If you are searching for a McKinney podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon, Hadfield Foot and Ankle is a great place to start your search. Dr. Hadfield is the leading podiatrist in McKinney, and at Hadfield Foot and Ankle, we routinely treat all kinds of foot and ankle problems. Still, it seems like we're always getting asked, "What's the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon? Hadfield Foot and Ankle would like to explain the difference so that you can be more informed and make a decision about who to see when foot and ankle problems arise.
What Does an Orthopedic Surgeon Do?
An orthopedic surgeon specializes in surgery on bones. Orthopedic surgeons' focus is surgical in nature. They have five years of training with an MD degree and an additional 5 years of training after their medical schooling. Some orthopedic surgeons will go onto different specialties after graduating. For example, the joint replacement doctor will spend more time after training specializing in joints. There are also sports medicine doctors and foot and ankle doctors, just to name a couple.
What Does a Podiatrist Do?
As podiatrists, we have a different degree. Our degree is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine and not an MD. All podiatrists must attend four years of specialized schooling with an emphasis on the lower extremities, such as how people walk, the mechanics of their foot and ankle and lower leg. However, like orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists can also perform surgeries. Podiatrists have three years of surgical training or residency training, which is specialized to the foot and ankle, although we do other rotations with other specialties, such as anesthesia, general surgery, pathology, internal medicine, family medicine, and orthopedics.
During schooling and training, podiatrists spend most of our time doing foot and ankle-related training, so our field is very specific. That specific training makes a podiatrist the expert when it comes to the foot and the ankle. If you have a foot or an ankle problem; whether it's a fractured ankle, fractured foot, a rash, a hangnail, an ingrown toenail, diabetic foot problems, or any other problems with the foot or ankles; a podiatrist is the expert when it comes to treating your problem. Nobody will treat these kinds of problems better than a podiatrist will.
Always Start with a Podiatrist because We Can Refer You to an Orthopedic Surgeon if Necessary
Certainly, there are a lot of orthopedic surgeons who specialize in foot and ankle problems. However, most of them will specialize in the surgical aspects of foot and ankle issues. In some cases, orthopedic surgeons may be even more qualified than a podiatrist when it comes to comes to reconstructive surgery or trauma surgery. Orthopedic surgeons are typically in a bigger group, and they get referrals from other doctors for weird fractures and injuries.
Some podiatrists don't have that experience. We are more well-rounded as far as foot and ankle problems are concerned. Whether we're dealing with strains, ligament pulls, or toe injuries; podiatrists see everything whereas an orthopedic surgeon sees elbows, hands, knees, and hips in addition to some foot and ankle stuff. To find a McKinney podiatrist who can help with your foot and ankle problems, contact Hadfield Foot and Ankle today.