While she grew up on a dairy farm near Menomonie, Wis., Samantha Luer, DPM, has spent much of her career in medicine addressing injuries and ailments of the foot and ankle in larger cities.
Her small-town roots are actually what led her to choose her specialty, podiatry, the clinical term for physicians who perform foot and ankle surgery.
“I was a basketball player in high school and had a bad ankle sprain. That led me to a podiatrist for treatment. It was actually the father of one my teammates,” said Luer, who began seeing patients at Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital July 20. “Specifically, his treatment approaches, surgical training and level of patient satisfaction sparked my interest. I shadowed him throughout high school and college – I have always seen foot and ankle surgery as my path in medicine.”
One of the reasons the surgeon enjoys the focus she has is due to the impact her work can have on patient quality of life and activities of daily living.
“You meet patients who have pain and conditions that have them feeling defeated in life,” she said. “But then you figure out how to treat their foot or ankle, work with them and they ultimately can walk again with decreased pain or disability.”
Podiatry has wide diversity in terms of the work she does, Luer explained. She enjoys the clinical aspects but feels most at home in the operating room.
“I spent much of my career at a Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center in St. Paul, Minn., so I have seen almost every injury, including trauma and open fractures,” she said. “It’s really rewarding to directly apply care and see people get better due to the work you’ve done.”
She said her interests in medicine include trauma, arthroscopy, reconstructive surgery and plastic surgery skin-closure techniques. She’s treated most everything from ankle and heel-bone fractures to Achilles tendon ruptures and lower-extremity injuries from farming accidents.
“I like to use arthroscopy, because it is a minimally invasive technique that can improve ankle and subtalar joint pain, especially for athletes and active individuals,” Luer said. “Reconstructive surgery involves complex deformity correction, and it’s something I thrive at.”
Luer and her husband, Grant, spent time in Des Moines, Iowa, as well as the Twin Cities, and look forward to the quality of life that comes with living in a rural area.
“My goal is that all patients understands their diagnosis and treatment plan prior to leaving my office or the emergency room. I made it a priority to practice rural medicine because of my upbringing,” she said. “Everyone deserves high-quality health care that can improve their quality of life, no matter where they live or work. That’s why I look forward to serving patients in north central Nebraska and getting to know them.”
When she’s not seeing patients, she and her husband enjoy fishing, weight lifting and exploring their surroundings.
You can call 402-336-5211 to make an appointment with her today.