Skeleton athlete wins gold medal after minimally invasive foot surgery

Great Britain Skeleton athlete Amelia Coltman had the highest finish of her career to date following minimally invasive surgery to fix a persistent toe problem.

Amelia won a gold medal at the Intercontinental Cup in Korea in December 2022 having been treated by Fortius Foot and Ankle Surgeon Pete Rosenfeld. Since then she has also smashed her personal best push times.

She said: “Without the surgery and Pete’s expertise I wouldn’t have been able to better my push times. Pete has been a massive part of getting me back to full strength. I couldn’t fault my treatment at Fortius. It was easy to get seen and get everything sorted. Everyone is really helpful.”

Amelia, who is 26-years-old and lives in Trowbridge, started having pain in her toe when she was training as part of the GB team in summer 2020.

She said: “I had a lot of pain in my toe when I was sprinting. In skeleton, you have to push off and use a lot of force through your toes and one of mine was really sore. I had injections which didn’t work so the team doctor referred me to Pete.”

Amelia had an MRI scan at Fortius Clinic Marylebone and Pete diagnosed a bony spur in a joint in Amelia’s toe. Amelia was in the middle of her 2020/21 season and had just broken through onto the World Cup circuit and was on the long list for the 2022 Olympics. 

Pete said: “Unfortunately, the injections didn’t solve the problem, and it would only get worse with time. So with Dr Brooke at the English Institute of Sport, we decided it was better for Amelia to cut her season short and to have surgery (minimally invasive cheilectomy). The initial recovery was rapid but then plateaued requiring further investigation and treatment.  A later CT scan revealed a second spur had grown on the other side of the joint.  Amelia underwent further surgery in January 2022, with a revision cheilectomy and realignment of the toe by breaking it and realigning the toe upwards, fixing this with a screw - again all performed using the most up-to-date minimal invasive techniques.”

It was almost a year before Amelia was pain-free. She took her rehab slowly and didn’t train on the ice.

She said: “This was my last chance and I was worried my career would be over so I was really patient. Although this was difficult and, to be honest, the training was a bit boring as I was so limited in what I could do. Now I can do my training at my maximum effort and I’m building my confidence back up.”


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