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Containing 25% of the body’s bones, the foot is meticulous in design with 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments all working in harmony for seamless movement. The complexity of this extremity means there’s plenty of room for things to go wrong. No matter your age, activity level or existing ailments, foot and ankle conditions can creep up on anyone at any time.

Pain can severely limit daily life, and anyone who suffers from foot and ankle pain knows just how life-altering it can be. Thankfully, orthopaedists and podiatrists offer a wealth of foot and ankle treatments to help patients get their lives back. But how do you choose the right doctor when both orthopaedic surgeons and podiatrists specialise in feet and ankles? 


Orthopaedists specialise in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system, pertaining to the bones, soft tissues and joints. Foot and ankle issues can originate from the lower back, hip or knee, which means that orthopaedists treat these ailments together with the rest of the body. Orthopaedic surgeons treat a variety of issues, including:

  • Bone breaks
  • Fractures and sprains
  • Ligament tears
  • Achilles tendinitis and tendinosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Lisfranc injury
  • Metatarsalgia foot pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar fibroma and fibromatosis

Upon completing postgraduate orthopaedic residency training, an orthopaedic surgeon fulfils another year of training in advanced foot and ankle reconstruction.


Podiatry is very much fixated on the foot and ankle. Podiatrists are experts of this area, providing prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot and ankle illnesses and injuries. Like orthopaedic surgeons, they care for the bones, joints and soft tissues – but also the skin and biomechanics of this complex lower extremity. They often treat conditions such as:

  • Foot and ankle pain
  • Arthritis
  • Joint diseases and injuries
  • Instability
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Calluses
  • Foot deformities
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Heel pain
  • Bone spurs
  • Fallen arches
  • Neuromas
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Diabetic-related wounds

Who Should Treat My Foot & Ankle Problem?

The short answer is that both orthopaedic surgeons and podiatrists can treat foot and ankle conditions surgically and non-surgically so you should choose a practitioner that is best suited to your particular issue. In any event, you should always choose a doctor with whom you feel the most at ease. It’s also advised to put a little bit of effort into finding out which doctor has the most experience in treating your condition – and Walk Without Pain can help you do just that. If you suffer from foot pain, we invite you to get in touch with our highly experienced, qualified and passionate podiatrists in Brisbane – whose expertise can help you achieve your best pain-free life. Our Brisbane clinics offer expert, professional care without the hefty price tag, so there’s no excuse to suffer pain for longer than necessary.

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