Dr. John and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. Or, for a more comprehensive search of our entire Web site, enter your term(s) in the search bar provided.
Also visit www.foothealthfacts.org to learn more about what conditions are treated by podiatric foot & ankle surgeons.
Many patients ask:
What is the difference between a podiatric surgeon and an orthopedic surgeon?
The short answer is that both podiatrists and orthopedists perform surgery on the foot and ankle. This is similar to neurosurgeons and orthopedists both performing back surgery or dermatologists and plastic surgeons both performing cosmetic surgery.
Yet there are some distinctions in choosing a podiatric surgeon for your foot and ankle care:
- While being the same 4 year length as osteopathic (DO) and allopathic (MD) medical school and covering the same basic and clinical sciences, the podiatric medical school curriculum provides additional intense focus on conditions of the foot, ankle and lower leg.
- Podiatric surgeons typically complete 3 years of intense residency training in complex foot and ankle surgery. General orthopedists who desire to pursue additional training in foot and ankle surgery typically complete a 1 year fellowship.
- As Fellows of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons, podiatric surgeons remain among a group of the only physicians who are Board Certified in Foot Surgery and/or Reconstructive Rearfoot Surgery.
There are many kinds of cancers of the foot. Some take the form of cysts and lesions, while others are more widespread.
Malignant melanoma is a skin cancer that is curable if caught early. Although it makes up only one percent of skin cancers, malignant melanoma accounts for over 60 percent of skin cancer deaths. It is estimated that approximately 30 percent of melanomas occur in the lower extremities, and that 3 percent occur in the feet.
Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, are the result of abnormal growth of tissue. Both benign or malignant tumors occur in the foot.
Osteochondromas are benign bone tumors under the toenail. Osteochrondromas account for about half of all benign bone tumors in the foot, occurring mostly in children and young adults. Unless they cause irritation to the surrounding tissue, they are generally not very painful. Sometimes, they can deform the toenail and cause an ingrown toenail. In rare cases, they are removed surgically.
A plantar fibroma is a benign tissue tumor or growth on the plantar, or bottom surface of the foot. Unlike plantar warts, which grow on the skin, these grow deep inside on a thick fibrous band called the plantar fascia. There are a number of nonsurgical measures for treating plantar fibromas, such as orthotics. When these conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief of symptoms, surgical removal is a reasonable option.
Giant cell tumors are benign tumors of the tendon sheath. These masses are generally found on the toes, top of the foot, or sides of the foot. They can also occur deep inside the foot. They are firm irregular masses that are typically painful.