Foot and Ankle Surgeon Summary: A foot and ankle surgeon is a medical doctor, either an MD (Medical Doctor) or a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy), who specializes in the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients with orthopedic disorders of or injury to the foot and ankle including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, nerves and skin.
Conditions Treated Include:
• Musculoskeletal problems, including fractures, breaks, dislocations, sprains and torn ligaments
• Conditions requiring joint replacements
• Bunions, hammer toes, mallet toes, arthritic toes, intoeing and outtoeing
• Infections, tumors, inflammatory diseases and nerve disorders including plantar warts, plantar fasciitis and cartilage and tendon damage from rheumatoid arthritis
• Congenital deformities including clubfoot and flat foot
• Diabetic foot problems
• Foot and ankle arthritis
• Joint, tendon and muscle pain of the foot and ankle
Procedures and Treatments:
Medical and rehabilitative procedures and treatments performed include treatment of sports injuries, reconstructive surgery, therapy for diabetic foot conditions and treatment of trauma to the foot and ankle. Procedures and treatments include:
• Soft Tissue and bone reconstruction surgery
• Fracture surgery
• Bunion removal
• Ankle fusion and ankle replacement
• Treatment of fungal infections
To achieve this degree, a physician must have completed four years of medical school and five years of accredited graduate medical education, known as a residency, in orthopedic surgery. Many foot and ankle surgeons have also completed advanced fellowship training in this specialty. There are about 650 residency programs available in 170 accredited programs. The orthopedics field is extremely competitive and most candidates for residencies, including foot and ankle, graduate at the top of their medical school classes.
Foot and ankle surgeons are board certified by either the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (MDs) or the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery (DOs), and must maintain membership in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). To be certified as a specialist by the AAOS, candidates must have completed an orthopedic residency, performed orthopedic surgery for two years and passed the board’s written and oral examinations.
Professional Society Membership:
The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) is a medical specialty society for foot and ankle surgeons. All members must have completed both four years of medical and five years of residency training in orthopedic surgery, and most also have completed a year-long advanced fellowship program in treatment and surgery for the foot and ankle.
Foot and Ankle Surgeon FAQs: Why might I see a foot and ankle surgeon?
You might see a foot and ankle surgeon for: break, sprain or fracture, congenital foot deformity, traumatic injury, diabetic foot, infections, arthritic problems, inflammation of the foot, bunions, hammertoes and any other injury or deformity in this area.
How do I find a foot and ankle surgeon in my area?
To find a foot and ankle surgeon you can ask your primary care physician for recommendations or look on Wellness.com and other practitioner review websites. When you call the surgeon’s office, be sure to ask questions about medical school training, accredited residency, areas of specialty and experience in performing your specific surgery or treatment.
If I see a foot and ankle surgeon, will I also need to see other doctors?
Your foot and ankle surgeon may need to work with other specialties regarding your condition. This could include an internist, pediatrician, vascular surgeon, radiologist, oncologist or endocrinologist.
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