Ankle and foot issues are among the most common everyday injuries. Sprained ankles alone account for about 2 million injuries in the United States every year. While most of these injuries will heal on their own, moderate or severe injuries may need orthopedic surgery to correct.
Because these injuries are so common, it’s not hard to look up an orthopedic surgeon. But as with any profession, not all of these specialists are created equal. If you should need to find a surgeon, you should always go the extra mile and opt for a board-certified expert.
You might wonder what “board-certified” means here. Aren’t all surgeons certified?
Not quite. While all surgeons are licensed, not all of them are board certified. And that can make a huge difference in the level of care you receive.
What Does “Board-Certified” Mean?
Every physician needs to get an undergraduate education, go to medical school for their Medical Doctor degree (M.D.), and complete a residency program. All told, this can take 10 to 14 years. That’s the baseline of training that every doctor and surgeon must have.
Being a board-certified orthopedic surgeon means that the surgeon has met all of those requirements as well as the strict standards set forth by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). These include completing a residency in orthopedic surgery specifically to gain the relevant experience they need. It also means passing a rigorous written and oral examination conducted by the ABOS.
Maintaining their certification requires surgeons to continue their education throughout their careers. They must keep up-to-date with new technologies, techniques, and treatments in orthopedic surgery. And they’re subject to peer evaluations that ensure that the surgeon is providing the highest level of care.
Does It Matter if Your Orthopedic Surgeon Is Certified?
The key difference is the higher standard that a board-certified ankle and foot surgeon is held to. They need years of hands-on experience within this specialty before they can even attempt to get their certification.
You should also consider how fast medical technology and techniques advance. To maintain their certification, an orthopedic surgeon constantly continues to learn and refine their skills.
Suppose you needed to find a surgeon to treat a torn tendon. These injuries can be difficult to tend to. And if improperly treated, they can cause long-term issues or disability.
In this situation, who would you trust your care to? A surgeon who, while qualified, hasn’t furthered their education since graduation? Or a board-certified surgeon who continues their studies to better assess injuries and identify the least-invasive treatment?
Find a Board-Certified Boise Orthopedic Surgeon
If you suffer an injury, it can be tempting to Google “orthopedic surgeon near me” and hope they can resolve your issues as soon as possible. But it’s worth the effort to seek out a board-certified orthopedic surgeon.
When you go to an expert, you’ll know that you’re receiving the highest level of treatment possible. Given the nature and tendon and ligament injuries, can make the difference between a full recovery and a lifelong impairment.
If you’ve suffered an injury to the foot or ankle, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon.