Foot and ankle surgery is the specialty offering medical and surgical care for the foot and ankle. The feet and ankles are some of the most frequently injured parts of the body, but foot and ankle surgeons also treat damage due to illness, major trauma, or structural disorders.
Foot and ankle surgeons begin their career by either studying podiatry or orthopedics. Podiatrists study and care for the feet and ankles, while orthopedists study how bones, muscles, and tendons work and help us move. After their initial training, foot and ankle surgeons go on to do a surgical residency for three years, studying specifically how to care for feet and ankles with surgery.
A foot and ankle surgeon may treat conditions including:
Trauma, such as due to a car accident
Surgical management of joints damaged by arthritis
Polydactyly (extra toes)
Tumors of the foot
The care offered by foot and ankle surgeons does not always involve surgery. Depending on the diagnosis, they may recommend non-invasive medical treatments such as rest, ice / heat, casting, bracing, or physical therapy.