatrists.
I would definitely give the edge to the orthopods when it comes to acute trauma--fractures, etc. Orthopods have a strong surgical orientation to their approach. Podiatrists have a more diversified perspective, encompassing biomechanics, physical medicine, orthotics and bracing, shoe therapy as well as surgery.

Sharon and Carole have provided some good reasons for how and why referrals are made. Additionally, there are MD's who prefer only to refer to other MD's-- sort of the good 'ol boy concept. Others, particularly many of the younger family doctors are able to overcome such biases and focus on which practitioner can do the best job for their patient.
Ed

Re: Pod or Ortho???

Kathy G on 5/17/02 at 16:54 (084360)

Ashley,

I can only base my opinion on my own personal experience. My primary care physician (a family practitioner) diagnosed my condition but sent met to a Podiatrist, one of many in the area, but the one he liked the best. He's an excellent doctor and I've never felt the need to seek a second opinion.

In October, I sprained my ankle and when it wasn't healing as quickly as it should, he sent me to an Orthopedic Specialist. He was good for ankle sprains but he didn't know the first thing about Plantar Fasciitis.

So, I would strongly agree with Dr. Davis, and I don't have a personal bias! I think a podiatrist is able to render the best care for feet. Obviously there are exceptions, but I believe that because the foot is so incredibly complex, it takes a specialist to adequately treat and diagnose any of its ailments. I also like the idea that these poor guys (and girls) look at nothing but feet all day, heaven help them, so they have experience and are more likely to have an idea about what treatments work and what ones don't.

Re: Pod or Ortho???

Sharon W on 5/16/02 at 12:27 (084160)

Ashley,

The doctors may or may not choose to answer this one because it refers to an ongoing... difference in orientation between doctors. There are some primary care doctors who prefer sending their patients with foot problems to orthopedic surgeons, and others who prefer podiatrists. Sometimes it simply comes down to which specialists they are more familiar with, or which specialists they have gotten better reports about from their patients. Was the appointment with the pod arranged by another doctor? If so, your Dr. has probably referred you to someone he/she thinks is GOOD.

-- Sharon

Re: Pod or Ortho???

Carole C in NOLA on 5/16/02 at 13:59 (084168)

Ashley, as I mentioned in my other post, I've never been to an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist either one. But from what I've read on the message board, there are good and bad podiatrists, and good and bad orthopedic surgeons. Hope this helps.

Carole C

Re: Pod or Ortho???

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/16/02 at 15:41 (084177)

I obviously have a bias in answering this question as I am a podiatrist.
Nevertheless, orthopedic surgeons are free to post their opinions on this board---few have take such an interest.

Podiatrists are the only practitioners exclusively trained in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. Most orthopedic surgeons are 'generalists' treating the entire musculoskeletal system. There are a few orthopedic surgeons who have taken a fellowship to become foot and ankle orthopods.

Podiatrists clearly have more training and expertise in treatment of foot problems compared to the general orthopedist. That gap is narrowed considerably when comparing foot and ankle orthopods to podiatrists.
I would definitely give the edge to the orthopods when it comes to acute trauma--fractures, etc. Orthopods have a strong surgical orientation to their approach. Podiatrists have a more diversified perspective, encompassing biomechanics, physical medicine, orthotics and bracing, shoe therapy as well as surgery.

Sharon and Carole have provided some good reasons for how and why referrals are made. Additionally, there are MD's who prefer only to refer to other MD's-- sort of the good 'ol boy concept. Others, particularly many of the younger family doctors are able to overcome such biases and focus on which practitioner can do the best job for their patient.
Ed

Re: Pod or Ortho???

Kathy G on 5/17/02 at 16:54 (084360)

Ashley,

I can only base my opinion on my own personal experience. My primary care physician (a family practitioner) diagnosed my condition but sent met to a Podiatrist, one of many in the area, but the one he liked the best. He's an excellent doctor and I've never felt the need to seek a second opinion.

In October, I sprained my ankle and when it wasn't healing as quickly as it should, he sent me to an Orthopedic Specialist. He was good for ankle sprains but he didn't know the first thing about Plantar Fasciitis.

So, I would strongly agree with Dr. Davis, and I don't have a personal bias! I think a podiatrist is able to render the best care for feet. Obviously there are exceptions, but I believe that because the foot is so incredibly complex, it takes a specialist to adequately treat and diagnose any of its ailments. I also like the idea that these poor guys (and girls) look at nothing but feet all day, heaven help them, so they have experience and are more likely to have an idea about what treatments work and what ones don't.