In This Video
- Christopher W. DiGiovanni, MD, is chief of the Foot and Ankle Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, team physician for Boston College Athletics, consultant team physician for the U.S. Ski Team and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Medical School
- In this video, he explains how the syndesmosis, which is an instability and ligament problem in the ankle, is often underdiagnosed and undertreated
In this video, Christopher W. DiGiovanni, MD, chief of the Foot and Ankle Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains how syndesmosis, which is an instability and ligament problem in the ankle, is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Currently, his research is exploring operative and non-operative diagnosis options, which offer dynamic and direct perspectives on the effects of syndesmosis, along with effective treatments.
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One of the major foci of research that we have ongoing right now in our lab is on the syndesmosis. The syndesmosis is an instability problem, a ligament problem in the ankle, that is, at this point in time, worldwide, underdiagnosed and perhaps even undertreated. This has become a very hot and controversial topic in the world of foot and ankle globally, and our lab has been working very hard over the past few years to figure out first and foremost how to best diagnose this problem, because it is not always obvious in people who injure their ankle, but also how to then best treat it.
We have been working on both non-operative and operative ways of making this diagnosis, which include things like ultrasound in the office, as well as arthroscopy in the operating room, and those both provide a dynamic, direct look, if you will, view of the syndesmosis and the ligaments and how unstable the ankle is after an injury. And then secondly, we are working on some new technology and innovative ways to better fix the syndesmosis if in fact we find out that the patient has instability.
Things like the syndesmosis and Lisfranc injuries and fifth metatarsal fractures represent areas that patients still don't perhaps do as well as they could and should, even if they are seen by an orthopedic or podiatric specialist in a timely fashion. So that's why we have chosen to specifically pick these things, because they represent areas that we can really be impactful in patient care.
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