This question is posed to our doctors fairly frequently. The answer is that while some podiatrists choose to limit their practices, all podiatrists are qualified to treat all disorders of the foot and ankle. If surgery is determined to be the best treatment option, the patient typically assumes that we will refer them to an orthopedic surgeon to perform the surgery. The belief that an orthopedic surgeon is better qualified to treat foot and ankle disorders is a common misconception.
Kansas City Foot and Ankle excels in this area, with 5 Podiatrists on staff, all possessing different specialties. We do spend more of our time addressing elective procedures such as the correction of bunions, hammertoes and neuromoas, however, because we truly believe that surgery is meant to be a last resort. We will always consider non–surgical solutions first. Any surgery can cause worry, which is why we will take as much time as needed with you to answer your questions. We will work together to address any concerns, and you will have a clear post-operative course mapped out. We will explore every treatment option available to find the right solution for you!
Our practice will handle almost 100% of the surgical needs of our patients. However, even with our recommendation, some patients are still hesitant to accept the suggestion of a podiatrist versus an orthopedic surgeon for surgery.
Podiatrists are Surgeons by Design
The training that a podiatrist goes through is extensive. After four years of college, a podiatrist continues for four more years of podiatric medical school. Most schools are affiliated with major universities and medical centers. After graduation, the podiatrist continues to a hospital-based residency program which is now a minimum of 3 years of training in surgery and medicine. The podiatrist then has to meet additional qualifications to become board certified.
And if surgery is your only option, we believe that podiatrists are the best trained in matters of the foot and ankle – and we would feel very comfortable having one of our fellow podiatrists operate on ourselves or our own family! We will always give our patients all the information needed to make an informed decision. The choice is yours – we will do our best to guide you. We are here to answer any, and all, of your questions!