About ACFAS and the Profession

ACFAS is a professional society of more than 8,000 foot and ankle surgeons. 

Founded in 1942, The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) seeks to promote the art and science of foot, ankle and related lower extremity surgery; address the concerns of foot and ankle surgeons; ensure superb patient care; and advance and improve standards of education and surgical skill.

ACFAS member physicians are doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs) who are graduates of accredited four-year US podiatric medical schools. ACFAS members have completed surgical residency programs of up to four years, and all Fellow members of the College are certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS), the surgical board of foot and ankle surgeons. ABFAS is recognized by the Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards. Many have additional fellowship training in various aspects of foot, ankle and lower extremity surgery. No other medical specialty has this level of specialized training or board certification in foot and ankle surgery. 

The history of the College is told through The Evolution of a Profession: The First 75 Years of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Written by historian Kenneth Durr, PhD, with Jerome S. Noll, DPM, FACFAS, the book is available to members in print and online. Numerous appendices include a list of all known regular members since 1942. 

Intensive, focused training and in-depth experience are what set apart the foot and ankle surgeon from other physicians.

During their education and training, foot and ankle surgeons devote more time to a wide variety of foot and ankle procedures than do other surgeons. Because of this critical difference, foot and ankle surgeons are the most appropriate specialists to promptly diagnose and treat various foot and ankle conditions.

A foot and ankle surgeon must complete four years of podiatric medical school and typically three years of a residency program in foot and ankle surgery. This residency is similar to — and integrates with — residencies for all physician specialties. During their residencies, DPMs receive training in internal medicine and general surgery in addition to their focus on the foot and ankle.

Certification by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) ensures that the foot and ankle surgeon has completed appropriate training, successfully performed a diverse range of foot and ankle procedures with good surgical skills and judgment, and passed rigorous oral and written exams.

Members of ACFAS are board-certified or in the process of becoming board-certified by the ABFAS. They have dedicated themselves to continuing their training and excelling in the field of foot and ankle surgery for the benefit of the patients they serve.

Foot and ankle surgeons treat all symptoms and conditions affecting the foot and ankle, such as bunions, heel pain (plantar fasciitis), flatfoot, foot or ankle arthritis, sports injuries, tendon disorders fractures (broken bones), diabetes complications, ingrown toenails, neuromas, dermatological conditions, tingly feet, hammertoes, and much more.

Some reasons patients see a foot and ankle surgeon include:

  • An injury (a sprain, broken bone, etc.)
  • Swelling in your foot or ankle
  • A medical condition (diabetes, poor circulation, etc.) that can affect the feet
  • Impaired ability to function in certain activities
  • Heel pain in the morning
  • Any painful condition of the foot, ankle or lower leg
  • Discomfort after standing for awhile
  • Changes in the appearance of your foot or ankle
  • An abnormal growth

Press Releases

Patient Information 

Health Information Fact Sheets

Annual Scientific Conference

ACFAS Position Statements

For media inquiries, please contact: 
Melissa Matusek, CAE
Director of Public Relations and External Initiatives
(773) 444-1306