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    • 21 MAR 18
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    Getting To Know Our Newest Surgeon, Justin J. Fleming, DPM, FACFAS

    Expert Foot and Ankle Services at UOA

    Dr. Justin Fleming discusses his high-level qualifications and his vast experiences in his quest to provide top-notch services at UOA.

    What do you hope to bring to UOA?

    My primary goal is to bring a dedicated high-level service line for foot and ankle to UOA, specifically the management of complex fractures, ankle replacement and the type of cutting-edge techniques designed to improve patient outcomes. I want patients to have a greater quality of life and the ability to resume their active lifestyles. There’s a high prevalence of treatable foot and ankle conditions that have a profound negative effect on the quality of life, from a person dealing with daily pain to being limited in daily activities.

    What drew you to UOA?

    The reputation of the practice and the opportunity to make an impact in the area of foot and ankle surgery. I enjoy the education and training of residents and UOA’s affiliation with an academic medical center affords me that opportunity.

    What are current trends in advancing foot and ankle surgery that will benefit patients at UOA?

    There are several major trends: 1. Less invasive surgical techniques, which encourage healing and reduce rehabilitation time. 2. Ongoing technological advances, particularly over the past five years. Specifically, these advances improve surgical precision and outcomes.

    If we consider Achilles tendon rupture as an example, this injury used to require a very large incision in the back of the leg, which significantly impacted healing time and increased the risk for complications. Now we use a targeted approach through very small incisions. This not only reduces surgical time and anesthetic exposure, it decreases surgical risk and helps get patients back to activity more quickly.

    There are other examples in the area of ankle replacement, which now has navigation guides through 3D rendering to increase implant placement and surgical accuracy.  This is critical for the long-term success of the ankle replacement.

    How did your training in Europe, throughout the United States and with the U.S. Army give you added experience and perspective?

    It did several things. It gave me the ability to train under surgeons nationwide and worldwide, which afforded me exposure to different surgical techniques. It also gave me greater insight into a larger variety of foot and ankle injuries, from the simple to the very complex. The military experience really provided me with the most significant training, simply because of the high incidence and severe magnitude of the injuries sustained by the soldiers. At Fort Benning jump school (507th Parachute Infantry Regiment), I saw the gamut of traumatic injuries due to parachute jump training.

    What role does physician training and education play in your practice and your career?

    The advantage of participating in the education of residents and fellows has been a great and rewarding experience for me. The residents gain the benefit of learning through the experience and the attendings gain the benefit of the academic environment for continual learning that has a positive patient impact. 

    What did your medical mission provide you with both personally and professionally?

    The mission was simply a way for me to give back to those communities in medical need. I feel a personal obligation to take time out to provide these services to people badly in need of help. From a professional standpoint, I had the opportunity to meet and work alongside very talented surgeons who taught me and helped me in terms of further developing my surgical experience. In the mission, I did foot and ankle care primarily on pediatric patients. It consisted of corrections to deformities due to spastic neurological conditions and congenital deformities such as clubfoot. We performed 50 surgeries in a week, despite the fact there were fewer resources and the hospital only has one functional operating room. It was a dedicated staff focused on the well-being of children and the community. I came out of the experience feeling grateful for the opportunity and thankful for the many blessings in my life.

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