REHA 3030 Podiatric Surgery

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401183

Coordinator Sean Sadler Opens in new window

Description This subject will introduce students to local anaesthesia, the theory of surgical procedures and the practice of skin and nail surgical techniques. As such, this subject allows students to assess patients' suitability for administration of local anaesthesia; understand procedures involved in obtaining voluntary consent, appreciate, and reasonably predict and describe the possible adverse effects of administering local anaesthesia. Surgery will focus the medico-legal requirements, principles of theatre protocol, peri-operative and post-surgical management of the patient and nail and skin surgery, in preparation for student undertaking surgery during Podiatric Practice 3 and 4.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Podiatry

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) NATS 3037
REHA 3028
REHA 3027

Incompatible Subjects REHA 3033 - Podiatric Techniques 2A


Students must be enrolled in 4708 Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine and 4709 Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine (Honours). For registration, students must be competent in performing partial nail avulsions as an accreditation requirement for state registration to practice as a podiatrist. It is essential that students have been able to demonstrate baseline competencies in theoretical content, patient management, infection control and safe work practices (i.e completed the preceding podiatric practice subject and prerequisite subjects).

Assumed Knowledge

Completion of all core subjects to this semester/ year of study.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Describe and apply the medico-legal and ethical requirements relevant to all aspects of performing invasive procedures in podiatry. 
2. Employ a culturally responsive approach to communication and provision of care related to podiatric surgery across population groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
3. Utilise safe and effective practice in undertaking surgical procedures within the scope of practice of podiatry including pre-operative evaluations, use of local anaesthesia and other forms of pharmacological management, procedure performance, management of adverse events and emergencies, and provision of perioperative care.
4. Facilitate person-centred interdisciplinary care to support safe surgical practice in podiatry and effective surgical referrals. 
5.Apply the techniques and principles of surgical and non-surgical options for conditions of the foot and ankle to support provision of person-centred, evidence-based care. 

Subject Content

The content of this subject covers podiatric surgery, including. 

1.Professional practice
- Medico-legal requirements for use of anaesthesia and performing surgical procedures within the scope of podiatry practice (informed consent, duty of care and documentation, laws relating to the distribution, supply and use of restricted substances). 
- Biological safety (review of definitions and terms, rules governing sterility and operating room protocol).
- Culturally responsive communication and care delivery.
- Clinical sessions

2. Regional Anaesthesia 
- Theories related to the aetiology and pathophysiology  
- Review of the pharmacology of local anaesthetic agents, including the history, classification, chemical structure, and commercial preparations 
- Review the anatomy of the nerve fibre and the conduction of the nerve impulse. 
- Review the anatomical considerations of nerve and blood supply to the lower limb. 
- Review and explore in greater depth the mechanism of action of local anaesthetics. 
- Absorption and disposition of local anaesthetic agents. 
- Examine the procedures necessary for the preparation of the patient, including the clinical indications, contraindications and special precautions for the use of local anaesthetics. 
- Calculation of safe maximum dosages. 
- Toxic and side effects of local anaesthetic agents, including overdose, allergic reactions and psychogenic reactions. 
- Recognition and treatment of adverse reactions. 
- Medico-legal considerations and implications, including documentation, consent and laws relating to the distribution, supply and use of restricted substances. 
- Theory and practice of techniques and sites of administration; dorsal and plantar infiltration, digital block, field block (Mayo) and ankle block. 

3. Procedures for surgery 
- Pre-operative review (systems review, vascular assessment and diagnosis. 
- Phenolisation technique for partial and total nail avulsion and the properties of phenol. 
- Complications of phenolisation procedures. 
- Incisional techniques for partial and total nail avulsion. 
- Indications for incisional techniques. 
- Blunt dissection /curettage for verrucae. 
- Skin biopsy techniques. 
- Use of Laser in foot surgery.

4. Introduction to orthopaedics  
- Orthopaedic terminology and equipment. 
- Wound and bone healing 

5. Other surgery  
- Soft tissue (skin plasty, neuroma surgery, tendon lengthening) 
- Digital surgery (neuroma sequential release). 
- Bunion surgery (aims, mechanisms and mechanical effects of hallux valgus surgery; x-ray evaluation of bunions and procedures - Austin, Keller, closing base, Akin, Reverdin, Green-Waterman). 
- Hallux rigidus (application of primary surgical principles, silastic implants and fusion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint). 
- Other metatarsal surgery (plantar condylectomy, pan-metatarsal head resection and fifth metatarsal surgery). 
- Midfoot procedures (Lisfranc articulation surgery, posterior tibial dysfunction, tarsal coalition and talipes equino varus).
- Common rearfoot procedures (heel surgery, triple arthrodesis, ankle reconstruction.

6. Related topics 
- Fracture management. 
- Jones compression dressings. 
- Below knee casting. 
- Post-operative complications, e.g. pain and infection. 
- Chronic regional pain syndrome.

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

NOTE: Due to Covid Restrictions, the First Aid Requirement is currently not needed.
Students must hold a valid and current First Aid Certificate from a Registered Training Organisation. Refer to the Special Requirements website for more information
Special Requirements


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quiz 45 minutes 20 N Individual
Quiz 60 minutes 30 N Individual
Practical Exam 45 minutes 50 N Individual
Professional Task Attendance at scheduled sessions for 12 weeks S/U Y Individual

Teaching Periods

2nd Half (2023)



Subject Contact Steven Walmsley Opens in new window

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2nd Half (2024)



Subject Contact Steven Walmsley Opens in new window

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