2016 Top Doctor: Ryan T. Scott, D.P.M.

Written by Editorial Staff Category: Profiles Issue: April 2016
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Podiatry/foot and ankle surgery
Med School/Year Graduated: Des Moines University, 2008

Years in Practice: 4

photography by Steve Craft; Ryan T. Scott, D.P.M.You were inspired to specialize in foot and ankle surgery after living through your own injuries as a student athlete playing soccer and running track. Do you still enjoy those activities?
Yes, I continue to be extremely active. Living here in Arizona makes it easy to enjoy running and hiking outdoors during my free time.

What’s involved in a “total ankle replacement”?
A total ankle replacement is similar in nature to a knee or hip replacement. Damaged bone is removed and the ankle is then replaced with an artificial joint. Oftentimes, pain is eliminated while maintaining motion at the ankle joint.

You’ve been trained in “diabetic limb salvage.” How can diabetics increase their chances of keeping their feet?
Diabetic patients are at higher risk for developing wounds and infections. The key is blood sugar control, daily feet inspections and supportive shoe wear. When limb salvage is needed, seek out a physician who has training in diabetic Charcot reconstruction.

What do you think of reflexology?
I do not have a strong opinion either way. I feel that each person responds differently to alternative treatments. If a treatment works for you, then continue with it.

What are the most common injuries or issues you see? Any truly unusual ones?
I tend to see athletes, traumatic foot and ankle fractures, complex deformities and arthritis.  I was fortunate to have trained under some of the best surgeons in the field. This has allowed me to be comfortable with the “unusual” cases.

Do you keep in touch with your patients? Any particularly inspiring stories?
I often do keep in touch with my patients. I have several inspirational patients who experienced significant pain while grocery shopping. However, after their ankle replacement, they were able to walk more, go hiking and even return to playing golf.

Any simple, common-sense advice for good long-term foot health? Where do you fall on the whole barefoot-in-the-house debate?
Supportive shoe wear, daily activity and stretching is the best advice to maintain long-term foot health.  Medically speaking, wearing shoes in the house is a superior choice, especially for people who are diabetic.  

What do you like to do in your free time?
I truly enjoy teaching courses to other physicians on advanced technology and new surgical techniques. I love spending time with my family, traveling to new places, hiking, snowboarding and cheering for my hometown (Cleveland, Ohio) sports teams.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be...”
I am extremely fortunate because I love my job as a surgeon and an educator. However, if I had to pick an occupation outside of medicine, I’d be the owner of a brewery and learn the art of brewing beer.