AOFAS Releases Choosing Wisely® List

Orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists join campaign to support evidence-based actions

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Sept. 17, 2014 — Making decisions about foot and ankle care is a process that should involve the patient and an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist. To help encourage positive conversations in the exam room, the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) has released a list of five tests/procedures that are commonly ordered but not always necessary. The effort is part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation designed to advance medical professionalism in clinical practice.

“Our participation in Choosing Wisely is aimed at defining appropriate care for patients with conditions of the foot or ankle,” says Sandra Klein, MD, chair of the AOFAS Evidence-Based Medicine Committee. “The AOFAS recommendations released today provide valuable information to help patients talk with their orthopaedic surgeons and make the best choices about their treatment.”

The AOFAS Choosing Wisely list was developed after months of careful consideration and review. Members of the Evidence-Based Medicine Committee consulted AOFAS statements on foot and ankle care and gathered opinions from Society leaders. Committee members also reviewed the scientific literature for each of the recommendations below:

  1. Don’t perform surgery for a bunion or hammertoes without symptoms.
  2. Don’t use shoe inserts for symmetric flat feet or high arches in patients without symptoms.
  3. Don’t perform surgery for plantar fasciitis before trying six months of non-operative care.
  4. Avoid X-ray evaluation of the foot and ankle without standing (weightbearing) in the absence of injury.
  5. Don’t use alcohol injections for Morton’s neuromas.

For support statements on each recommendation, visit the Choosing Wisely list at the AOFAS website.

To date, nearly 100 national and state medical specialty societies, regional health collaboratives and consumer partners have joined the conversations about appropriate care. With the release of new lists, the Choosing Wisely campaign will have covered more than 300 tests and procedures that the specialty society partners say are often overused or inappropriate, and that physicians and patients should discuss.

The Choosing Wisely campaign also continues to reach millions of consumers nationwide through Consumer Reports and other consumer and advocacy partners.

Note: These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

About the AOFAS
The AOFAS promotes quality, ethical and cost-effective patient care through education, research and training of orthopaedic surgeons and other health care providers. The Society creates public awareness for the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, provides leadership, and serves as a resource for government and industry as well as the national and international health care communities.​

About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients with disorders of the musculoskeletal system of the foot and ankle. Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons use medical, physical and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery to treat patients of all ages. Relying on four years of medical school training, five years of post-graduate training and often a fellowship in foot and ankle care, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons perform reconstructive procedures, treat sports injuries, and manage and treat trauma of the foot and ankle.

About the ABIM Foundation
The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. This is achieved by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how to adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice.

About Choosing Wisely
First announced in December 2011, Choosing Wisely is part of a multi-year effort led by the ABIM Foundation to support and engage physicians in being better stewards of finite health care resources. Participating specialty societies are working with the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports to share the lists widely with their members and convene discussions about the physician’s role in helping patients make wise choices.


Jennifer Hicks
Public Education Manager
Office: 847-384-4379