Bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and blood arteries make up the human foot, which is a complicated system. Because the human foot is constantly in use, it is susceptible to a variety of diseases and disorders that require treatment by a qualified professional. Whether you need a podiatrist or an orthopedist depends on whether you have a soft tissue or skeletal structure problem, as well as the location and nature of the problem.
Podiatrists: Everything You Need to Know
After college, podiatrists obtain a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, or D.P.M., degree by enrolling in a four-year podiatric medicine program. The foot, ankle, and lower leg are their areas of specialization. To get a license to practice, they must pass specific exams, which differ from state to state. Because of the aging population and the enhanced activity levels of today’s younger population, the demand for podiatrists is expected to rise in the future.
What Podiatrists Treat
Podiatrists treat calluses, ingrown toenails, fallen arches, foot or ankle injuries, and heel spurs. They can treat foot deformities. They may provide critical treatment for diabetic and other systemic foot issues. Podiatrists diagnose problems with X-rays and lab tests, and they may specialize in primary care, pediatrics, geriatrics, surgery, or diabetes management.
Orthopedists: Everything You Need to Know
Orthopedists, also known as orthopedic surgeons or orthopedists, are medical doctors who hold the degrees of M.D. or D.O. Their area of expertise is diseases of the human skeletal system as a whole. They must complete four years of medical school after graduation, followed by a one-year internship and three or four years of surgical residency. Some orthopedists receive extra training, known as a fellowship, in order to specialize in a specific orthopedic surgery speciality.
What Orthopedists Treat
Orthopedists treat bone fractures as well as the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and soft tissues that support the bone. They also do arthroscopic knee surgery, joint operations, and joint replacements, as well as repair torn knee ligaments, perform hand surgeries, and treat ruptured spinal discs. Orthopedists utilize X-rays, MRIs, and lab testing to figure out what’s wrong, then treat it with medicines, physical therapy, or surgery.
In most cases, podiatrists make less money than orthopedists. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, podiatrists earned an average annual income of $135,070 in 2013, with some earning as much as $167,450. According to “Becker’s Hospital Review,” orthopedic surgeons made a median income of $626,000 in 2020. However, the highest base salary given for orthopedic doctors was $850,000.
Podiatrists’ Salary Information for 2020
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, podiatrists earned a median annual income of $134,300 in 2020. Podiatrists made $78,130 on the low end of the pay scale, indicating that 75 percent of them made more. The salary for the 75th percentile is $182,420, which means that 25% of people make more. In 2020, around 12,100 people were hired as podiatrists in the U.S.