Why Do Orthopedic Surgeons Hate Podiatrists?

There can be several reasons : Why do orthopedic surgeons hate podiatrists. The relationship between both orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists is very complex. They are both also passionate about taking care of the musculoskeletal system with a delicate focus on the foot and ankle. 

On the other hand, there is a long standing rivalry between the two professions, because they believe that they are better providers of foot and ankle care. In this blog we will know everything about podiatrist and orthopedist surgeons and also understand the reasons – Why do orthopedic surgeons hate podiatrists.

why do orthopedic surgeons hate podiatrists

Who Is An Orthopedic Surgeon?

An orthopedic surgeon is a doctor that has expertise in diagnosis, giving proper treatment plan, and surgical management of the musculoskeletal condition. Ligaments, joints, tendons, bones and nerves are included in the musculoskeletal system and orthopedic surgeons have specialization in finding the problems that affect these components of the body.

Orthopedic surgeons treat the conditions like joint injuries, fractures, sports related injuries, spine disorders, degenerative diseases and congenital deformities. These surgeons do very hard medical education, generally first they get a medical degree which takes several years then they get special training for orthopedic surgery. 

They really work hard to learn how to do surgeries and treatments. That’s why orthopedic surgeons play a very important role in helping patients to reduce pain, regain body function and improve quality of life by providing both surgical or non surgical treatments.

Who Is A Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a medical doctor who specifically works on taking care of people’s ankles, feet and lower legs. In this medical education they are specially trained to diagnose, proper treatment, and prevent various types of problems that can affect these parts of the body. They help people with several conditions such as infections, injuries, foot pain, deformities, plantar fasciitis, bunions, ingrown toenails and other diabetic foot problems.

Why Do Orthopedic Surgeons Hate Podiatrists?

Now is the time to know the reasons why orthopedic surgeons hate podiatrists.

1. Overlapping Scope Of Practice

One of the important reasons for controversy or hate starts from the overlapping scope of practice between podiatrist and orthopedic surgeons. These both have specialists to solve issues like musculoskeletal issues which are related to the foot and ankle. This type of overlap creates hatred about which type of physician is better able to address certain types of conditions, which can result in conflict over patient care.

2. Training And Education

Orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists both grab education from different training programs. Orthopedic surgeons take extensive medical education that includes to cover musculoskeletal care such as spine surgery, trauma and joint replacement. On the other side, podiatrists learn specialization in foot and ankle care during the training programs. These different educational backgrounds can create differences in clinical approach.

3. Perceptions Of Competence

Some orthopedic surgeons may believe that podiatrists do not achieve the same level of training that they receive. This type of perception can be the reason for lack of confidence in the abilities of podiatrists that they can handle complex musculoskeletal cases. On the other hand, 

Podiatrists may feel that this gives them special benefit of experience in ankle and foot conditions, making them able to address these issues.

4. Referral Patterns

Sometimes, when individual facing a major problem in their feet or ankle then doctor give advice to refer to specialist such as 

orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists. But sometimes this can create some problems because if one specialist thinks he can help the person better than another, there can be hatred and conflicts. This situation is similar to people wanting to fix some issues but they both think they are the best at it. This can increase the tensions between them.

5. Economic Factors

Orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists may feel worried about their jobs and money because both of them try to get more patients. They can increase the tension in the mind that another group will achieve more patients. This factor increases the stress of how much money they can make and how many patients they have to treat.

Bunion Surgery By Orthopedic Surgeon Vs Podiatrist

Orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists both are able to do bunion surgery. Orthopedic surgeons have speciality treating musculoskeletal conditions throughout the body, while podiatrists specially focus on the treatment of foot and ankle problems. Choosing between the two it totally depends on the seriousness of the bunion. It is best to consult both of them then decide according to you which one is best for you.

Why Is Podiatry Unpopular?

Many people think that podiatry is not as important like other medical jobs because it is related to feet. People relate podiatrists to cosmetic things like nails rather than medical ones. Training period of podiatrists is longer than other types of medical jobs like family doctor. Podiatrists usually have less income than other doctors because they have responsibility to cover their own expenses for their clinic. Podiatrists working hours can be typical and may include nights and weekends, which may not be comfortable for those who want some free time.

What Are The Common Conditions Treated By Orthopedic Surgeons?

The common conditions that are treated by orthopedic surgeons such as

  1. Sprains and strains
  2. Neck and back pain
  3. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  4. Arthritis problem
  5. Osteoporosis (weakening of bones)
  6. Sports injuries
  7. Torn ligaments and tendons
  8. Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)

What Are The Common Conditions Treated By Podiatrists?

The common conditions that are treated by podiatrists such as

  1. Corns and calluses
  2. Foot and ankle injuries
  3. Plantar fasciitis 
  4. Bunions
  5. Athlete’s foot
  6. Heel spurs
  7. Ingrown toenails 
  8. Diabetic foot


Now you know the reason why orthopedic surgeons hate podiatrists because they have a low reputation among orthopedic surgeons. Many people think orthopedists get their education from the United States and they have a deeper knowledge about medicines, treatments, surgeries and post operative care. This reputation occurs because they got this degree with the spending of 7 years of education.

FAQ – Why Do Orthopedic Surgeons Hate Podiatrists?

Que1. Do Orthopedic Surgeons Specialize In Feet And Ankles? 

Ans- Yes, orthopedic surgeons have speciality in treating feet and ankle problems and they also treat several types of musculoskeletal conditions throughout the body.

Que2. Podiatrist Vs Orthopedic Surgeon For Foot Surgery. Which One Would You Like To Choose?

Ans– If you have only a foot problem then without any doubt you should go to a podiatrist because he is a specialist to solve problems related to feet or ankles.

Que3. What Is The Difference Between A Podiatrist Vs Orthopedist Surgeon?

Ans- A podiatrist is specialist to treat ankle and foot conditions, while an orthopedist is able to treat musculoskeletal conditions in various parts of the body such as bones and joints.

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