Expertise in Foot, Ankle Care

Two Northland orthopedic practices have added physicians who specialize in treatment of complex foot and ankle problems, a specialty previously unavailable in the Northland. John Bleazard, DO, of Northland Bone and Joint, and Nathan Kiewiet, MD, of Drisko, Fee & Parkins, practice at North Kansas City Hospital and broaden the Hospital’s already extensive orthopedic service line. Their specialties include:

  • Ankle replacement 
  • Ankle Fusion 
  • Trauma reconstruction 
  • Severe flat-foot deformities 
  • Ankle ligament reconstruction 
  • Tendon transfers 
  • Degenerative sports injuries 
  • Toe reconstruction 
  • Severe ankle sprains 
  • Post-traumatic and arthritic deformities

For patients with ankle arthritis, there are many conservative and surgical options available. Ankle fusion and ankle replacement are two available options.

Ankle Fusion

For years, when patients have damage to the ankle that can no longer be treated with conservative measures, the surgical option has been to fuse the joint. A successful ankle fusion can provide significant pain relief from ankle arthritis but the compounding long-term issue with fusion is that it eliminates the ankle's motion and increases the stress on the other joints of the foot. This additional stress can subsequently lead to arthritis in other joints of the foot. Additionally, younger patients and the new generation of baby boomers want to stay active as long as possible, so fusion is not always a good option for them.

Ankle Replacements

InboneAnkle replacement, which has been performed for a couple of decades, hasn’t been a great choice in the past because the results are extremely individualized. Dr. Kiewiet says, “Improved technology and enhanced implants have improved dramatically the surgical results with ankle replacement in recent years. It’s not yet as fine-tuned as hip and knee replacements, but I think we will get there,” he says.

“Ankle replacement surgery is certainly controversial,” says Dr. Bleazard. “No two ankle replacement candidates are alike. It’s very individualized and dependent on the whole person. This modality is ideal in the right candidate and catastrophic in the wrong person. Careful evaluation is always undertaken.”

Attributes of a potential ankle replacement patient

  • > 50 years old 
  • < 300 lbs. 
  • Active lifestyle

Nonsurgical options Drs. Bleazard and Kiewiet also provide nonsurgical treatment for complex cases. Conservative options that help patients postpone or avoid surgery include:

  • physical therapy 
  • orthotics 
  • braces 
  • stretching

Both physicians accept referrals of patients with complex or difficult foot and ankle cases. Both are available for providers seeking consultation from an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle cases.

John Bleazard, DO

BleazardAfter completing medical school at the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Bleazard completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs. Dr. Bleazard completed a foot and ankle surgical fellowship at New England Foot and Ankle Specialists at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. He specializes in the treatment of complex foot and ankle reconstruction, replacements, and fusions.

Nathan Kiewiet, MD

KiewietAfter earning his MD from the University of Iowa, Dr. Kiewiet completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Michigan State University in Grand Rapids, MI and a foot and ankle surgical fellowship at Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington in Seattle. He specializes in both surgical and non-surgical treatment of complex foot and ankle problems and total ankle replacement. 




To learn more, call:

  • Northland Bone and Joint - 816-214-9300
  • Drisko, Fee & Parkins - 816-561-3003