Florida Foot Specialists

photo of a woman's legs and feet wearing blue jeans and walking. The heel is colored red to depict plantar fasciitis pain.

Podiatrist Vs Orthopedist For Plantar Fasciitis

If you are suffering from pain and/or swelling due to Plantar Fasciitis you will be searching for a physician to help you.   So, do you choose a podiatrist vs. an orthopedist for your Plantar Fasciitis problem?

What’s The Difference Between a Podiatrist and an Orthopedist?

There are several differences in education and practice between podiatrists and orthopedists and knowing these differences will help you decide which type of doctor will serve you the best.

What Is A Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM).

His or her education consists of…

  • 4 years of undergraduate school
  • 4 years at an accredited podiatric medical school
  • 3 – 4 years of residency training in only foot and ankle treatment and surgery

Podiatrists are well trained and experienced in treating foot and ankle disorders with modalities and orthotics. There are some podiatrists who can also perform surgery in the foot and ankle area.

What Is An Orthopedist?

An orthopedist (aka orthopedic surgeons) is a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopath (DO) who treats not only the foot and ankle but the entire musculoskeletal system.

His or her education consists of…

  • 4 years of undergraduate school
  • 4 years at an accredited medical school
  • 5 years of generalized orthopedic surgical residency training
  • And sometimes an additional year (fellowship) dedicated to the treatment of foot and ankle disorders

Orthopedists are well trained in surgery but not all orthopedists are well trained in foot and ankle problems.

Making An Informed Decision

No matter who you choose to help you with your Plantar Fasciitis, know that every physician will have their own opinion on the treatment method. Even if you go to two different podiatrists you may get two different solutions.

The more conventional and least invasive treatments will come from a podiatrist so it would make sense to see this type of physician first. 

If the treatment methods do not work and surgery is required, then it will be time to consider a qualified orthopedist who has specialized training in foot and ankle disorders.