Welcome to the Website of

Dr. Michael Zapf, DPM, MPH, FACFAS

Call: (818) 707-3668

 Thank you for visiting my website. I have been placing information and articles on this site for many years and have received millions of  hits during that time (and not that many of them were mine). I have designed it for people who like to read about their foot and ankle problems. Since I started the web site, I have added two associates to my practice, Dr. Darren Payne and Dr. Stephen Benson.  Since my site is filled with just my thoughts and opinions they are not, necessarily, shared by my colleagues. To see our less controversial (and less windy) practice web site, I offer you: www.ConejoFeet.com, the practice site for The Agoura Los Robles Podiatry Centers (ALRPC). The ALRPC practice site has a lot of material about our office, many of our policies and the registration forms to be filled out before your visit. I suggest all prospective patients visit www.ConejoFeet.com.

 I made the web site to give my patients the extra depth information that I donít always have time to cover in the office visit. Visitors who are not my patients are welcome to browse the information found here. I am from a generation that likes to read in depth about all sorts of things, including our ailments. This site is dedicated to all those who want more information that what can be contained in a series of bullet points. If you like this philosophy then let me know when you see me or if you ask a question.

Remember, this site is in no way intended to tell you how your own ailment or problem should be treated, only the approach I use when confronted with certain situations. Your problem may well be different from what you think it is and should always be evaluated by the appropriate professional, whether podiatrist, orthopedist or other authority. Please understand that I, nor anyone else, can offer you a proper diagnosis or treatment plan without seeing and feeling the problem at hand (foot?) Happy reading.

 Sincerely, Michael Zapf, DPM, MPH, FACFAS, FACFAOM

 P.S. All the information in this web site is © by me and it is mine alone. No picture and none of the articles can be used by anyone without permission from me, personally.

P.P.S. Comments about this web site or questions about your feet can be directed to me at zfootdoc (at) doctor (dot) com.

P.P.P.S.  I was going to offer a nice prize to the person who could send me a screen shot of being the 3 Millionth person to visit this web site. I am sorry I missed that opportunity. But wait until you see what I offer the 4 Millionth visitor.




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Dear Dr. Zapf,
     I recently underwent a calcaneus/cuboid fusion after 4 years of taping, orthotics, steroid injections (8 shots to be exact). I had the surgery done by a podiatrist. A friend of mine asked me why a podiatrist rather then an orthopedic surgeon. I could come up with no really good reason except the podiatrist works on just feet and ankles etc.. She actually got me thinking and seeing your website made me want to ask. Is there a good reason to choose a podiatrist over an orthopedic surgeon for foot surgery?
    Thank you for your time
             Claudia M

Sometimes the podiatrist is the best choice and sometimes it is the orthopedist. Orthopedists are fantastic doctors. They spend 4 years after medical school learning their craft and they can do amazing things to (and with) the body. GBDs (general bone doctors) can repair fractures, including the ankle, inject most kinds of nerve entrapments and help with many other foot difficulties. For more sophisticated problems with the feet, some orthopedists have extra training. These "foot and ankle" orthopedists are very capable of doing the most complex of foot surgeries. Podiatrists have from one to three years of surgical training in the foot and ankle after graduating from 4 years of podiatry school. Most podiatrists who have completed a two or three year residency are also very talented around the foot and can do most any foot surgery with finesse. For your foot surgery, pick a surgeon who does a lot of whatever it is you are going to have done. In general, a busy podiatric surgeon and a busy foot and ankle orthopedist are the ones who do enough foot and ankle surgery to keep sharp. The GBD generally (but not always) does not do more than a few foot surgeries a year, instead concentrating on knee arthroscopies, joint replacements, injuries, fractures and lumps and bumps.

There are some problems where podiatry is probably the preferred surgeon. A possibly infected corn on a toe is probably best treated by a podiatrist. We can clean and flush the wound in the office, prescribe the antibiotic, provide the healing shoe, provide special shoes afterwards and plan the eventual surgical procedure for the toe to prevent the problem from coming back. Dermatologists can clean the wound and prescribe the antibiotic but are not the ones to manage the bone infection.  An orthopedist can clean the wound (but rarely in the office) and do the toe surgery but are not the experts at the daily management of the wound and not likely to be involved in shoe modifications and padding of the corns.

Good podiatrists, like all good doctors, will do only those procedures they are comfortable with and will refer you to an expert for problems beyond their scope of practice.  


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Copyright © 2000 Michael A. Zapf, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S., F.A.C.F.AOA.M.
Last modified: November 12, 2013