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Foot and Ankle Service
Adult Orthopaedics

Foot and Ankle Service

Adult Orthopaedics Foot and Ankle Service



Matthew M. Roberts, MD

Visit the Service Page for the full faculty listing.

2021 Surgical Volume: 3,315
2021 Published Studies: 15

The 11 surgeons of the HSS Foot and Ankle Service comprise the largest orthopaedic service of its kind in the world, in a field that is generally underserved. Our service follows a multidisciplinary approach to expertly treat the broad range of foot and ankle conditions that can occur at any stage of life, from nonoperative conditions to the most complex trauma and deformities. The surgeons of the Foot and Ankle Service perform more than 3,000 surgeries per year and have a longstanding history and reputation built upon the outcomes of our clinical service and the caliber of our research, innovation and education programs.

Recent achievements

The Foot and Ankle Service is driven by our core missions of clinical, educational and research development. Our fellowship program continues to be one of the best in the country, with the primary goal of training and developing future leaders in the field. All of 2020’s graduating fellows accepted full-time positions at either academic or non-academic institutions. This year, we matched three of our top applicants.

Once again, we were awarded the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Stryker Medical Grant, which has provided us with valuable funds to put toward our fellows’ research and education. Jensen Henry, a previous HSS resident and now a Foot and Ankle Fellow, was also awarded with multiple grants toward her foot and ankle research. She received the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation Resident Clinician Scientist Training Grant to study kinematics and plantar pressure in flatfoot deformity and the effects of surgical reconstruction via calcaneal osteotomy (MCO versus LCL) using the robotic gait simulator and cadaveric models. She also received the Orthopaedic Research Society/Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society Young Female Investigator Travel Grant to present her work at the annual Orthopaedic Research Society meeting.

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As part of their OREF grant award-winning research, HSS Foot and Ankle faculty and trainees used a robotic gait simulator (right) to test flatfoot at three stages (from top): a normal foot, a flatfoot deformity created through ligament and soft tissue releases and before and after surgical reconstruction with either medializing calcaneal osteotomy (MCO) or lateral column lengthening (LCL).

This year, we debuted a new preoperative digital patient education platform. Prior to their scheduled surgery, our patients are sent a series of educational videos to better help them prepare for surgery and set expectations. This material provides incredible value and makes for a more positive patient experience.

The Total Ankle Replacement Center, led by Constantine Demetracopoulos, MD, continues to evolve. The Foot and Ankle Service remains a national leader in total ankle replacement surgeries (ankle arthroplasty) completed each year. Total ankle replacement is not a common procedure. At HSS, we have a dedicated team of surgeons, radiologists and physical therapists with extensive replacement experience. Our goal is to continue to educate patients on the procedure and work with each patient to develop a personalized surgical and recovery plan.

Over the past year, our faculty have completed a substantial amount of research in various topics across the discipline. New York City was the US epicenter of COVID-19, which resulted in a complete restructure of our workflow, specifically in the rise of telemedicine. Mark Drakos, MD, and Scott Ellis, MD, along with our research assistants published an article in Foot and Ankle International on the virtual foot and ankle physical exam and how to modify clinical practices to adapt to a virtual setting. Faculty continue to study long-term outcomes of total ankle replacements. Drs. Demetracopoulos, Ellis, Martin O’Malley, MD, Jonathan Deland, MD, and David Levine, MD, completed a radiographic and clinical analysis of implant success and efficacy over mid- and long-term intervals. Faculty and trainees are also working on multiple biomechanics studies. Using our gait simulator, we assess joint kinematics in total ankle replacement specimens with and without subtalar fusion. This study provides us with the understanding of biomechanical factors behind early failure of total ankle replacements.

After years of national leadership, mentorship and significant research and publications, Dr. Ellis has been promoted to Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Our service is incredibly proud of his achievements.


Henry JK, Rider C, Cody E, Ellis SJ, Demetracopoulos C. Evaluating and Managing the Painful Total Ankle Replacement. Foot Ankle Int. 2021 Oct;42(10):1347-1361. doi: 10.1177/10711007211027273. Epub 2021 Jul 27. PMID: 34315246

MacMahon A, Cody EA, Caolo K, Henry JK, Drakos MC, Demetracopoulos CA, Savenkov A, Ellis SJ. Associations between baseline PROMIS scores, patient-provider communication factors, and musculoskeletal health literacy on patient and surgeon expectations in foot and ankle surgery. Foot Ankle Int 2021 Feb;42(2):192-199. PMID 33019799

Drakos MC, Eble SK, Cabe TN, Patel K, Hansen OB, Sofka C, Fabricant PD, Deland JT. Comparison of Functional and Radiographic Outcomes of Talar Osteochondral Lesions Repaired With Micronized Allogenic Cartilage Extracellular Matrix and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate vs Microfracture. Foot Ankle Int. 2021 Jul;42(7):841-850. doi: 10.1177/1071100720983266. Epub 2021 Jan 20. PMID: 33472436

Looking ahead

The Foot and Ankle Service has identified a need to expand patient bone health awareness. As a result, we have established an initiative to collaborate with our Metabolic Bone Disease Service team to educate high-risk fracture patients on how to improve their bone health through nutrition and supplements. Our services work together to ensure that patients are receiving the highest level of care to help prevent future bone injuries.

Faculty continue to focus on conducting cutting-edge research in the field of foot and ankle care. Our service registry allows for easy collection of performance outcome measures, with the primary goal of improving patient treatment and outcomes. We encourage our fellows to conduct as much research as they can during the academic year and to continue to have active collaboration with our clinical research team, statisticians and research assistants. We will remain a significant presence at both national and international professional conferences.

As HSS continues to expand regionally, the Foot and Ankle Service plans to increase our presence at these new sites. Our goal is to increase patient access to top foot and ankle surgeons outside of New York City.

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