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When you have an injury or condition and need treatment, it can be difficult to know whether a podiatrist or an orthopaedic surgeon with specialty training in the foot and ankle can better help you. Both are physicians with medical training in treating that area of the body; however, the depth and range of their education and training differ.

About a Foot & Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeon

One of the main differences between an orthopaedic surgeon with advanced training in the foot and ankle and a podiatrist is the amount of training and education each completes. An orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist completes four years of medical school, a five- to six-year orthopaedic surgery residency, and additional fellowship training in the foot and ankle. As medical doctors, or MDs, orthopaedic surgeons with specialty training have a better understanding of the entire body, including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints, as well as medical conditions that may affect a patient's overall health. Through this training, an orthopaedic surgeon intimately understands the impact that the entire body can have on a condition and the care required to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with the injury or condition.

About Podiatrists

Podiatrists attend podiatry school and typically complete a brief residency thereafter. However, a podiatrist will earn a DPM, or doctorate in podiatric medicine, instead of an MD, or medical doctor degree. There are surgical and nonsurgical podiatrists, but all podiatrists typically treat common foot problems and may perform simple foot surgeries. Orthopaedic surgeons also treat the same problems and offer the same foot care treatments but have more advanced training in managing the full spectrum of problems involving the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues.

Learn About Our Foot & Ankle Center at Tidewater Orthopaedics

Our Foot & Ankle Center is designed to provide our patients comprehensive education and exceptional surgical care through the knowledge, experience, and expertise of our specialty-trained foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Paul Maloof. He aims to treat his patients in the most conservative manner, reserving surgery only for cases when nonsurgical management is no longer an option. Dr. Maloof brings many advanced treatments to Tidewater Orthopaedics as the only full-time foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in the region specializing in complex and comprehensive foot and ankle care, both surgical and nonsurgical. Dr. Maloof treats a wide-range of injuries and conditions, such as:

  • Ingrown toenails
  • Bunions
  • Calluses
  • Fallen arches
  • Heel spurs
  • Deformities of the feet and toes
  • Heel pain
  • Hammertoes
  • Diabetic foot care
  • Warts
  • Toenail fungus
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Sprains
  • Other systemic illnesses

To search the full list of injuries, conditions, and procedures he specializes in, click here.

Why choose Tidewater Orthopaedics?

If you are searching for a foot specialist near you, contact us. With years of experience and advanced training devoted to the orthopaedic care of the foot, our esteemed orthopaedic foot surgeon at Tidewater Orthopaedics, Dr. Paul Maloof, is the unparalleled expert in accurately diagnosing and effectively treating injuries and conditions.

Dr. Paul Maloof has the knowledge, proficiency, and skill to accurately diagnose and effectively treat your injury or condition so you can get back to your active lifestyle quickly and safely.

To consult with our Tidewater Orthopaedics surgeon, please request an appointment online or call (757) 827-2480.