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Thursday, 20 May 2010 23:54

A little about Dane K. Wukich MD

Dane K. Wukich MD is the chief of the foot and ankle division and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In July 2011, Dr. Wukich was named as medical director of the UPMC Mercy Center for Healing and Amputation Prevention, a specialized center created to address wound healing problems, prevent diabetic related amputations and establish an inpatient diabetic foot service. A Youtube.com video is available that was produced by the Discovery Channel highlighting the Inpatient Diabetic Foot Service at UPMC Mercy. A Pittsburgh native, Dr. Wukich graduated with university honors from the Mellon Institute of Science at Carnegie-Mellon University. While at CMU, Dr. Wukich was co-captain of the varsity basketball team and received the Ribosome Award as the outstanding student in molecular biology.

In 1982, he earned his medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine. During his senior year at Georgetown he was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Medical Honor Society.
He was the recipient of the US Army Health Professions Scholarship for his entire four years at Georgetown, and upon graduation was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to Captain in the Army Medical Corps.
Dr. Wukich’s orthopaedic training included a year of general surgery (Walter Reed Army Medical Center), two years of orthopaedic preceptorship (US Army Hospital-Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgart, Germany) and four years of orthopaedic residency (Walter Reed Army Medical Center). He also completed a formal orthopaedic foot and ankle fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. His formal training encompassed 7 and 1/2 years of surgical education after graduating from medical school and he has been performing surgical full time for 30 years.

Dr. Wukich has practiced orthopaedic surgery in various settings to include private practice (Northampton and Bucks Counties of Pennsylvania), military medicine (Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and Bad Cannstatt,West Germany during the "Cold War") and academic medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. His interest in foot and ankle surgery was fostered during his training at Walter Reed, where he spent eight months caring for veterans with amputations and severe diabetic foot disease. His interest in the foot and ankle was further stimulated by his assignment to Fort Bragg, NC.  During his tenure at Ft. Bragg, Dr. Wukich treated soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division, 18th Airborne Corps, Golden Knights Army Parachute Team and Special Forces (Green Berets). These soldiers routinely experienced severe foot and ankle injuries during combat training and parachute exercises.

Dr. Wukich was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1990 as a part of Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He served as the chief of orthopaedic surgery for the 5th MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) and the FAST (Forward Surgical Team). While in Desert Storm, Wukich and his colleagues mobilized nearly 1500 miles in direct support of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division as they deployed from Saudi Arabia into Iraq and back into Saudi Arabia. Dr. Wukich is the recipient of several military awards to include two Army Commendation Medals, an Army Achievement Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal and National Defense Service Ribbon. He left the Army as a Major in the Army Medial Corps.

Dr. Wukich has been an invited lecturer many times over the past 25 years and has presented scientific papers at many orthopaedic and interdisciplinary meetings. He has delivered more than 170 medical lectures. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Ohio State University, West Penn Allegheny Health System and the University of Texas. Nationally, he has presented his work in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Internationally he has presented papers in Brazil, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy , the Netherlands and Serbia and has been a visiting surgeon in Greece and Russia. In September of 2010 he spoke in Glasgow, Scotland at the Combined Orthopaedic Associations Meeting of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, and United States. This international meeting drew attendees from five different continents (Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America). Most recently he presented three papers at the 6th International Symposium on the Diabetic Foot in the Netherlands which drew attendes from six continents ((Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North America and South America) and 77 countries. One of his papers was awarded second place in the oral presentation category.

Dr. Wukich is a member of several professional societies to include The American Diabetes Association, The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (www.AOFAS.org), The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (www.AAOS.org), The American Orthopaedic Association (www.AOA.org) and AO North America (www.AONA.org).  He has served as a peer reviewer for several journals including Foot and Ankle International, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Current Orthopaedic Practice, Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome, Hospital Practice and Advances in Orthopaedics. He has served as a grant reviewer for The Arthritis Foundation and Diabetes United Kingdom. He is the foot and ankle editor of Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery. Currently he just completed a two year term as Chairman of the American Diabetes Association Foot Care Interest Group. He has been asked to serve on the international advisory board for the 7th Annual International Symposium on the Diabetic Foot in 2015 and as a co-chairman of the meeting in Florence, Italy on diabetic foot osteomyelitis in 2014

Dr. Wukich is the assistant program director for the orthopaedic surgery residency at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. Seventy-eight orthopaedic surgery residents, 43 podiatry residents and eight one year surgical fellows have formally trained in foot and ankle surgery under Dr. Wukich’s mentorship. He serves as the director of UPMC’s Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center, and is a foot and ankle consultant to the athletic departments at University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Robert Morris University and Point Park University. Dr. Wukich also is the orthopaedic foot and ankle consultant to the Pittsburgh Veterans Administration Medical Center, where he treats patients on Wednesday mornings. Dr. Wukich was recently named as Co-director of the newly created University of Pittsburgh Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Fellowship

Dr. Wukich's scholarly activities have resulted in the publication of  papers in prestigious journals including Annals of Surgery, Archives of Surgery, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Diabetes Care, Diabetes Medicine, Foot and Ankle International, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, The Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, The Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, The Journal of Trauma and Spine. He has authored or co-authored  80 scientific papers or book chapters during his career. For a complete list of publications, see Publications. In 2007 he received the Golden Apple Award from the graduating orthopaedic residents at Pitt, an award which is presented to the most outstanding teacher in the department of orthopaedic surgery. The University of Pittsburgh defines the rank of associate professor as "a professional who displays eminence in a scholarly field, maintaining a consistent performance of education, research and guidance of medical students, resident physicians and junior faculty members". As a mentor of young physicians in training and medical students, Dr. Wukich often utilizes the lessons he learned as a military officer and athlete. He has even been referred to affectionately as "coach" due to his teaching methods which emphasizes punctiality, preparedness leadership and accountability of his surgical "team". The words of wisdom of highly respected leaders have guided his career, and he tries to employ them daily in his practice as a surgeon and teacher. John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach at UCLA who won 10 NCAA championships in a 12 year period, stated that "failing to prepare is preparing to fail".  The words of the eminent British statesman Sir Winston Churchill remain relevent fifty years after his death. Churchill, the historic war time prime minister of England during WWII stated that " a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity while an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty".

Dr. Wukich’s  professional interest includes the treatment of diabetic foot disorders including Charcot neuroarthropathy, ulcers, infections and fractures in patients with neuropathy. In the summer of 2011 Wukich established the Center for Healing and Amputation Prevention (CHAMP) at UPMC Mercy to coordinate his vision of caring for patients with diabetic foot disorders. CHAMP treats refractory wounds and serves as the outpatient referral center for UPMC.
He also routinely performs reconstructive surgery for arthritis and sports related injuries. He has vast experience with use of external fixation and has been trained on four different total ankle replacement systems. He performs  surgery at UPMC Mercy Hospital, a level I trauma and burn center that is well equipped to manage his postoperative patients. . His hobbies include golfing and flyfishing.
Last Updated on Sunday, 11 August 2013 00:20