Podiatric or Orthopedic Surgeon: Which One Should You Choose?

If you are facing foot or ankle surgery, you probably have a lot of questions. The best procedure, recovery time, and post-operative care are all areas of concern. However, before all of that is explained, you need to select a surgeon. Understanding the difference between a podiatric surgeon and an orthopedic surgeon can help you make the best decision for your foundation.

Put Your Feet in Focus

Foot surgery is best done by a foot specialist. At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, you’ll find experts in forefoot surgery, ankle surgeries, and other surgeries of the foot. The feet are complex--they contain a quarter of the bones in the body. A podiatrist has seven years of training that is focused on the foot. Four years of podiatry school along with a three year residency gives these doctors a wealth of knowledge and practical experience. Not only do they learn about the feet and ankles, but training also includes how the health of the feet impacts the rest of the body. Did you know that many major diseases show up in the feet first?

An orthopedist has a more generalized background since they study the entire skeleton. While this type of physician does have knowledge about the feet, they deal with many other types of injuries and conditions as well.

Ask the Right Questions, Find the Right Surgeon

Patient education is key to feeling confident before a procedure. Any time you face surgery, no matter the condition, you need to ask the right questions:

  • What are the benefits and risks of this procedure?
  • Are there other, less invasive options?
  • Does the procedure need to be done immediately?
  • How many times have you performed this type of surgery?
  • What is your success rate?
  • What complications have your patients experienced?
  • Please describe the recovery process.

If you aren’t satisfied with the answers you receive, you should seek a second opinion. Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS and Dr. Shine John will take time to thoroughly explain the treatment options, and provide the information you need to feel comfortable and confident prior to surgery.

After-Care: Feeling Good on Your Feet

Another benefit of choosing podiatric care, rather than an orthopedist, is your after-care plan. Post-surgery follow-up includes developing a plan to manage pain and to promote healing. Podiatrists have many foot specific tools at their disposal to ensure the shortest, most comfortable recovery process. Custom orthotics, prescription shoes, and home exercises are just a few of the ways that the experts at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists will have you feeling good on your feet.

Trust Your Feet to the Austin Experts in Foot Surgery

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery in Foot Surgery and Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery. He is also Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine. He holds status as a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons as well.

Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS received Fellowship training in Foot and Ankle Surgery. He worked at a world-renowned practice—Weil Foot and Ankle Institute—in Chicago, IL where his fellowship training focused on Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgery. His residency training in Foot and Ankle Surgery at the well-respected Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA is highly sought after.

If foot and ankle pain is making life miserable, take the next step to pain-free feet. Our highly trained podiatrists are ready to serve you with expert care in Austin, TX.  Call (512) 328-8900 today to schedule an appointment. You can also request one online.

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists