Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don't go to a Cardiologist for Foot Care.

May sound ludicrous and far fetched to associate cardiology with foot care.   But the general public, fellow physicians: MD and DO's do not know a well  hidden secret of podiatric medicine.   There are actually sub categories of podiatrists.  The profession of podiatry on one end has advanced,  very highly specialized surgical profession that can do ankle implants and leg lengthening procedures, but on the other end, a majority of our profession does not acknowledge the skills and specialization that our profession has pushed so hard to gain.   For instance when a local podiatrist can not do a midfoot fusion or ankle fusion and would refer you to an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon for he/she does not do these surgeries.  This incorrectly infers that all podiatrists do not do these kinds of surgery.   This has more to do with competition, egos then proper care for the patient.   Secret:   900 podiatrists in the US ( DPM's) have the designation as Reconstructive, Rearfoot / Ankle surgeons by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.      This designation is recognized by Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons but not by our own colleagues.    So don't go to a foot surgeon when you need a reconstructive rearfoot / ankle surgeon.  It is almost akin to going to a cardiologist for foot care.     Unfortunately,  it is difficult even for DPM's to figure out who has this designation,  and it is done to the detriment of patient care.   Dr. Kevin Lam is currently the only one in Collier County who is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery in Reconstructive RearFoot and Ankle Surgery.   Dr. Timm will be next.

I often hear, Oh I didn't know you were here.  I have been to 3 podiatrists in town and they all referred me to the next town for my reconstructive surgery.    Unfortunately, some find out about our clinic after they have had surgery and now require revisional surgery.   When choosing a podiatrist or orthopedist for your foot / ankle surgery, chose the one with the most experience with your condition, not one with the best looking initials after their name.