Dr. Stephanie van Heerden, DPM, FACFAS, DABPM is dual board-certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeon in foot surgery, and by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine, and is a graduate fellow in Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery of the Lower Extremity from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. van Heerden specializes in sports medicine, diabetic limb salvage, foot and ankle reconstructive surgery, foot and ankle trauma, ankle arthroscopic surgery, and minimally invasive surgery at Gardner Orthopedics in Fort Myers, Florida. In addition, Dr. van Heerden performs platelet rich plasms injection therapy, stem cell injection therapy, ingrown toenail surgery, minimally invasive hammer toe release, skin biopsies, heel pain, foot and ankle strappings, localized B12 nerve block injections, steroid injections, diabetic wound care and nail care in the office. She continues to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and advanced treatments, including training at the local Arthrex Headquarters in minimally invasive surgery and also completed training in the Lapiplasty® bunion correction.
Dr. van Heerden grew up in southern Indiana, where she played three Varsity sports and participated in various volunteer organizations including a local homeless shelter. While in high school, she sang at Carnegie Hall and received various awards including the Coca Cola Scholarship (for her volunteer work and academics) and was awarded Valedictorian of her high school graduating class. She then completed her undergraduate education at Indiana University Bloomington, graduating with honors in Kinesiology and Chemistry. During her undergraduate studies, she continued to volunteer including her efforts to clean up homes in the Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort and serving food to those in need.
She then earned her doctorate of podiatric medicine at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and then completed her residency training at Good Samaritan Hospital Center in West Islip, New York. She trained under several specialties with an emphasis on trauma, limb salvage, wound care, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, sports medicine, and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. She then went on to complete additional fellowship training in plastics and reconstructive surgery of the lower extremity at the renowned Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the Plastic Surgery Department. In this fellowship program, a unique collaboration including vascular surgery, plastic surgery, and orthopedic/podiatric surgery were collaborated in unified efforts to optimize patient outcomes for limb salvage and reconstructive surgery of the lower extremity.
After completion of her training, she went on to work for IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians for three years, and became board certified in foot surgery by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery® within less than 2 years of practice. She was also board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine prior to starting her fellowship training.
Due to her knowledge and passion for podiatry, Dr. van Heerden has worked on and published articles, and has participated as an attending physician for a podiatric fellowship program. She is a member of several podiatric medical associations, including but not limited to the American Academy of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons, and Florida Podiatric Medical Association. She is recognized annually as one of the top podiatric physicians in her field.
She resides with her family (two young children and husband) in Lee County and continues to be involved in various community organizations.
Dr. van Heerden bases her patient treatment philosophy of treating patients in a comprehensive manner, and attempts to tailor patient’s treatments in a way that takes into account the patient’s individual needs and restrictions. Dr. van Heerden’s goal is to safely get patients back to what they enjoy doing by listening to patients thoroughly and attempting to prevent recurrence of these problems in the future (through identifying the root cause of the problem and looking at the overall patient health and structure).