Dr. Gerber recently went down to Memphis, TN for a surgical course covering techniques in foot and ankle surgery. Like most professions Podiatry is always changing. There are new procedures and techniques that are being taught on a regular basis (although the principles remain the same) and it is important that all doctors are up to date on the new equipment and products that are available.
There are countless devices and tools that are used in surgery to help fix broken bones and even fuse bones together. Most of the plates and screws that a Podiatric surgeon uses are either titanium or stainless steel. Stainless steel tends to be a little stronger and better for bigger procedures while titanium more closely mimics normal bone physiology.
The first picture below is a newer plate with holes in the shape of stars. This plate allows for two different screws (locking & non-locking) to be placed at angles of up to 15º inside the bone. The versatility of this plate provides the surgeon with an arsenal of techniques when fixing a fracture, performing a major reconstructive procedure, fixing multiple bones of different shapes and sizes, and even working on osteoporotic bone. The locking screws are good to use in osteoporotic bones, while non-locking screws will pull the plate down nearer the bone and help simulate a more physiologic construct between the plate, screws, and bone.
The plate in the second picture can be utilized when adding bone graft to a precarious site. This plate is versatile as well as it can be loaded with screws in a way that will cause compression across a fracture (across a fracture, which is a good thing). The plate itself can even be bent by the surgeon before placing it in order to contour the shape of the bone better.
Whether it’s in clinic or the operating room, you can rest assured that your Podiatric physician is staying abreast of the newest trends and techniques in medicine. If you or someone you know is in need of foot and ankle care don’t forget to stop by the office of Dr. Evan Merrill. At Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, we are here to help improve your foot health. Make an appointment today by calling 541-776-3338 or request an appointment online.