Background Complications following orthopedic surgeries are undesirable and costly. A potential method to reduce these costs is to perform traditionally inpatient surgical procedures in the outpatient setting. The purpose of this study is to compare outcomes between inpatient and outpatient settings for elective foot and ankle surgeries using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database. Methods Patients with Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes specific to orthopedic foot and ankle surgery were identified from the 2011-2015 American College of Surgeons NSQIP database. Demographics, comorbidities, and complications were compared between patients undergoing inpatient and outpatient procedures. Results Patients receiving inpatient surgery were significantly older and more frequently male. Black patients were significantly more likely to undergo inpatient surgery than outpatient surgery while white patients were significantly more likely to undergo outpatient surgery. Outpatients had a significantly higher mean body mass index (BMI) than inpatients. Smokers were at a significantly greater risk of undergoing inpatient surgery than outpatient surgery. Outpatients had significantly longer operative times, were more likely to receive general anesthesia, had a lower American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, were more likely to be functionally independent, and were less likely to expire postoperatively. Patients who received surgery as an inpatient were significantly more likely to have comorbidities as compared to outpatients. The overall risk of surgical complications was significant between groups with 8.6% in the inpatient group and 2.0% in the outpatient group. The overall risk of medical complications was 16.9% in the inpatient group and 1.7% in the outpatient group. Similar to the surgical complications, inpatients were significantly more likely to sustain each of the individual medical complications except for stroke/CVA and venous thromboembolism. Conclusions Outpatient management is associated with decreased postoperative complications in select patients. Performing more operations in the outpatient setting in select patients may be beneficial for cost reduction and patient satisfaction.