What is a podiatrist's Scope of Practice?
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Under North Carolina General Statutes, a podiatrist is licensed to address the surgical, medical, or mechanical treatment of all ailments of the human foot and ankle, and their related soft tissue structures to the level of the myotendinous junction. A podiatrist may not amputate the entire foot, administer any anesthetic other than local, or perform surgical correction of clubfoot of an infant two years of age or younger.
Except for procedures for bone spurs and simple soft tissue procedures*, any surgery on the ankle or on the soft tissue structures related to the ankle, any amputations, and any surgical correction of clubfoot shall be performed by a podiatrist only in a licensed hospital or multispecialty ambulatory surgical facility that is not a licensed office setting,
Podiatrists apply for and are granted privileges to perform amputations (toes), ankle surgery, and/or club foot repair. Podiatrists who have been granted these specialty credentialing privileges by the NC Board of Podiatry Examiners have this information noted on the "Search Podiatrist" page of this web site.
*SIMPLE SOFT TISSUE PROCEDURES PURSUANT TO G.S. 90-202.2(b) ARE PROCEDURES INVOLVING STRUCTURES PROXIMAL TO A LINE PARALLEL WITH THE DOME OF THE TALUS THAT MAY BE PERFORMED BY A PODIATRIST IN AN OFFICE SETTING INCLUDE:
- LIGATION OF SUPERFICIAL VEINS OR VESSELS;
- REPAIR OF SOFT TISSUE LACERATIONS AND ABRASIONS:
- INCISION, DRAINAGE AND DEBRIDEMENT OF ABCESSES, HEMATOMAS, AND ULCERATIONS;
- EXCISION OF FOREIGN BODIES AND SOFT TISSUES MASSES WHICH ARE NOT KNOWN OR THOUGHT TO BE MALIGNANT;
- BIOPSY AND CAUTERIZATION OF SOFT TISSUE LESIONS;
- LIGAMENTS AND TENDON REPAIRS FOUND DURING THE AFOREMENTIONED PROCEDURES;
- RELEASE OF NERVE ENTRAPMENT FOUND IN CONJUNCTION WITH AN EXTENSION OF NERVE ENTRAPMENT PROCEDURES OF THE FOOT.
How can I find a podiatrist?
Board Position Statements of interest to patients:
Please visit the Board's Position Statement page to find guidance concerning access to medical records, potiatrist-patient relations, prescriptions and controlled substances, procedures for closing a podiatry practice or your podiatrist is retiring, and areas of potential ethical issues.
How do I file a complaint against a podiatrist?
Please visit the Board's "Procedure for filing a complaint" page for details on submitting a grievance. There is a list of "Frequently Asked Questsions (FAQs)" on that page as well.