My Top 10 Essential Podiatric Textbooks

Patrick DeHeer DPM FACFAS

I love books — both hard copy and digital. I can get lost in a bookstore for hours. My love of books prompted me to put together a list of my top 10 podiatric textbooks. In no particular order, I consider these essential to any podiatric library. I have no vested interest in any of these textbooks. This list is based solely on my personal opinion. I love the discussion and debate that book lists create so bring it on.

Foot and Lower Extremity Biomechanics: A ten-year collection of Precision Intricast, Inc. newsletters, Volume 1 (Precision Intricast, 1997) by Kevin Kirby, DPM, MS
Foot and Lower Extremity Biomechanics: Precision Intricast, Inc. newsletters 1997-2002, Volume 2 (Precision Intricast, 2002) by Kevin Kirby, DPM, MS
Foot and Lower Extremity Biomechanics: Precision Intricast, Inc. newsletters 2002-2008, Volume 3 (Precision Intricast, 2008) by Kevin Kirby, DPM, MS

Dr. Kirby compiled this series of newsletters. I consider them the top source for lower extremity biomechanics and I consider Dr. Kirby to be one of the leaders in lower extremity biomechanics. This set is excellent. The newsletters are not in any logical order so I find it best to pick a topic, read it and move on to another topic instead of trying to read them from cover to cover.

Normal and Abnormal Function of the Foot — Clinical Biomechanics Volume II (Clinical Biomechanics Corporation, 1977) by Merton Root, DPM, William Orien, DPM, and John Weed, DPM. This is the classic on foot and lower extremity biomechanics. You may not agree with all of Root’s theories but the value of this text is priceless. Biomechanics will always be the basis for good surgery of the foot and ankle. Many foot and ankle disorders are biomechanically induced. Therefore, understanding this topic is crucial.

Sarrafian's Anatomy of the Foot and Ankle: Descriptive, Topographic, Functional (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2011) by Armen S. Kelikian, MD, and Shahan Sarrafian, MD. The old saying that it always comes back to anatomy could not be truer. You must know the anatomy exceptionally well. I must admit that I have the older version of this text and look forward to purchasing the newer version. This text is, hands down, the most comprehensive text on lower extremity anatomy.

Drennan’s The Child’s Foot & Ankle, Second Edition (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2009) by James McCarthy, MD, and James Drennan, MD. My practice has a substantial amount of pediatrics and I enjoy treating children. This is the most comprehensive text on pediatric foot and ankle conditions. There are some differences of opinion between podiatry and orthopedics on some types of pediatric foot and ankle pathologies, but this text is so complete it makes those few differences tolerable.

Surgical Reconstruction of the Diabetic Foot and Ankle (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2009) by Thomas Zgonis, DPM, FACFAS. This is a great book in my opinion. It is very complete with great pictures and step-by-step instructions. I love the chapters on “stepwise” approaches to various pathologies. It is well organized, very practical and useful.

Operative Techniques in Foot and Ankle Surgery (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2010) by Mark Easley, MD, and Sam Wiesel, MD. This is probably my favorite of the ten listed. I love how they show the same procedure with two or three different techniques. There are many outstanding pearls and pitfalls, which are so practical. I love practical things. This is not a comprehensive review type of text but more of a “down and dirty” instructional manual.

Functional Reconstruction of the Foot and Ankle (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000) by Sigvard Hansen Jr., MD and Foot and Ankle Disorders: Tricks of the Trade (Thieme, 2003) by Frederick Lippert III, MD, and Sigvard Hansen Jr., MD. I am cheating by lumping two books together here but Dr. Hansen authored both and they sort of work together. The latter is more of a handbook companion to the textbook. These contain great tips and hints by one of the all-time leading foot and ankle surgeons in history.

Lower Extremity Soft Tissue & Cutaneous Plastic Surgery (Saunders, 2006) by Gary Dockery, DPM, FACFAS, and Mary Crawford, DPM, FACFAS. Think of this book as “The” book for plastic surgery of the foot and ankle because it is. The pictures and illustrations are fabulous and it is essential for anyone doing any type of plastic surgery procedures on the foot or ankle. It is complete and easy to understand — a tribute to the authors.

Surgery of the Foot and Ankle, Eighth edition (Mosby, 2006) by Michael Coughlin, MD, Roger Mann, MD, and Charles Saltzman, MD. I had a difficult time picking between this text and the text by Mark Myerson, MD, but I gave the edge to Coughlin and Mann. The addition of Saltzman as an editor really made a significant improvement on this edition. This is the definition of a comprehensive text and is outstanding.

McGlamry’s Comprehensive Textbook of Foot and Ankle Surgery (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2001) by Alan Banks, DPM, FACFAS, Michael Downey, DPM, FACFAS, Dennis Martin, DPM, FACFAS, and Stephen Miller, DPM, FACFAS. This is one of the classic podiatry textbooks. The third edition is from 2001. Although it is in dire need of an updated edition, this is still the one all others are measured against. The editors are the leaders in podiatric medicine and surgery, which will always keep the text as the gold standard.

There you have it. These are my top 10 podiatric textbooks. I would love to hear any feedback you may have on these books or any that you feel should be on the list. Remember, if you are going to put another text on the list, you have to take one off.

Happy reading and stay diligent.



Sammarco. FOOT AND ANKLE MANUAL, 1998 Williams & Wilkins.

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