Thomas Zgonis, D.P.M.’99, FACFAS, sees a lot of diabetic patients in his part of the world, San Antonio, TX. The disease occurs more often among minority populations, and the city is more than half Mexican- American. In addition to giving him a special interest and expertise in diabetic foot problems, that fact motivated him to produce a 448- page textbook on the topic.
Surgical Reconstruction of the Diabetic Foot and Ankle, published last year by Lippincott Williams & Williams, features more than 800 color photographs, 400 additional illustrations and 29 chapters, each focused on different problems and step-by-step surgical techniques to deal with them.
“No textbook had dealt exclusively with surgery of the diabetic foot,” says Zgonis, associate professor in the orthopedic surgery department and chief of the podiatric medicine and surgery division, University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio (UTH SC-SA).
The textbook also emphasizes the team approach in addressing complex problems of the diabetic foot. As the textbook’s editor, Zgonis recruited specialists from around the world, including those in surgery, vascular surgery and plastic surgery, to write the chapters.
“The multi-disciplinary team approach in managing the diabetic foot and ankle is what students need to learn,” he notes.
Zgonis wedged the textbook project into his already crammed schedule. He is involved with UTH SC-SA’s podiatric surgical residency and directs its research and reconstructive foot and ankle fellowships. An active lecturer and author of articles and book chapters on reconstructive and revisional foot and ankle surgery, he’s also consulting editor for science and health publisher Elsevier’s Clinics in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery journal.
“I worked daily on the textbook for three years,” he notes. “It involved a lot of midnights and weekends.”