We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
– Aristotle –
The Numbers in my Profession
Today my surgery numbers are:
- 150 ankle replacements a year;
- over 600 foot surgeries a year.
My innovations are:
- A new arthroscopic surgical technique of cartilage repair;
- An innovative technique of prosthetic ankle surgery, with over 10 scientific articles published a year.
My research numbers are:
- Over 40 scientific publications indexed on Pubmed;
- An H-Index that has grown from 3 to 11 in the last year.
This is possible because today my activity is not that of a single specialist doctor, but that of the leader of a group of surgeons entirely dedicated to the ankle and the foot in their surgical, clinical, and research activities.
It is a very unusual experience for Italian reality, where oftentimes, whoever deals with foot surgery is found to be an isolated professional mainly dedicated to the forefoot without a research activity on their subject.
We have really changed the course of our field.
Foreign colleagues come permanently to work with us to acquire specific knowledge and skills. Almost every day, when we operate, we receive guests from all over Europe interested in our surgery and our organization (among our guests we have had colleagues from France, England, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, China, Spain and Poland).
The “Secret” of my Career
The key is the team. Being a young and enthusiastic group is our response to the needs of patients and to the evolution of the scientific world, of which we proudly think of ourselves as protagonists.
I believe that who I have become today comes from the times in which we live in and my internationality: sacrifices and possibilities, for which I thank my family and my teachers.
My Background and my Medical Philosophy
My grandfather and my father, both doctors, conveyed to me the importance of presence and availability to patients.
Modern times have led me to do this by using the Internet and Social Networks – most importantly Facebook (but also LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) – as communication channels.
When a patient is not well he needs to know that his diagnosis and treatment are not just a cold scientific procedure, but that his emotionality, his feelings and fears, and the serenity with which they will be dealt with are part of the care path as well.
This is a lesson that I have always felt and lived in at home.
I hope this allows a method for me to approach the patient from the first moment, when he is undecided or worried about a problem, by writing to him on social media and creating opportunities to explain and talk to him.
I am proud to see that our Community on Facebook exceeds 80,000 people.
It is a sign that our “model” is appreciated and useful for our patients.
My Professional Training
My international training has led me to believe in super-specialization, as a value to offer the patient an increasingly high level of care.
In 2008, after graduating, I left for Duke University where, under the guidance of Professors Nunley, De Orio and Easley, I collaborated in defining the guidelines for the repair of the cartilaginous lesions of the talus with the OATS system.
It is a cutting-edge biotechnology still today in the United States. It is a milestone that we are convinced of having overcome with our AT-AMIC technique that we have designed, developed, and published in recent years.
I owe a lot professionally to this studio and my time at Duke University.
In fact, during a presentation of our results at the national meeting AOFAS (American Society of Ankle and Foot Surgery) in Denver, I was lucky enough to meet Mark Myerson, the world legend of ankle and foot surgery. I was only 27 years old, but that meeting made it possible to become part of his staff, in Baltimore, at the Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction.
Today Mark is more than a friend, he is my wedding witness.
With him I share projects, I am on the board, as the only European, of an American opinion-leader magazine in Ankle and Foot Surgery (Foot and Ankle Clinics), and I collaborate on humanitarian projects against less fortunate populations (Foot and Ankle Association).
This association program is for us surgeons in disadvantaged countries, where direct help is provided to the population through our surgery, but, even more so, through a teaching activity for the surgeons from the place, so that our presence truly leaves a stronger print over time.
In 2010 my path took me to Liestal, Switzerland, to Professor Beat Hintermann: the father of the Hintegra arthroplasty. With him, ahead of its time, I think I understood the role that ankle prosthetic surgery really had in the treatment of ankle arthritis.
In 2014 my commitment in science was valued by the “Traveling Fellowship” award offered by the American company (AOFAS).
In 2015 I conceived and conducted as a “Principal Investigator” an important study on the Achilles tendon which – for the first time – saw the use of mesenchymal cells taken from adipose tissue (fat) for the treatment of non-insertional Achilles tendinopathy.
In 2016, my young group merged into the C.A.S.C.O. team at the IRCCS Galeazzi in Milan, joining the team with the highest experience in prosthetic surgery of the lower limb in general (hip-knee-ankle).
Today, my group has one of the largest experiences in terms of prosthetic ankle surgeries in Europe, with the largest case of prosthetic resurfacing with a lateral approach.
In 2017 I contributed to the birth of the First Register of Prosthetic Surgery of the Ankle at the IRCCS Galeazzi as “Principal Investigator” and as member of the Board of the Registry.
I’m the Chief of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics at Humanitas San Pio X
I am an active member on the board of AOFAS, a founding member of the APSFAS (Asia Pacific Society of Ankle and Foot Surgery), auditor for the “American Journal of Sport Medicine“, the only European board member of “Foot And Ankle Clinics“, and I participate actively in many important international projects.