Podiatrist vs. Physician

OK, I’m looking for recommendations, not really medical advice. However, I know we have several medical types who might be able to provide insight.

I have bum ankles, I have for years. Every so often, one or the other (usually the left) ankle decides to go plooey (it’s a technical term) on me and causes me to have to wear some sort of ankle brace for a couple of days and deal with all the various (minor) inconveniences that causes.

At one point, a previous PCP stated that the problem with my ankles was related to my arch problems, and if I wore some sort of arch supports, it would help my ankles. I’ve been wearing OTC orthotics since. It does seem to help, but it doesn’t fix it all the time.

So, the question is this (TL;DR): if I want to get focused attention on my bum ankles, should I be going to an orthopedic physician, or a podiatrist? My thought is that, since it’s related to my feet, the podiatrist would be the better choice, but I don’t know if that is actually logical.

Any advice is appreciated.

Not in the medical profession in any fashion so this vote isn’t worth much, but my gut says Orthopedist.

My reasoning is: both are “specialists” and I believe the orthopedist should be able to diagnose & treat either issue (whether it’s your ankles or your arch), but a podiatrist might not be able to treat you if it’s your ankle that really is the problem.

I could be wrong on what a podiatrist can actually do, so…

Find one that is both. There is one in Conway AR.

Orthopedic surgeon. They’re the go-to specialty for most sorts of bone & joint problems in general.

There is a lot of overlap though between them and other specialties- for example, neurologists and orthopedic surgeons overlap on a lot of back surgery related stuff. Same goes for podiatrists when it comes to feet.

I’d go to an orthopedic surgeon and see what they say, and if they think it’s not a surgical thing, they may even refer you to a podiatrist.

My ortho referred me to a podiatrist when he saw my messed-up feet while attending to my perpetually wonky ankle/Achilles tendon/heel/arch (really, I’ve done everything short of actually breaking it). It’s not that he couldn’t help, but podiatrists are much more specialized in feet that he is.

He did, however, point out that I’d probably would have to have surgery to correct my foot deformities and was willing to make a referral right then and there. Unfortunately my insurance doesn’t cover podiatry.

Unless you have diabetes, most podiatrists will require a referral from your primary doctor before they will see you. It’s an insurance thing. So my suggestion is to ask your primary which he recommends, since he’ll probably need to make the referral anyway.

But if OTC orthotics help some, then custom orthotics may help more, and that’s usually podiatrist territory.