15:07 Monday 16 December 2013

Top award for pioneering prof who cured club foot

Written byROB SMYTH

A PROFESSOR whose pioneering work helped turn the life of a Burton youngster around has been hailed after scooping a top award.

Orthopaedic consultant surgeon Professor Rohan Rajan, who is based at the Royal Derby Hospital, has helped cure hundreds of children, including Thomas Standley, who lives in Denton Road with his parents, and has been honoured by the Mayor of Derby.

He has been handed the Mayor of Derby award for introducing a new method of treatment which avoids the need for surgery for children with the deformity.

Professor Rajan said: “The dedication of the team in this clinic knows no bounds and is reflected in their work. I am so very proud of my team.”

Talipes – or clubfoot – affects around one in 1,000 births in the UK each year.

The ankle is twisted, the foot points down and inwards and the soles of the feet face each other.

This happens because the tendons on the inside of the leg have shortened, the bones are abnormally shaped and the Achilles tendon has tightened.

It was after reading a newspaper article in 2005 that Professor Rajan decided he wanted to do more to help people with the deformity.

Professor Rajan introduced the Ponseti method for treating clubfoot to the hospital in 2006.

This involves treating the condition through manipulation, casting and recasting, over a number of weeks, without surgery.

The service offered by Professor Rajan’s team brings together physiotherapy, hip screening and orthopaedic experts, who work alongside care assistants, play specialists and nurses.

At Royal Derby, clubfoot is diagnosed before birth, using ultrasound scanning.

Parents are then seen by Professor Rajan to discuss future treatment.

The Royal Derby is the only centre in the UK to offer this clubfoot service.

A spokesman for the hospital said: “Congratulations to Mr Rajan and his dedicated team for their efforts.”

How he helped me — by Rob Smyth

THERE is something that a lot of people do not really know about me.

Nearly 27 years ago, I was born with a club (or talipes) foot.

My right foot was almost the other way round and, after a painful operation, I was in plaster for up to my first birthday.

My surgery involved surgeons cutting me open, breaking and sawing my bones - something that sounds like a Saw movie when compared to this new method from Professor Rajan.

Being born with a club foot has impacted me my whole life.

For many years my foot still turned in and thus caused in impact when I did sport.

Later in life it also meant that when I stood for long periods of time, I was left in absolute agony.

It was this that led me to meet Professor Rajan.

A kind and understanding man, he recognised the issues with my foot and after one operations several years ago, I know live with relatively little pain.

It might sound like hyperbole but he changed my life and I owe him so very much for what he did.

I am so glad he and his team have been recognised for all the happiness he brings to people, young and old, and long may his success continue.

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