News and Trends

APMA Creates New Surgical Affiliate

By Brian McCurdy, Senior Editor

   Following the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) parting of ways with the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), the APMA has established its own new surgical affiliate, the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS).

   The ASPS has a goal of “promoting the advancement of podiatric surgery through education and research,” according to a recent edition of the APMA e-news. The new surgical affiliate will operate under its own bylaws and will be directed by a yet to be named governing body.

   The APMA decided to seek a new surgical affiliate last year after the ACFAS ruled that renewing ACFAS members did not have to belong to the APMA. (See “ACFAS Changes Dual APMA Membership Policy” in the February 2008 issue and “ACFAS Members Vote Against Dual APMA Membership” in the June 2008 issue.) Last August, the APMA Board of Trustees decided that the best method of establishing a new surgical affiliate would be to look within the APMA itself, according to the APMA e-news.

    “The Board of Trustees also based its rationale on creating ASPS on the great potential to ensure the highest level of communication among leaders of the profession on key issues affecting the future of podiatric medicine and surgery,” says APMA President Ross Taubman, DPM, in the association e-news. “In addition, with the surgical expertise within an organization in such close nexus to APMA, expert testimony can be easily coordinated on issues of mutual interest to ASPS and APMA.”

Promoting Similar Benefits In A United Effort With Lower Costs

   The Board of Trustees feels that the ASPS will be cost-effective and its collaboration with the APMA will allow economies of scale and add more value to the APMA membership. Lloyd Smith, DPM, agrees. He thinks the ASPS will provide the same benefits as the ACFAS at a lower cost.

    “(The ASPS) will also allow for a concerted and united effort on all issues, all committees and all APMA projects. I see no disadvantages to this change,” says Dr. Smith, a Past President of the APMA.

   As far as the goals of the ASPS, Dr. Smith would like to see it “promote and foster surgical education and training” consistent with the stated goals of the APMA House of Delegates.

   However, Alan Catanzariti, DPM, says he is “disappointed” in the APMA’s decision to discontinue using the ACFAS as a surgical affiliate. He feels that the APMA and ACFAS should have compromised in the bylaw dispute.

    “I think (ACFAS) provides a great advantage for podiatrists in terms of representing their interests as foot and ankle surgeons,” says Dr. Catanzariti, the Director of Residency Training within the Division of Foot and Ankle Surgery at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa.

   Dr. Catanzariti, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, says the establishment of the ASPS would create a competing organization with the ACFAS, and thinks “people are going to be forced to choose.” He also expresses concern as to how the new surgical affiliate may affect board certification.

   Dr. Smith disagrees. He says the board certification process (whether one is achieving board certification through ABPS or ABPOPPM) has “absolutely no relationship” with ASPS, APMA

   The ASPS initially plans to have three membership categories: fellow, associate and member, according to the APMA e-news. The association says it also plans to begin inviting APMA members who are certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery to apply to the ASPS. N

Can ESWT Have An Impact In Treating Achilles Tendinosis?

By Brian McCurdy, Senior Editor

   Podiatrists have used extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) for various conditions, most notably plantar fasciitis. A new study in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association says ESWT holds promise in the treatment of Achilles tendinosis.

   Researchers studied the use of ESWT in 23 patients who suffered from Achilles tendinosis, insertional tendonitis or both. The mean follow-up was 20 months.


I agree with Dr. Weil that ESWT in the treatment for Achilles tendinosis is an excellent treatment modality. Having performed ESWT for Achilles tendinosis over over 12 years, I have found the results outstanding.

As far as absolute contraindications go, there is no FDA contraindication for ESWT and pacemakers. So long as there is medical clearance and proper medical support, you can consider the use of ESWT in patients with pacemakers.

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