Background: Foot and ankle surgeries in the United States (US) are currently performed by orthopaedic surgeons or podiatrists with specialty surgical training. With the trend in healthcare now placing increased emphasis on quality and standardizing patient care, this study aimed to characterize the distribution, volume, and trends of certain foot and ankle surgeries performed in the US by both orthopaedic surgeons and podiatrists. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed using the Marketscan Claims Database (Truven Health Analytics, Ann Arbor, Michigan) which covers most privately insured patients under the age of 65 in the USA from 2005 to 2014. We searched current procedural terminology (CPT) codes for total ankle replacement (TAR), triple arthrodesis, hallux valgus correction, pilon fracture open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), calcaneus fracture ORIF, and ankle fracture ORIF. We recorded the timing and nature of procedures along with various features associated with the surgeon and the geographic location of the treatment facility. Results: We found that the number of foot and ankle procedures performed annually is steadily increasing. Orthopaedic surgeons are the main treating surgeon for common foot and ankle traumatic conditions or complex hind foot cases like TAR. On the other hand, our study showed that podiatrists perform almost 9 out of 10 hallux valgus correction surgeries. Discussion: Our study showed the trends in surgical volumes and differences between surgical podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons and the evolution of these volumes over a ten year period and differences in surgical repertoire between orthopaedists and podiatrists. Levels of Evidence: Level IV: Case series, Clinical research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine