San Francisco Podiatrist Awarded 2nd Place by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons for Research on Foot Fracture Patterns: Hopes to Produce Earlier Treatment and Decrease in Foot Arthritis
New Orleans, LA – March 12, 2005. – Today at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, San Francisco Bay Area Podiatrist and Foot Surgeon, Dr. Christopher Segler won 2nd Place in the highly competitive “Institutional Research” category. In order to place in this category, the research beat out over one hundred other research projects conducted at hospitals and surgical residency training programs.
This research was the result of a year long effort to determine how often doctors and surgeons would recognize these known difficult mid-foot fracture patterns on x-ray. The study was entitled “ The Frequency of Accurate Radiographic Diagnosis of Tarsometatarsal Fracture Dislocations.”
When asked about the impetus for the study, Dr. Segler (the lead researcher on the project) said, “I have seen many patients misdiagnosed with a “foot sprain” when they really had a fracture that just wasn’t recognized on the Emergency Room. These patients continue to have pain, swelling and sometime even bruising of the foot. Over time arthritis sets in, the joints get destroyed and the patient is forced to choose between a life of inactivity or major reconstructive foot surgery. We felt it was important to conduct research that could help other foot surgeons and general orthopedic surgeons to better recognize these broken feet so they can get the correct treatment.”
Tarsometatarsal fractures (also know as Lisfranc’s fractures) often occur in motor vehicle accidents. They can also occur from relatively minor incidents like mountain biking accidents, stepping in a pothole or tripping over a root while running, or dropping something on top of the foot.
Dr. Segler explains “One patient I saw just put his foot down on a rock while stopping on a mountain bike trail in the Marin Headlands. He went to the E.R. and was told to rest, ice, etc., but he wasn’t getting better.”
Many patients with a broken foot will complain of pain, swelling and bruising on the top of the foot. The foot pain may go away after a few days, but then return with just a little bit of walking or running. Any repeated episodes of swelling are very concerning.
Patients that think they have foot pain that is abnormal have reason to be concerned. “I have have actually seen many patients with these injuries that believed their foot was broken, even though they had previously had x-rays and were told by an E.R. doc that it was just a sprain.” Dr. Segler said. “It is important to trust your intuition when you have foot pain and aren’t getting better. A second opinion is never a bad idea.”
Dr. Segler is a surgical podiatrist who treats foot injuries in the San Francisco Bay Area.