The foot and ankle team at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists provides quality care for patients.
Feet are something most of us take for granted once we learn to walk — until the pain starts. If patients stand all day at their jobs, run dozens of miles every week or wear too-high heels for long periods of time, foot or ankle pain eventually creeps up on them. While many minor injuries can be fixed with time and rest, more serious injuries require expert help.
That’s where the foot and ankle team at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS) comes in. The team of surgeons, podiatrists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, physical therapists and a pedorthist offer comprehensive foot and ankle care at the SOS Heritage Commons office in North Syracuse, providing patients with the ability to have comprehensive foot and ankle in the same building.
“SOS is a one-stop location for everything,” says Frederick R. Lemley, MD, foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon at SOS. “Patients can have their feet and ankle needs, operative and nonoperative, taken care of here.”
Dr. Lemley is one of two board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons at SOS, along with Naven Duggal, MD. A Long Island native, Dr. Lemley started his surgical practice at SOS 14 years ago, after attending SUNY Upstate Medical Center. Dr. Duggal moved to Syracuse in 2013 after eight years at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School to be closer to his family in Canada.
“The region is great from the standpoint of what I do, because there’s a lot of athletes, sports and activities,” Dr. Duggal says. “Not only do I like to participate in those activities — and my family does as well — but, I get to take care of athletes who experience injuries to ligaments and tendons, as well as fractures.”
Of course, Dr. Duggal’s expertise is much broader than treating athletes.
“I perform reconstructions and tendon repairs, and I fix fractures,” Dr. Duggal says. “I’ll also do fusions for correcting deformities of the ankle and foot, as well as replacements of the ankle.”
Total ankle arthroplasty, along with ankle instability surgery, are Dr. Lemley’s specialties.
“There are not many people who do total ankle replacements in Syracuse,” Dr. Lemley says.
SOS physicians also have expertise in treating rheumatoid arthritis and common ailments like bunions and hammer toes.
“I think what sets SOS apart is how we have a bevy of longtime orthopedic surgeons who are experts within their field of orthopedics,” Dr. Lemley says. “We have exceptional subspecialty care at SOS. As opposed to trying to do a little bit of everything, each team works in one specific area of orthopedics.”
“Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists is really a one-stop shop for everything. Patients can have their foot and ankle needs, operative and nonoperative, taken care of here.”
— Frederick R. Lemley, MD, foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon and partner at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists
Complete Foot Health Management
When treating patients with chronic foot pain — rather than a sudden, severe fracture — Drs. Duggal and Lemley both emphasize that they prefer conservative approaches and will only recommend surgery if nonoperative measures have not worked.
“We’ll use physical therapy, and we’ll use bracing, including orthotics, that can help people avoid surgery, which is great,” Dr. Duggal says.
Because the SOS foot and ankle team has two podiatrists, Christopher J. Fatti, DPM, and Stephanie Hook, DPM, on staff, patients with conditions like plantar fasciitis and tendinitis can easily receive care. The podiatrists also specialize in diabetic foot care, along with SOS pedorthist Maureen Kaljeskie, C.Ped.
“Maureen works closely with Dr. Lemley and me, as well as our podiatrists, to help treat patients,” Dr. Duggal says. “As the person who makes all of these orthotics, she helps accommodate that niche patients look for as well.”
SOS takes the team approach seriously when treating patients, which is what makes it such a special practice, the physicians say.
“You can always say the technology is great, and I think it is, but we have a fantastic team at SOS including our nurses, administrators, x-ray techs, and so many more departments all working together,” Dr. Duggal says. “It’s just a good place for patients. We take care of our neighbors.”
“I think people tend to underestimate that foot and ankle surgery can improve patients’ quality of life. For patients who have end-stage arthritis or a tendon that’s been chronically torn, getting it taken care of can help their symptoms.”
— Naven Duggal, MD, orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon and partner at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists
When Is Surgery Needed?
Foot and ankle surgeries for non-acute injuries can often lead to long recovery times, which can be a big problem for people who work on their feet, live alone or have other mobility issues. And in past decades, certain procedures have gained a reputation for poor outcomes.
“I think there’s a consensus within the medical community that you should never have [non-acute] foot or ankle surgery,” Dr. Lemley says. “But what I would counter is that there are some surgeries that work very well, have excellent outcomes, and are worth the time and investment. You just have to find a surgeon who will give an honest opinion.”
Dr. Duggal says that when surgery may be needed, it’s a great option to be able to get it done in an outpatient facility.
“I think people tend to underestimate that foot and ankle surgery can improve patients’ quality of life,” Dr. Duggal says. “For patients who have end-stage arthritis or a tendon that’s been chronically torn, having it taken care of can help their symptoms and help restore some of the functionality that they’ve been missing.”
Find out more about foot and ankle surgery at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists by calling 315-883-5881 or visiting sosbones.com/specialties/foot-ankle.