By Rosie Wilson

UK foot and ankle patients are being presented with more surgical options with the re-launch of a UK based European Foot Institute clinic.

Situated in Hove, the European Foot Institute’s new UK clinic is now being headed by German orthopaedic consultant, Mr Dirk Nowak.

When the European Foot Institute began providing clinical services to UK patients in 2007, it was originally headed by Mr Dieter Nollau. With Mr Nowak taking the reins, a new clinic has been set up in Hove to provide cutting edge European foot and ankle procedures to UK patients.

Mr Nowak, who is GMC registered, says: “I am very pleased to be offering UK patients with more treatment options for foot and ankle conditions. I have a successful practice in Germany and am looking forward to UK patients benefiting from my clinical expertise.”

Mr Nowak offers a ‘micro invasive’ bunion procedure, which was created by an Austrian surgeon. This is different to minimally invasive procedures as it only requires one small incision, requires no screws, has very low risk of infection and a fast recovery period.

Mr Nowak explains: “This outpatient procedure makes a sculptural 3D shift of the metatarsal bone and big toe, improving both the look and function dramatically. It allows for immediate walking with full weight-bearing and providing the surgeon’s orders are followed, the patient should be able to slip back into normal shoes within two months.”

The other cutting-edge procedure being offered by the clinic is the Cartiva implant for patients who have arthritis in the big toe. The implant is made from a similar substance to contact lenses and acts like a shock absorber, as cartilage does, and it doesn’t wear under pressure and friction.

The procedure only takes about 25 minutes, has a relatively pain-free healing period, the patient can put weight on the joint immediately and most importantly, can recover mobility in the toe.

Mr Nowak explains: “Currently the only procedures the NHS offers are either a toe fusion, which is painful and leaves the joint immobile, with no option for further surgery should there be future problems, or a full joint replacement which means the only option for surgery later on is a painful toe fusion. A Cartiva implant continues to leave you with future surgical options, although very few UK surgeons currently offer it.”

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