Top Orthopaedic Surgeon Joins UKZN

Respected orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Duduzile Sigodi, trained in foot and ankle surgery with a special interest in flatfoot deformity correction, has joined UKZN’s Discipline of Orthopaedic Surgery.

‘I am excited to be in a Discipline with mentors who have contributed significantly to my career development and supported me during my training and Fellowship,’ said Sigodi. ‘I am happy to have taken a specialist position exactly where I was shaped. I have gained experience in the diagnosis and treatment of the most complex foot and ankle conditions from non-operative conditions to complex trauma and deformities.’

After completing the Fellowship of the College of Orthopaedic Surgeons of South Africa in 2016, she started looking for foot and ankle Fellowships offered locally and internationally. In 2018 she approached the head of the Orthopaedic Discipline at UKZN, Professor Leonard Marais to assist her with her application. In January 2019 she joined the University of Witwatersrand for a six-month foot and ankle Fellowship led by Professor Nick Saragas.

Said Marais: ‘She is one of the few Black African Fellowship women trained in foot and ankle surgery in South Africa. She is a brilliant person to work with and is part of our department’s registrar selection committee as well. Hopefully we will get some research going soon.’

Sigodi (38) is from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape where she completed her Medical degree at the Walter Sisulu University in 2004. Her internship at the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein included two months of orthopaedics training which sparked her interest in the field.

She did her community service at the Bedford Hospital in Mthatha in 2006 and the following year attended an AO trauma course in Davos, Switzerland, which intensified her passion for orthopaedics. In 2009, Sigodi joined a UKZN registrar programme at the Ngwelezane Hospital and then moved to Durban the following year.

Sigodi said she was grateful for the Fellowship opportunity she received and believes orthopaedics should be an example to encourage women in other surgical specialities to pursue advanced training. ‘The Fellowship has a broad based and very active clinical programme for specialists. Training is primarily focused on adult reconstructive surgery but includes sports related injuries, ankle surgery and arthroplasty, and paediatric foot and ankle surgery and trauma. Fellows are also involved in research projects,’ she said.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied