Javier La Fontaine, D.P.M.

Javier La Fontaine, D.P.M.

  • Plastic Surgery
  • Diabetes-related foot and ankle complications


Javier La Fontaine, D.P.M., M.S., is a Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in podiatric medicine, particularly the evaluation and care of foot and ankle wounds, with special expertise in evaluating and managing diabetic foot disease. He serves as Co-Director of the Diabetic Limb Salvage Service.

Dr. La Fontaine holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Xavier University and a Master of Science in clinical investigation (biomedical sciences) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He earned his doctoral degree in podiatric medicine at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine and completed residencies in both podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. 

He is board certified by both the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and has subspecialty certification in foot and rearfoot/ankle surgery.

Prior to joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 2012, Dr. La Fontaine served as an Associate Professor and Staff Podiatrist at the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s Scott and White Hospital; as Chief of the Podiatry Section at Central Veterans Medical Center in Temple, Texas; and as Director of Podiatry Residency Training at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio and Bexar County Hospital.

Dr. La Fontaine’s research focuses largely on diabetic foot disease and related complications. He has published more than 40 academic articles and delivered scores of invited lectures regionally, nationally, and abroad.

Among his many professional activities, Dr. La Fontaine serves as President of the Dallas County Podiatric Medical Association, Vice President of the Texas Podiatric Medical Foundation, and longtime Chair of the Bandera Podiatric Residency Conference.

He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology and is both the diabetes section editor and a reviewer for the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is also a reviewer for the Journal of Diabetes Research, International Wound Journal, and Journal American Podiatric Medical Association.

Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Dr. La Fontaine has taken part in the Texas Podiatric Medical Foundation’s annual San Miguel mission trip every year since 2004.

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Meet Javier La Fontaine

Javier La Fontaine, D.P.M., M.S., is an expert at healing wounds of the lower extremities. His forte is limb salvage through innovative treatments. This includes providing groundbreaking options to patients with diabetes, who’ve been told an amputation is the only solution to resolve their lower extremity wounds.

“Without exaggeration, that happens daily,” he says. “Whether because of diabetes, infections, or vascular disease and related conditions, they’ve been told, ‘You’re going to have to lose your leg’ or ‘Your foot needs to be amputated.’

“When people hear a statement like that, it’s traumatic.  For many of these patients, we treat their wounds and within a few weeks, because of the treatments we’ve provided, we can get them back on their feet and back to work. It can’t get any more rewarding than that. And that’s my everyday satisfaction.”

In addition to treating patients at the UT Southwestern Wound Care Clinic, Dr. La Fontaine is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery and very active in clinical research, particularly with studies involving diabetic foot pathology and wound healing.

Dr. La Fontaine became interested in his specialty at a young age. As a track and field athlete, he was treated for pes planus, or flexible flat foot by a podiatrist.

“I was about 10 years old the first time I went to see a podiatrist, so I was placed in arch supports at a relatively young age and found the treatment interesting,” he recalls. “First I was a patient, and then eventually my podiatrist became my mentor, and later he became a good friend.”

Away from work, he also stays physically active, still running the track as a jogger and shooting hoops as a member of an adult basketball league.

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Education & Training
  • Residency - University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (1997-1999), Podiatric Medicine & Surgery
  • Residency - University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (1995-1996), Podiatric Medicine & Surgery
  • Medical School - Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (1991-1995)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Podiatric Medical Association
  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
  • American Diabetes Association
Honors & Awards
  • Most Influential 175 Podiatrists in the U.S., 2007, 2011, 2017 Podiatry Magazine
Books & Publications
  • A Novel Immune-Interactive Surface Coating Approach to Induce Implant Osseointegration in Diabetic Conditions

Clinical Focus

  • Diabetes-related foot and ankle complications

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