When Mary Stompe, a decorated competitive runner, went to Petaluma podiatrist Peter Redko for a surgery to repair an ankle injury, she said he told her she’d run again within six months. Three years and three surgeries later, doctors say she may never run again, and she blames Redko.
“Running was a huge part of my identity,” the 54-year-old executive director of Petaluma-based nonprofit PEP Housing said. “It was a big deal … it was a big part of my life with my husband. Really the main activity that we did together was running. I can’t ski anymore, I can’t do any of the things we used to do. That’s all gone.”
Stompe said what should have been a simple tendon surgery turned into a nightmare after Redko allegedly botched the procedure, causing her years of suffering and costing thousands of dollars. She filed a complaint with the Board of Podiatric Medicine that eventually led to a five-year probation for Redko, during which time he will be barred from practicing tendon surgeries and having a solo medical practice. The probation was to begin April 6, but the board stayed the order until April 16 while it considers an appeal filed by Redko’s lawyer.
“It’s been terrible waiting,” Stompe said. “It’s very frustrating when you work with the government and you have to wait through this very long process, but I’m glad I stuck with it … it’s just such a long and arduous process and I think that’s why more claims aren’t filed.”
Redko, a 43-year-old podiatrist who has been practicing at the North Bay Foot and Ankle Center since 2004, was placed on a 35-month probation in 2013 after a bunion removal surgery that eventually led to the amputation of a 15-year-old girl’s toe and a second procedure on a separate patient that led to blood clots, according to accusations brought before the podiatry board.
Redko also has been sued in Sonoma County Superior Court at least five times for medical malpractice and professional negligence, according to court records dating back to 2007. Four of those cases have been dismissed, and exact details of those allegations were not available as the court destroys records of dismissed cases. The plaintiff in the most recent small claims court filing from February is seeking $10,000 and alleging medical malpractice as well as professional and medical negligence. The claimant did not return a call for comment.
Steven Teal, a Santa Rosa lawyer representing the plaintiffs in at least one of the cases, did not return multiple calls for comment. Redko’s lawyer, Tiburon-based Ronald Goldman, did not respond to requests for comment.
Redko, who also has done charity work with the nonprofit Revived Soldiers Ukraine, denied all allegations of malpractice.
“Who knows who these people are making these statements,” he said. “We do have a competitive environment and it could have come from one person – someone with an ulterior motive. I think we do good work here and we’ve been here for 15 years and we plan on continuing to do good work.”
He said the Board of Podiatry proceedings that led to his most recent probation went forward without his expert witness present to testify in his favor. Necessary paperwork was sent to the witness, who he declined to identify, during the October wildfires and when the witness was in surgery, he said.