Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Who Should You See? Choosing the Best Care for Your Needs.

A common question we get is whether or not one should see a podiatrist or an orthopaedist. While the two practices may seem quite similar the difference is a matter of scope.

An orthopaedic doctor (or surgeon) specializes in bone, joint and nerve problems within the entire body.  In general chronic pain, rheumatic diseases, musculoskeletal injuries and arthritis all are part of the field of orthopaedics. Since this scope of practice is so large most orthopaedic professionals will specialize in a certain disease or part of the anatomy (such as hand surgeons, spinal specialists, pain management centers or arthritis).

In one sense a podiatrist is a form of specialized orthopaedic doctor, focusing on the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. However, along with managing all the aspects of the feet, ankles and lower extremities a podiatrist also manages the dermatology and biomechanics of the foot and ankle. Podiatrists can specialize in many fields as well, including surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, diabetic care for the feet, ankles and legs.

While a 'foot and ankle orthopaedist' can treat and manage foot and ankle issue pertaining to the bones, soft tissues and joints, your general orthopaedist is likely more adept at managing hips, knees and shoulders; therefore it is often more beneficial for patients to see a Podiatrist who has expert knowledge targeted at your area of concern.

No matter what professional you decide to see make sure they are familiar with the area you are being seen for and you are comfortable in their care. There is never any harm in having a second opinion.  All medical professionals should always put your well being first.

Dr. Saffer and Dr. Brown have offices located in both Charleston and Mount Pleasant and pride themselves on making sure patients are well informed, having the knowledge to make good choices about their foot and ankle care, heel pain, or whatever problem they may face. Their goal is to educate each patient first, then begin a relevant treatment program with the highest quality of care available. Whatever your foot and ankle trouble, Dr. Brown and Dr. Saffer work together to find the answers that will comfort you and bring you relief. Call for an appointment today 843-654-8250 or visit us online at

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