APMA is aware of an abstract presented at the 2021 meeting of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, which compares outcomes of surgery performed by podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons. The abstract concluded that podiatrists experienced higher complication rates, particularly for bunion correction, diabetic wound infection, and plantar fascia release. While the abstract of this study was published in Foot and Ankle Orthopaedics, the paper in its entirety has not been published, nor to our knowledge has it been accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal. It has also been pulled from presentation at future meetings due to problems with the study.
APMA will continue to track this abstract and plans to address it with the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society through our mutual work on the Joint Task Force of Orthopaedic and Podiatric Surgeons.
In the meantime, your association is working to foster a growing body of research around the outstanding value podiatric medicine and surgery brings to the US health-care system. APMA recently launched a research workgroup designed to promote research demonstrating outcomes, cost savings, patient-reported outcome measures, and patient-reported experiences measures on numerous pathologies, surgical procedures, and conservative therapies. APMA Trustee Patrick DeHeer, DPM, and Rachel Albright, DPM, MPH, a previous APMA/The Dartmouth Institute public health fellow, will co-chair this working group, comprised of experienced researchers in podiatric medicine and surgery. The goal, Dr. DeHeer said, is not to compare the two professions, but to establish podiatry’s value through evidence. “The research need not be comparative, simply factual.”