Podiatry is a field of medicine and surgery that has the unusual distinction that its practitioners, called podiatrists, do not actually attend medical school. This does not mean that they do not have extensive training, though.
Podiatrists attend podiatry school, which focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the foot and ankle. When podiatrists graduate from podiatry school, they are not awarded the familiar “MD degree.” Instead, they are conferred a “DPM,” which means a doctor of podiatric medicine.
There is a great deal of overlap between orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists. Podiatrists receive solid surgical training on addressing surgical issues of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. They also receive medical training on foot balance, orthotics, and braces. Some people feel that orthopedic surgeons tend to recommend surgery more quickly than podiatrists, who may attempt more conservative medical interventions first.
In my practice as a Texas medical malpractice attorney, I have handled a number of cases against podiatrists. Like other surgeons, in my experience claims against podiatrists fit into one of two categories. The first is post-operative care. The second involves the technical aspects of surgery done in the office or operating room.
A recent study of closed medical malpractice claims by a major insurance group concluded that 41% of closed claims dealt with the improper management of surgical patients—meaning post-operative care—while 26% alleged in improper performance of surgery itself.
The most common claims against podiatrists for lapses in post-operative care include:
• Nerve damage
Operating room issues
The most common claims against podiatrists for problems in surgical/operating room care involve these issues:
• Bunionectomy with osteotomy of the first metatarsal
• Repair of hammer toe
• Excision of lesion
• Fusion of the foot
If you have been seriously injured because of care from a podiatrist in Texas, then contact a top-rated experienced Texas medical malpractice lawyer for a free consultation about your potential case.