In late 2013, our daughter was having trouble and pain in her ankle from time to time and had to have some time off dancing. Our physio referred us for an MRI scan which diagnosed a tarsal coalition. We searched the Internet and found that a surgeon in New York – Dr Neal Blitz, provided the most informative information regarding the condition and treatment. We sought local advice and treatment first.
We consulted initially with a sports physician in Brisbane who had a reputation of being excellent with sports injuries and athletes. His advice to us was that her condition was one that meant that she could no longer dance in the long term and that she should just enjoy it while she can but to concentrate on other options for her life. He put her in a moon boot for a few weeks, which relieved the symptoms, but when she started dancing again the pain returned.
We then consulted with two Orthopedic Surgeons, one in Brisbane and one in Sydney. Both were of the view that she should enjoy dancing while she can and when the injury became too painful to come back and they would remove the coalition and fuse her ankle, practically ending her dance career.
We went back to the Internet. We consulted with a surgeon in San Francisco who had a website which resonated with us – he said that if other Drs have said – get another hobby (which we had been told) then see him for a second opinion. He was very helpful and we had a Skype appointment with him. When we mentioned Dr Blitz he said that he was the “guru” for ankle problems and that we should rely on his advice and go with him if we could.
We initially sent off an email to Dr Blitz over the Internet. To our surprise Dr Blitz called us within a day to discuss our daughters problem. He was very clear and concise as to what he saw the problem as and requested the scans be sent to him. We sent him the report from the scans and he called and said that he knew exactly what the problem was and that he could assist us. It was easy to make arrangements with Dr Blitz and his secretary Cheer and he had us scheduled for surgery within weeks.
My wife and daughter travelled a day before me to New York and consulted with Dr Blitz. He made them feel very comfortable and explained the condition and the treatment. They felt very comfortable with Dr Blitz immediately and confident in his ability to diagnose the problem and perform the surgery. I arrived the next day and again it was no problem at all for Dr Blitz to explain the processes and the condition. We immediately felt very comfortable with Dr Blitz and his communication with us was excellent. The procedure was performed in a day surgery centre and went very well. The staff, anesthetist and nurses arranged by Dr Blitz at the Mid Town Surgical Centre were exceptionally professional and caring. Dr Blitz arranged for us to have a nurse at the Hotel and then visited the Hotel himself to remove the drain and make sure that our daughter was comfortable. We then visited him a couple of times in the ensuing days and he was welcoming and spent as much time with us as we needed. He referred us to a physical therapist that specialized in dancers who treated our daughter before we returned to Australia and made sure we were aware of the type of treatment we needed to undertake for her recovery.
We could not have asked for a more caring, knowledgeable or experienced surgeon than Dr Blitz. Both he and his assistant Cheer were always available for any advice or reassurance we needed, whenever we needed it. The surgery was exceptional and we could not have expected any better outcome for our daughter and to give her the best chance to pursue her dance career. Dr Blitz is clearly a world authority on injuries and conditions of the feet and we have no hesitation in recommending him without reservation.