Differences Between an Orthopedic Surgeon and Foot and Ankle Specialist in Bonita Springs FL

May 20, 20 Differences Between an Orthopedic Surgeon and Foot and Ankle Specialist in Bonita Springs FL

While most people who have foot pain consider a foot and ankle specialist, they may actually require Foot And Ankle Specialist in Bonita Springs, FL. While both occupations handle problems of the ankle and foot, there are differences, beginning with education.

Education

A foot and ankle specialist, or podiatrist is required either to attend podiatric school or medical school. Many times, podiatrists receive a Bachelor’s Degree in the medical field and then go on to podiatric school to earn a DPM. After their schooling, they must complete a residency program of two to three years and then must become board certified.

While some states do not require board certification, Bonita Springs, FL does require certification through the American Board of Podiatric Surgery (ABPS) by way of certification exams.

To become an orthopedic surgeon, you have to be matched into a residency for orthopedic surgery, which is not easy. In most cases, you have to be in the top 10 percent of your class in order to get these residencies, which last five years. After the residency, you can choose to focus on the foot and ankle through a one-year fellowship.

Similarities

While there are many differences in education of a foot and ankle specialist and orthopedic surgeon, there are many similarities, as well. Both occupations focus on people with ankle and foot problems and each can provide surgical procedures when necessary, along with prescribing medication.

Most orthopedic surgeons do not perform the basics, such as nail care, fungal problems and other non-surgical situations, but in some cases, they can and will. Similarly, many podiatrists do not treat complex traumas and perform reconstructions.

Choosing Between Them

The first thing you should do, if you have never visited a foot and ankle specialist in Bonita Springs, FL before, is talk with your general doctor. He or she may be able to provide the care you need. Whenever a regular doctor cannot help, they will send you to a specialist with a referral. In almost every case, they will send you to a podiatrist first, who will decide if they can help you or must refer you to an orthopedic surgeon.

In cases where the pain is severe, you may skip a visit to your doctor and go straight to a podiatrist, though you likely won’t be able to go directly to an orthopedic surgeon.

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