San Francisco Podiatrist Wins Another Award from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons for Research on Ankle Fracture Diagnosis: Earlier Diagnosis May Prevent Ankle Pain and Arthritis
Las Vegas, NV – March 23, 2006.. — 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 3rd Place in the highly competitive “Institutional Research” category of the scientific poster abstract competition. In order to place in this category, the research was chosen as more significant than over a hundred other clinical projects undertaken by hospitals and foot surgery residency training programs. The research project was entitled “Incidence of Lateral Process Fracture of the Talus.”
This research was the result of an arduous endeavor whereby Dr. Segler (then active as Cheif Resident in the Foot and Ankle Reconstructive Residency program at the University of Utah) evaluated all the ankle x-rays, ankle MRI, and ankle CT (cat scans) of every patient who was evaluated in the University hospital and clinics over a three year period. In all, over 6,000 patients were assessed for ankle injuries during the study.
The goal of the study was to determine how frequently a particular type of ankle fracture occurs. “Lateral Talar Process Fractures” are actually a fracture of the talus bone. The talus bone is the bone that effectively connects the foot to the leg at the ankle joint.
When asked about why he spent nealy every weekend for a year reading xrays, MRI’s and CT’s to complete the project, Dr. Segler said, “We have know for a long time that these injuries occur, but we wanted to determine how rare they really are. I and the other investigators have seen many of these injuries in the Emergency Room and clinics. Frankly, we believed that previous studies on these fractures were too small to really determine if these injuries are rare or common.”
After the results of the study were complete, it was shown that Lateral Process Fractures of the Talus (also called “snowboarder’s fracture”) are actually ten times (10x) more common than previously thought.
Because these fractures are subtle and easily missed, it is important to make sure that any ankle pain that doesn’t go away quickly after an ankle spain be re-evaluated. A second opinion for ankle pain is a good idea because some of these can’t get better without surgery. Fortunately most lateral process fractures do well of correctly treated.
If a lateral process fracture fragment isn’t treated, it may not get better. Dr. Segler says, “It’s really not complicated. If you have a broken piece of bone floating around in your ankle, it’s going to cause pain when it gets caught in the ankle joint. You just can’t walk around with a piece of loose bone in your ankle without expecting pain and damage to the cartilage.”
Dr. Segler is a San Francisco based surgical podiatrist who treats foot and ankle sprains, fracture, and other injuries in the Bay Area. He offers housecalls for Podiatry consultations.