Your feet take a lot of daily stress and strain from standing, walking, running, and other activities. Considering that your lower extremities carry the weight of your upper body, it’s only understandable that most of us experience temporary foot pain from time to time.
However, when foot pain becomes an ongoing problem, it may require a visit to a podiatrist or orthopedist, depending on the type of injury or condition you are experiencing.
What Is the Difference Between A Podiatrist and An Orthopedist for Foot Pain?
Whereas a podiatrist specializes in surgery for foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bone and heel spurs, corns, calluses, fallen arches, and sprained ankles, an orthopedic doctor specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions and injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system – muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues.
As such, common foot and ankle issues that an orthopedic doctor might address include:
- Achilles’ tendon tear — Many Achilles tendon ruptures occur as the result of sports activity or a weakening of the tendon over time due to tendonitis. The condition can be treated with or without surgery, but your physician will likely opt for surgery to reattach the tendon if you want to return to strenuous recreational activities.
- Arthritis of the ankle and foot – Non-surgical treatment options for arthritic feet and ankles include steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medication, and pain relievers, pads and arch support in your shoes, orthotics (shoe inserts), custom-fitted shoes, and physical therapy.
- Shin splints – These can be treated with self-care in the form of RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), stretching, massage, strength training, and NSAIDs (nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs).
- Broken bones, stress fractures, and sprains – To reduce a bone’s weight-bearing load and prompt healing, your orthopedic specialist may prescribe a walking boot/brace or the use of crutches.
- Osteoarthritis – To help prevent bone loss and strengthen bones already affected, your orthopedic doctor may recommend medications, a healthy diet, vitamins, and weight-bearing exercise.
- Foot Deformities (bunions, hammertoe, claw toe, mallet toe) – Depending on the type of deformity, an orthopedist can offer you non-surgical treatment options such as orthotics and custom-fitted shoes or, in severe cases, corrective surgery.
Expert Treatment for Chronic Foot Pain in Maryland
When foot pain, bruising, swelling, or deformity persists, don’t wait – seek effective treatment from a highly skilled orthopaedic doctor at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland. Our staff consists of 17 board-certified specialists, along with physical therapists, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals.
At Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, our focus is on providing for your total health and well-being needs. For your convenience, we have five locations throughout the Baltimore area, including our dedicated physical therapy facility in Jessup, MD.
Call us at (410) 644-1880 to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic doctors or use the convenient Request an Appointment form on our website. We will get you back on your feet quickly and enjoying the activities you love.