While podiatrists and pedrothists are both trained and qualified to care for the feet, there are significant differences between them—namely, podiatrists are foot doctors, while pedorthists are allied health professionals.
Let’s dig deeper into their differences to learn whom you’re supposed to consult for your foot problem.
What Does a Podiatrist Do?
Podiatrists have advanced training in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the full spectrum of injuries, disorders, and diseases that affect the foot and ankle. These include:
- Achilles tendonitis and tendon rupture
- Ankle sprains and instability
- Arthritis affecting the foot or ankle
- Corns and calluses
- Foot and plantar warts
- Diabetic foot problems, such as peripheral neuropathy
- Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and toenail fungal infections
- Foot deformities, such as hammertoe, mallet toe, and claw toe
- Foot and ankle fractures
- Flat foot/dropped arches
- Gait disorders
- Heel pain and spurs
- Foot infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Nerve compression such as Morton’s neuroma and tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS)
- Repetitive stress injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, strains, sprains, and tendonitis
When you visit a podiatrist, they will assess your medical history, current health condition, and symptoms and will conduct a comprehensive physical examination of your feet, ankles, toes, and even your toenails.
Because a podiatrist is a doctor, they can prescribe medications, employ other conservative interventions, such as the use of custom orthotics, and perform surgery.
A podiatrist can refer you to a pedorthist if their evaluation confirms that you have a foot condition that can be addressed with shoe modifications. A podiatrist can collaborate with a pedorthist if your foot condition warrants a multifaceted treatment approach.
What Does a Pedorthist Do?
Pedorthists focus on the biomechanics of the feet and ankles. Pedorthists assess the structure and alignment, function, and other mechanical aspects of the feet.
When you visit a pedorthist, they will also evaluate your medical history and symptoms, and order imaging tests such as ultrasound, X,ray, and MRI to make a thorough evaluation of the structures within your foot. However, unlike podiatrists, their scope is limited to making footwear modifications and employing supportive devices, such as off-the-shelf or custom-made orthotics, and braces.
Board-Certified Podiatrist in Naples, FL
At the Joint Replacement Institute, our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Cody Togher, provides the finest quality of care using an extensive range of nonsurgical and surgical treatment modalities, helping scores of patients in Naples and the neighboring areas successfully manage or overcome their foot pain and functional limitations.