Paul Kovatis, MD - Foot & Ankle Specialist
Paul Kovatis, MD specializes in Foot & Ankle trauma. Dr. Kovatis treats all surgical and non-surgical disorders of the leg, ankle and foot including:
- Trauma and fractures
- Revision surgery
- Sports injuries
- Tendon and ligament tears
- Fusion of joints
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Arthritic conditions
- Emergency Room consults
- Second opinions
- Workman's compensation and No-Fault accidents
Dr. Kovatis is affiliated with Hackensack University Medical Center. His approach to treating patients centers on mobility, participation and quality of life.
Dr. Kovatis accepts most major medical insurances and worker’s compensation. Read more regarding the varied insurance programs and networks we participate in.
Dr. Kovatis graduated from UMDNJ- New Jersey Medical School, Newark and served a General Surgery Internship and Orthopedic Surgery Residency at UMDNJ as well.
Dr. Kovatis completed his orthopaedic foot and ankle fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City, the orthopaedic hospital consistently ranked #1 by US News and World Report. Dr. Kovatis is consistently chosen by NJ Monthly Magazine, The Consumer Research Council among other publications as a "Top Surgeon in New Jersey." (see 2007 article) He is also active in organized medicine as the Past President of the Bergen County Medical Society and currently serves as an orthopaedic representative on the Credentials Committee and Medical Board of Hackensack University Medical Center. He is the Chairman of the Quality and Patient Safety Committee and is slated to be the Chairman of the hospital's entire Medical Board in 2013.
Dr. Kovatis has performed surgery on many athletes including the NJ Net's Jacque Vaughn. Numerous emergency rooms, attorneys and insurance carriers throughout the tri-state area consult with Dr. Kovatis for complex leg, ankle and foot cases. He has also written extensively on medical matters such as in the Bergen Record (How are we Going to pay for Health Care Reform).
Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons attend medical school and are Doctors of Medicine (MD). Podiatrists do NOT attend medical school, they attend podiatry school and receive a DPM degree. If a physician does not have MD or DO after his or her name, they did not attend medical school and are not doctors of medicine (MD).
Following medical school, orthopaedic surgical training is far longer and more extensive then podiatric training. Furthermore, orthopedic training remains one of the most competitive and sought after surgical residencies. Qualified candidates must be in the top of their class just to be considered. The selection, retention and applicant pools are vastly different. Podiatric training averages two to three years with no formal general surgical or orthopaedic training. Orthopedic residencies are typically five years or longer with one or two years devoted to general surgery and at least four years devoted to orthopedic surgery. Then, the Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeon complete an intense fellowship. Dr. Kovatis completed his fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS)in New York City, the hospital consistently ranked #1 in orthopaedics by US News and World Report.
Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons are qualified to practice in all states without limitation while several states limit the surgical scope of podiatrists. New Jersey allows podiatrists to treat disorders up to the level of the ankle. This ambiguous New Jersey law has unfortunately caused confusion among patients. They are encouraged to always inquire as to what type of physician is treating them. Certain NJ hospitals have their own regulations in this regard because podiatrists are not doctors of medicine and their training is vastly different from that of an MD-surgeon
Despite these notable differences, podiatrists and orthopedists have several surgical procedures, publications and concepts in common and Dr. Kovatis often shares his expertise with the orthopaedic and podiatric communities.
For further information, please refer to the AMA Scope of Practice, Podiatry (December 2007), and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society at www.AOFAS.org .
Patients should be aware of the differences in the scope, length and quality of training for both specialties and make an informed decision based on these facts. Word of mouth referrals and general reputation in the community are also important factors. Many patients are confused or unaware of these distinctions and should always be sure whether they are seeing an MD (orthopedist) or a DPM (podiatrist) and ask if they are not sure. This holds true for emergency room visits as well as private office visits as many patients assume they are being treated by MD's. Both specialties serve our community well.
Yes – the location of the leg, ankle and foot below the level of the heart combined with its circulatory anatomy make injuries to these structures more prone to swelling. Post Operative swelling can last six to nine months or longer. Furthermore, there are more nerve endings in the foot compared with other orthopedic areas; this may produce more pain after an injury or surgery compared with other body parts. Do not compare foot and ankle surgery with other orthopedic procedures. Always speak with your physician regarding what to expect after a foot and ankle injury or surgery.
No. Dr. Kovatis always tries the conservative approach when appropriate. Unfortunately, some patients do not respond to this approach or have injuries inappropriate for this option and require surgery.
Contact Orthopedic Spine and Sports Medicine Center to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
Please note that the preceding information is designed for educational purposes and not intended to demean or disparage any healthcare specialty.