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Orthopedic Vs. Podiatrist: Foot & Ankle Specialist

Orthopedic Vs. Podiatrist: Foot & Ankle Specialist
Orthopedic Vs. Podiatrist: Foot & Ankle Specialist

If you have a problem with your foot or ankle you may need an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist. Fully understanding the difference is crucial, as physicians undergo years of specialized training and education in order to become qualified and knowledgeable.

Orthopedics & podiatrist specialization

Orthopedic surgeons go through medical school and a specialized residency where they gain experience. They are knowledgeable on the whole physical system in addition to the foot and ankle, while podiatrists specialize only in the feet and ankles and are not physicians. 

For this reason, if you are having systemic issues or broader problems then seeing an orthopedic surgeon may be preferable to going to someone who is purely a podiatrist.

What treatments do orthopedic surgeons & podiatrist provide?

Podiatrists are feet and ankle experts and can help resolve heel spurs, basic injuries and medical issues that affect the feet and ankles, but orthopedists will work with the entire range of issues affecting you and your feet and ankles to ensure you get the treatment you need.

With over 26 individual bones and hundreds of muscles and tendons, the foot is highly complicated and incredible in its functions. Orthopedics will deal with problems of your entire musculoskeletal system including broken bones, sprains, fractures, torn ligaments and plantar fasciitis. Both podiatrists and orthopedic doctors are able to perform surgery if necessary.

The main difference is that orthopedic specialists are more knowledgeable at treating issues involving your overall health such as diabetes which may be negatively impacting your feet or nutritional or posture issues which are harming your ankles and feet. Podiatrists tend to be very specialized experts on the feet and ankles but have not been trained as medical doctors for more far-reaching medical problems or issues that are affecting multiple areas of your body.

It is a smart idea to speak with your physician about their specific accreditation and experience and to ensure they are fully licensed. It is also savvy to read their reviews and customer feedback and pay attention to their reputation in the community. If your overall condition is quite serious and you have a range of health concerns including with your feet and ankles it is better to visit an orthopedic surgeon who will be able to advise you on your condition as a whole and how to address it.

Dr. Mahesh Bagwe is a lead physician at the Orthopedic Center of St. Louis and a St. Louis Cardinals team physician. He has extensive experience and expertise with foot and ankle surgery and is one of the leading ankle surgery doctors in St. Louis.

If you’re looking for an orthopedic surgeon near you and a lower extremity surgeon in St. Louis then Dr. Bagwe is your man. When it comes to ankle surgery doctors in St. Louis and foot surgery doctors in St. Louis his unparalleled skills, experience and expertise put you in good hands.

Reach out and contact Dr. Bagwe at the Orthopedic Center of St. Louis to find out more about the ankle and foot surgery services he offers.

  • Saint Louis University
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • Center of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
  • SSM Health
  • Mercy