When Is It Time to See a Foot and Ankle Surgeon?
Laurence G. Rubin, DPM, FACFAS
Foot & Ankle Surgeon from Virginia
President of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
When it comes to people suffering from foot pain, I find most aren’t sure where to turn. They may first make an appointment with their general physician to troubleshoot their pain or visit their local pharmacy for over-the-counter remedies. But what I try to teach is that any time you’re experiencing foot and ankle pain or have a serious injury, it’s best to start with the physician who specifically specializes in providing care to this important part of your body—a foot and ankle surgeon.
Foot and ankle surgeons are the foot and ankle experts. If you were in need of heart surgery, you wouldn’t see a general physician to perform your heart surgery; you would want someone who is an expert in heart surgery. Same with your feet and ankles—it’s best to see the right experts to properly diagnose and treat the very part of you that helps you get around.
Today’s foot and ankle surgeons are not your father’s podiatrists; we are a new generation of specialists and are the leading experts in foot and ankle care—both surgically and nonsurgically. We diagnose and treat all conditions affecting people’s feet and ankles—from the simple to the complex—in adults and children. Our training includes four years at a podiatric medical school and a minimum three-year foot and ankle surgical residency program. We are certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery in foot surgery and/or reconstructive rearfoot/ankle surgery, and the majority of my colleagues are Fellow Members of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
On a typical day, I can start my day in surgery repairing a patient’s hammertoe, bunion deformity or an Achilles tendon rupture and end my day caring for ligament issues, diabetic foot conditions, ankle sprains, fractures and heel pain in my office without surgery. Either way, my patients get the expert diagnosis by a qualified foot and ankle surgeon to get them back on their feet and to their daily lives.
If you need to find a foot and ankle surgeon near you, visit FootHealthFacts.org, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeon’s patient education website, or make an appointment with your family physician, diabetes educator or nurse practitioner for a referral to a local foot and ankle surgeon in your care network.
Laurence G. Rubin, DPM, FACFAS, practices at the Foot & Ankle Specialists of Virginia in Mechanicsville. He is board certified in both foot surgery and reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and is a Fellow Member and the current president of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Dr. Rubin holds a podiatric medical degree from the Temple College of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Philadelphia, as well as a trauma and reconstruction fellowship at the department of Orthopedic Surgery in Malmo, Sweden. He is also a frequent lecturer and instructor at foot and ankle surgical conferences nationwide and a published author.