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Extremities Feature

Source: U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Erica Mater

16 Top Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons in North America

Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. • Wed, September 30th, 2015

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Whether treating a calcaneal fracture or exploring it in the lab, these orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons are at the forefront of efforts to keep North America mobile and active. The 16 physicians here represent standout orthopedic surgeons dedicated to improving the daily lives of their patients. Those in the know about foot and ankle surgery gave us their thoughts on these top orthopedic specialty surgeons.

Here is that list. We don’t have “the market” on lists…this isn’t the be-all and end-all list—but it is a list of the most impressive orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons in the country. The information in quotation marks is what the peers of these top doctors said about them.

This information was obtained via a telephone survey of thought leaders in the field. No one at OTW names anyone to the list.

In alphabetical order, here are 16 of the top orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons in North America.

StarJudith F. Baumhauer, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Baumhauer is a professor in the department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Rochester. She is a past president of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). “Judy is a caring, skilled orthopaedic surgeon who is always on the leading edge of how innovations may be applied to daily care of patients. She has recently served as the primary investigator for an international multicenter study that has proven the efficacy and safety of a new hemi arthroplasty implant for treatment of metatarsal phalangeal arthritis.”

StarChristopher P. Chiodo, M.D.

Dr. Chiodo is chief of the Foot and Ankle Surgery Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “He is a leading figure in researching foot and ankle disorders; he pursues this work with extreme care and thoughtfulness. He is also serving our field via his position on the editorial board of Foot and Ankle International.

StarThomas O. Clanton, M.D.

Dr. Clanton is director for Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, and is a past president of the AOFAS. “As an expert in foot and ankle and sports medicine, Tom maintains a thoughtful and effective approach to the management of sports foot and ankle injuries. Tom’s talents and clinical acumen continue to distinguish him as a respected authority and educator for treating athletes with foot and ankle injuries.”

StarChris Coetzee, M.D., Mb., ChB.

Dr. Coetzee is an orthopedic surgeon with Twin Cities Orthopedics in Minneapolis and clinical associate professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “He is considered one of the most talented surgeons in foot and ankle. His excellence in teaching from the podium and in the operating room have brought him international recognition. He is a critical thinker who brings efficiency and practicality into his roles as a leader, clinician and product designer.”

StarMichael Coughlin, M.D.

Dr. Coughlin is an orthopedic surgeon with the Coughlin Foot and Ankle Clinic at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho, and a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Coughlin is a past president of the AOFAS and the International Federation of Foot & Ankle Societies. “He is one of the acknowledged experts in the field of foot and ankle surgery. He is an adept clinician who has many years of experience supporting his wealth of knowledge, and he has been one of the principal editors of the most widely used textbooks on foot and ankle surgery. These characteristics along with his affable nature and creative abilities (having designed several widely used surgical techniques) make him one of the top foot and ankle surgeons in the country.”

StarTimothy R. Daniels, M.D.

Dr. Daniels is an associate professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and head of orthopedic surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is also an associate scientist in the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital. “Tim is one of the best thinkers in our profession. Every time he stands up and presents a paper, one has to stop and listen. There will be pearls of wisdom that one can use every day. As such, he is one of the most respected teachers in our time.”

StarMark E. Easley, M.D.

Dr. Easley is an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. He serves as one of the directors of the Duke Foot and Ankle Fellowship Program. He is the current president of the AOFAS. “He is a thoughtful, skilled orthopedic surgeon, teacher and leader in the orthopedic foot and ankle community. Mark has presented at numerous local national and international meetings where he has shared his clinical skills with colleagues from all over the world.”

StarMark A. Glazebrook, M.D., FRCS(C), M.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr. Glazebrook is an assistant professor of surgery in the division of orthopedics at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia; he holds a cross appointment to the School of Biomedical Engineering. “Dr. Glazebrook has proven over the past few years to be the most innovative researcher in Canada. As part of the larger Canadian Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society he and his co-workers throughout Canada created the most extensive database on ankle arthritis and the management of that in the world.”

StarJeffrey E. Johnson, M.D.

Dr. Johnson is a professor of orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “He is adept with complicated cases, and knows how to break complex deformities into parts and address each part so that it is simplified. He has done innovative research on fusions and deformity correction.”

StarAnish R. Kadakia, M.D.

Dr. Kadakia is an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “He has been the leader in research in ankle fractures. He has top notch knowledge and the highest dedication to resident education.”

StarFlorian Nickisch, M.D.

Dr. Nickisch is an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Utah. “He has been the leader in forefoot surgeries. He is a great educator and compassionate doctor with high patient satisfaction. He always gives clear bulleted teaching points with case examples.”

StarSalene G. Parekh, M.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Parekh is an orthopedic surgeon with the North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic and an associate professor of Surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University. “Salene is a very busy and talented orthopedic surgeon who has the ability to use his clinical skills and ideas towards innovations in clinical care. Salene collaborates with surgeons and other colleagues to improve orthopedic care for patients through the development of surgical procedures and devices.”

StarPhinit Phisitkul, M.D.

Dr. Phisitkul is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. “He is rapidly developing into an academic leader in foot and ankle surgery publishing numerous articles in well-respected high impact orthopaedic journals. In a short time, he has made substantial contributions to the science and clinical knowledge of foot and ankle care in North America. He is active in the AOFAS and has strong leadership potential at both the national and international levels.”

StarCharles L. Saltzman, M.D.

Dr. Saltzman is chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Utah where he serves as the LS Peery Presidential Endowed Professor. He is a former president of the AOFAS and the International Federation of Foot and Ankle Societies and president of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. “He is one of the most well rounded academic foot and ankle surgeons in leadership, science and technology. He has been an international leader in establishing methods and systems for performing outcomes research in foot and ankle. His publications have established the standard of excellence in clinical and basic science lower extremity studies. Among his many innovations are innovative methods, technologies and devices to perform joint replacement, fusions and reconstructions.”

StarLew C. Schon, M.D.

Dr. Schon is director of foot and ankle services at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. He is also founder and director of the Orthobiologic Laboratory at that facility. Dr. Schon is a past president of the AOFAS. He is an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a clinical associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Georgetown University School of Medicine. “Lew is very innovative with regard to surgical procedures, and approaches his cases with planning and precision. He has done impressive work with biologics as well, including pioneering basic science research that will contribute to advances in our field.”

StarBruce Sangeorzan, M.D.

Dr. Sangeorzan is a professor of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and director of the VA Center of Excellence in Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering. He is the immediate past president of the AOFAS. “He is an expert in foot and ankle, as well as trauma surgery. Bruce maintains a thoughtful and carefully structured approach to orthopaedic foot and ankle care that distinguishes him as a role model among his peers.”

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Comments

26 Responses to “16 Top Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons in North America”

  1. Amy says:

    I dislocated my ankle in a canyon awhile back. I have realized that my foot is pointing straight – the one injured. And my left foot is pointing inward. I sprained the other one. My ankles r unhealthy due to these accidents. My fibula on the right inner ankle is pointing out.

    My tibula on the right outside knee is pointing out.

    This causing my hip on the right side to hurt and so on.

  2. Amy 314 359 5209 says:

    Thanks for your time.
    2nd toe healed wrong from a break/soccer/tip of toe
    The center was fused. I had perfectly healthy joints
    I can’t bend it. I m extremely unhappy- I am a dancer not to mention- I can’t live with this extremely uncomfortable feeling constantly.
    I have heard the inplant aren’t stable? I have heard that I can have the bone cut in half with a wire and a space inbetween the bones and the tissue acts like cartilage. Also this bone needs to b shortened. What are my options. Originally I needed an osectiotomy- I still think I do. I don’t have arthritis – with this toe I need to treat it that way- all the cartilage was taken when it was fused. I am highly athletic- and very much enjoy movement. And would like my toe to b good as new. If I have to go to Europe or Colorado.. I don’t mind. Just need to get my joint healthy again. Thanks !

    • Kirsty says:

      Amy.

      The procedure you are describing is what I had done to repair my ankle condition that had caused me severe pain and the inability to walk .
      The injury is called syndesmosis. The Dr used titanium rope to act as cartilage between the tibia and fibula to hold them together rather than fusing. This way you still have flexibility after surgery. It was very successful. I still have an issue with my deltoid ligament which still causes pain but the other lateral ligament has been fixed and I have far less pain now. Look into tightrope procedure for syndesmosis injury.

  3. patrick mahowald says:

    Ankle replacement specialists in our area, eastern S.D

  4. Richard Godlesky says:

    Can you fix my ankle?

  5. Linda Maciejewski says:

    I have had two bone fusion surgeries in my left foot this past year and still have pain. The recent x-ray shows
    that the bone is still not fusing and the stabilizer pin has
    broke. The doctor suggest another surgery. How
    many surgeries can I have before the bone fuses
    together?

  6. Cheryl says:

    I need to have flat foot surgery, ankle realignment etc.. I am in Michigan. Detroit area. I have gotten 3 opinions but I want to make sure I have the best doc possible. Went to HSS in NYC but it isn’t practical for me to have it there. 9 hours away, can’t imagine sitting in a plane seat after a big surgery on my foot. Need recommendations for top surgeon within 2 hours of Detroit Thank you in advance

  7. Beth Schuman says:

    Who is the best ankle replacement surgeon in the San Francisco Bay area or Sacramento area?

  8. Susan Passov says:

    Looking for help in finding the best doctor to perform surgery on a person with very slight cp. Left toe is mostly the issue. Do you know of any great specialists around Cleveland, OH?

  9. Trina Duncan says:

    Both ankles crushed almost 20 years ago Dr. did the best to save both my legs. I am in constant pain and can barely walk. The older I get I know I will be wheelchair bound. Would I be a candidate for ankle replacements. My feet and ankles were crushed when the car I was driving was hit head-on and the floorboard came in on my legs.

    • Elke says:

      Hello Trina, I have been research and searching for a doctor who can help my son. My son was in a motorcycle accident when he was a teenager and his ankle was badly crushed. He is now 52 and in horrible pain. He has had several surgeries but to no avail. Do you have info on good doctor(s) that can help my son? It sounds like you have had your share of pain as well. Any help will be much appreciated.
      Thank you so much.
      Elke
      Elkekay@me.com

  10. Kerri Rushing says:

    Any suggestions on the best foot surgeon in the north Dallas area? I have a major problem with pain, swelling and bruising – my foot never healed correctly after a prior foot surgery (3 years ago). I really need this botched surgery fixed but I’m scared to go another bad doctor. Please help if you have any ideas!

  11. Jeff wertz says:

    Had an ankle fusion done on my ankle which is been arthritic and has been a problem for me for the past 10 years The surgery was done approximately three years ago.The fusion failed.Ifolowed the rehab as directed.the steel rod going up into the leg broke and the two large screws to hold the ankle together until infused,bent. I need a looking for a referral or recommendation of top ankle/ foot doctor in the Milwaukee and it’s surrounding areas Chicago Michigan Minnesota etc.It needs to be redone according to two doctors that I have seen subsequent to the surgery. However I do not want not interested in using those doctors for my follow-up surgery.Help please.

  12. Sue says:

    Has anyone had Midfoot fusion for severe mid foot arthritis. Would like the name of Top doctors in the Chicago area that do this surgery. I also have RA.

  13. noel says:

    I need a top ankle doctor within two hundred miles or so of Albany NY.
    I twisted my ankle 7 years ago and was operated on in 2016 to clean it up.
    After 6 months of rehab and rest, pain came back after I tried walking or playing golf moderately.
    I need a top doctor to look at it and to tell me what I need to do to be pain free and able to go for a walk or play golf.
    I have reports, MRI’s that I can send. I am willing to travel for appointment and treatment. respond to celticnoel@aol.com

  14. Bill says:

    Had ankle replacement. Have had different operation to fix it, for the last ten years. Same doctor. Still have very little movement, up and down. I walk on my heel. I am in pain most of the time, and can only walk short distance. Can only stay on my feet for about a hour with out setting down. Can this be fixed so I can walk flat footed? I have no down movement. I live in Tucson, Az. Last operation was Dec. 2016 to replace the plastic in a DePuy replacement. worst care I have ever had. Had to stay in splint for 4 month for wound to close and worse now that I first started. Can this be Fixed??

    • Kirsty says:

      I would research the top ankle specialists in the city that you live nearest to. I had two torn ligaments and could barely walk do to constant pain. It took Five specialists before it was diagnosed as ligament injury. Find the right doctor. My operation was tightrope procedure and was very successful. I live in Canada and consider myself lucky that I eventually found the right orthopedic surgeon. It makes all the difference.

  15. devra smith says:

    I fractured my right ankle 12 years ago and tore a ligament.my bone healed perfect but my orthopedic surgeon decided not to fix the one broken ligament years later I had broken every ligament in my ankle and had a large synovial syst. I had a complete removal of sist and and ligament and had bioengineered ligament put in it was unsuccessful and had a second surgery and now 7 8 years after both surgeries I am still in constant pain and my ankle swells at the slightest activity it’s unliveable I need someone who can fix this problem so I can get back into shape and not live in constant pain.

  16. Michael says:

    Dr. Mann (Oakland, Ca) one of the Very best calcaneus & Heel replacement people out there

  17. Dave says:

    I had a Starr ankle replacement at Georgetown about 4 years ago. It has now failed and needs revised. Would appreciate any recommendations on ankle surgeons in VA/MD/DC?
    I would prefer not to go back to Georgetown.

  18. Michelle says:

    Is there a good foot surgeon in Hawaii?
    Thanks

  19. Kevin says:

    I’m a 65 yr ol male w/ Type I DM for 59 yrs. I have a non-healing foot ulcer behind the little toe on my R foot & osteomyelitis in the 5th metatarsal. I have taken IV ABX for 6 wks. w/ no improvement per MRI’s.
    I’m not comfortable w/ my podiatrist performing a complex surgical procedure if it comes to that so am looking for an orthopedic surgeon in southern NJ or Philadelphia who is expert in the care & treatment of conditions like I describe here. Any suggestions?

  20. Bill says:

    I have a torn tibialis anterior tendon. This has resulted in foot drop in my right foot . I intend to have surgery to repair/reattach the tendon. I understand the complexity of the surgery and the recovery time. I live in Austin TX and Hilton Head SC. I can go anywhere to do the surgery. I’m just looking for the best orthopedic surgeon with the most experience in this surgery. I want to avoid HSS in NYC. I’m currently looking for doctors in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Charleston SC. Any suggestions on the best surgeon? Thank you

  21. Lem says:

    I wish someone would reply to everyone who has left comments. What good is your information if you can’t follow up. I need an ankle replacement, crushed in a car accident. I read all of your comments and I am praying for you to find relief.

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