Argyle Doctor Presents at World Conference

Argyle Doctor Presents at World Conference

By Susan Neuhalfen

Argyle resident and Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeon Dr. Damien Dauphinee was recently invited to lecture at the 2nd Annual Global Foot and Ankle Conference in Chongquin, China. He spoke about surgical techniques used in saving limbs threatened by complications of diabetes.

“Diabetic Limb Salvage basically involves preventing a major amputation in people with diabetes,” said Dr. Dauphineé.

Diabetes affects a large percentage of Texans and is expected to grow to 4 million Texans by 2020 and 8 million by 2040. Dr. Dauphineé spoke specifically about techniques used to surgically correct external parts of the body that have become deformed due to a condition called Charcot neuroarthropathy. Charcot neuroarthropathy is the progressive destruction of bone and soft tissues at weightbearing joints, most commonly in the foot and ankle. According to Dr. Dauphineé, patients develop neuropathy when their nerves in the feet stop working and they become completely numb. When this happens the patients may easily cause trauma to the joints without feeling it until they’ve done irreparable damage. Many are misdiagnosed with an infection, put on antibiotics and allowed to put weight on the joint, causing further damage that can easily become infected and eventually lead to amputation.

Dr. Dauphineé has special training in the use of external fixation to help correct the deformed limbs.

“The devices we use look somewhat like the “Erector Set” toys from the 50’s and 60’s,” said Dr. Dauphineé about the procedure.  “Most people have seen a patient walking with a “halo” of hardware at the head and neck after a major spinal injury or fusion, which is the same technology we use on the lower limbs.”

Dr. Dauphineé was one of two surgeons in North Texas invited to speak at the conference, which was attended by some of the top orthopedic and podiatric foot and ankle surgeons in the world. This was his first trip to Asia and, to make it even more special, he brought his wife, Rachelle, and their son, Alex, along. They were especially excited to see the Terra-cotta Warriors exhibit in Xi’an as Alex, who just finished 6th grade at Argyle Intermediate School, just completed a study on China. His class studied the history of Chinese Emperors, Chinese writing and characters and the currency. The Dauphineés enjoyed their trip so much, they decided to stay and visit Beijing as well.

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