SCOPE OF PRACTICE (Continued from entry below)
The traditional practice of podiatry (podiatric medicine and surgery) overlaps fields of orthopedic and vascular surgery, dermatology, neurology, infectious disease, rhuematology, physical therapy , emergency medicine and radiology as they relate to the foot, ankle and lower extremity.
However, as far as proper scope of practice, it is defined by the state law of each individual state. In some states, the practice of podiatry may fall under the auspices of the state board of medical examiners. In others, there may be a governing board of podiatric medical examiners. It is important to ascertain which agency governs the practice, since standards of practice may be generally adopted into the General State Board of Medical Examiners regulations or standards may be defined under a corresponding agency such as the State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners.
In some states the practice of podiatry may be limited to the foot. In other states the scope of practice may include the ankle. In some cases, the practice may include the entire lower extremity. State law will further define whether the practice is to include bone and soft tissue and in some cases, serve to restrict to the practice to soft tissue only (no bony procedures). For example, in New Jersey a podiatrist may treat disease in the lower leg, however s/he may not perform surgery on the bones of the lower leg (tibia & fibula) The recent case in Texas underscores the definitional disputes that may arise in a states respective statute.
Tip #2. In addition to the restriction placed by state law on the podiatrist limiting the anatomical location of treatment, some states will also place a further restrict on on the types of procedures to be performed in any particular location. For example, bony procedures may be allowed on the forefoot, however procedures involving bone may not be allowed on the rear foot or ankle.