Ankle & Foot Surgery

Dr. Barnes - Ankle & Foot Surgery Specialist


Although Dr. Barnes favors a conservative treatment approach to most foot & ankle ailments, there are some conditions that, in many cases and situations, are best treated surgically. These may include: foot and ankle fractures, deep foot infections, severe foot deformities, painful bunions & hammertoes, chronic ankle sprains / instability, tendon tears, and foor or ankle arthritis. At Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, patients are always given their options and are asked to play a role in their care, whether conservative or surgical.

Dr. Esther Barnes completed her surgical training at one of the most established Podiatric Medicine & Surgical Residency programs in the country, at Presbyterian - St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, CO. It was during her residency training that she developed the skills to not only perform traditional forefoot surgical procedures (bunion & hammertoe repairs), but also reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery, including ankle arthroscopy. At the same time, she prides herself in intertwining her surgical training with her biomechanical background when treating her patients. Dr. Barnes is a diplomat of the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery, Certified in Foot and Reconstructive Rearfoot / Ankle Surgery, the highest achievement which can be obtained as a Podiatric Surgeon, and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

The Difference between DPMS and MDs / DOs

To learn more about the Education, Training, and Certification of Foot & Ankle Surgeons, The Board Certification Difference and the Practice Difference (between Foot and Ankle Surgeons (DPMS) Board Certified in Foot Surgery and in Reconstructive Rearfoot / Ankle Surgery and Orthopedists (MD/DOs), click here (ACFAS Position Statement).

Minor Procedures in Clinic

At the Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, Drs. Barnes often perform minor surgical procedures, including ingrown toenail removals, permanent toenail removals, excision of warts, excision of foreign bodies, and minor toe tendon releases. Step Ahead is well equipped with a nice Procedure Room (with nice views) to make this normally uncomfortable experience less uncomfortable.

Surgeries in Hospitals / Surgery Centers

Larger procedures (bunion repairs, all rearfoot and ankle procedures, treatment of foot infections) are performed at either the Surgery Center at the HealthCenter (Kalispell, MT), the Kalispell Regional Medical Center (Kalispell, MT) or at North Valley Hospital (Whitefish, MT). Dr. Barnes maintains privieges with each of these surgical facilities. Not all foot surgeons do, and we encourage you to ask your surgeon whether he/she does maintain hospital privileges prior to seeking care and consultation. Also, we encourage you to seek care and consultation with a Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon, as not all providers are Board Certified. Click here for the link to the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons Patient Resource page to learn if your physician is Board Certified (FACFAS after his / her name).

Dr. Barnes is not an employee of either hospital and as such recieves no incentive nor "kick-back" for performing surgies at any particular facility or referring patients to either facility for procedures or special imaging studies. As such, she is able to provide the care that's best for the patient, as she feels all surgeons should.

Do you need ankle or foot surgery? Call Step Ahead Foot & Clinic, P.C. in Kalispell, MT at (406) 755-2818 to learn more!

Our Location

40 Four Mile Drive Unit 8, Kalispell, MT, 59901

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm