What Is a Foot Doctor?
Whether you need quick treatment for a traumatic ankle fracture or long-term care for your diabetes-related foot issues, specialized medical care is the most effective way to overcome your ailment. Depending on the details of your condition, however, you might not know which doctor offers the right type of treatment: a foot doctor or an orthopaedist.
Podiatrist vs. Orthopaedist
While commonly referred to as a “foot doctor,” a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), or podiatrist, provides treatment for feet, ankles, and adjacent areas of the lower leg. DPM specialties range from sports medicine to surgery, but patients may refer to a podiatric specialist for just about any foot and ankle ailment. A podiatric surgeon, for example, offers the same level of care with all the experience of a DPM, but they also offer surgery as an additional treatment alternative.
Podiatrists specialize in foot and ankle care, whereas most orthopaedic physicians provide care for bone and joint ailments anywhere in the body. At Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, we not only have a podiatrist; we also have an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle surgery as well as lower extremity reconstruction.
In cases specific to the feet and ankles, orthopaedists and foot doctors often have the authority and education to perform a range of overlapping treatments. In fact, our two specialists frequently collaborate to provide comprehensive patient care.
When to See a Foot Doctor
Patients may consult their foot doctor for any foot and ankle concerns. From seemingly cosmetic conditions to severe trauma, foot doctors treat a range of issues, including:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Ankle sprains
- Flat feet
- Toenail fungus
- Foot and ankle nerve injuries
However, if the cause of a condition stems from an upper area of the body, a podiatric specialist may refer to an orthopaedist for additional treatment. For example, if a patient’s foot doctor finds a treatable foot condition caused by a hip issue, the foot doctor may treat the resulting pain while an orthopaedist corrects the underlying cause.
Foot Specialists in St. Augustine
At Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, we know that even the most minor foot and ankle issue can add a lot of extra stress to your daily routine. That’s why our orthopaedic team of foot and ankle specialists and orthopaedic surgeons offer cutting-edge treatments, including minimally invasive arthroscopy, reconstructive procedures, and diabetic wound care. To schedule your appointment, fill out our online request form or call 904-825-0540.
BETH PEARCE, DPM
Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Orthopaedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine.
KURTIS HORT, MD
Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a member of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. Dr. Hort specializes in reconstructive procedures of the foot and ankle.