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I had never heard of a total ankle replacement when I learned I was a candidate for one. I just knew I was living with arthritis, which frequently caused pain and swelling in my feet and made it difficult to walk. A local physician referred me to Dr. DiDomenico for my procedure, and even though he was two hours away I was glad I found him.
He performed two surgeries on me; one to line up my heel properly and then the ankle replacement. Both procedures went great, and pain-wise the surgeries were a piece of cake. I’ve walked bow-legged since growing up, but now I’ve got to retrain myself to walk heel-to-toe as part of my therapy. Meanwhile my joint is pain-free and I’m looking forward to walking on the beach and racing our sailboat with greater confidence.
I liked Dr. DiDomenico right away. He comes right down to your level when he’s explaining things. He’s very good with educating patients on what to expect and what he wants to do.
All of a sudden I started noticing my foot was red, hot, and swollen. It couldn’t fit in my shoe and I was having trouble walking. As soon as I went into Dr. DiDomenico he knew it was Charcot foot.
He suggested we treat it aggressively, and in January of 2005 I went in for reconstructive surgery.
I feel like I was just wasting time with other doctors. I don’t know where I’d be without Dr. DiDomenico. He’s the best. I would recommend him to anybody and I wish I would’ve just gone to him right away.
My two year old daughter developed a spot on her foot. The pediatrician referred us to Dr. Gregory Blasko of Ankle & Foot Care Centers, and much to my surprise and delight, I found out Dr. Blasko had Saturday hours.
The spot was built -p scar tissue. Dr. Blasko said it could be taken care of quickly with surgery, but since my daughter was so young he suggested some things we could do at home. The treatment worked and her foot is now perfect!
In the meantime, my feet started to hurt, and I had to bring my three kids to my appointments.
The staff was great with my kids. My daughter was playing doctor and checking out my feet before Dr. Blasko came in. When he did he played right along with her and even asked for her opinion on how mom's foot was doing. She was so excited that she ‘was helping mommy get better too, just like Dr. Blasko.’
I wound up having surgery on my left foot and I no longer have pain. It's truly amazing.
I highly recommend Dr. Blasko to anyone who’s looking for help with their feet. He is a gifted doctor who has a genuine concern for his patients and I thank him for all he has done for me and my daughter.
I fell down the stairs in my house and my leg got very swollen. It just wouldn't heal. As it turned out, I ended up with a limb-threatening infection and was so worried that I would lose my leg.
I was in and out of emergency rooms, doctors' offices and a nursing home when a family friend recommended I go to Ankle & Foot Care Centers.
You wouldn’t believe the before-and-after pictures of my leg. Dr. DiDomenico is fantastic and very professional. He took extra time to make sure my leg would not be lost. I recommend him very highly.
I’m a diabetic who was diagnosed with neuropathy less than two years ago. Neuropathy is an awful degenerative nerve condition that causes stinging and burning sensations, cramping and leg pain, in your feet. The nerves get damaged so much that you eventually lose feeling completely and it often results in amputation.
I moved to Chester, W. Va., from the East Coast after my diagnosis and was fortunate to be led to Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico at Ankle & Foot Care Centers. He told me I was a candidate for a new type of surgical procedure, multiple nerve release, that involves removing the nerves in my feet from the nerve sheath that is hardening due to my diabetes.
There I was in Philadelphia where every other building is a hospital and nobody told me of this option. The surgery was a success for me, and not only did Dr. DiDomenico save my feet, but I’m learning to walk normally again and I’ve totally regained feeling in my feet.
I had never had any foot or ankle problems before, but one day when walking on a treadmill I started feeling an intense pain in my legs. It got worse and worse until it was to a point that I couldn’t walk anymore.
I was diagnosed with ‘foot drop’ and had a nerve decompression procedure performed by Drs. DiDomenico and Williams at Ankle & Foot Care Centers. I went from literally having to lift my leg with my hand to get around to almost a full recovery just a few months later.
I’m well on my way to walking normal again and I owe it all to Dr. DiDomenico and Dr. Williams.
After I shattered my ankle stepping off a commercial truck and slipping on a puddle of motor oil I faced a long, difficult road to saving my foot and restoring my independence.
I just wanted to get my life back, and Dr. DiDomenico’s main goal was to restore my independence. I was in a wheelchair for so long, and all through the recovery I had to rely on other people to get where I needed to go. All I wanted was the ability to go to the grocery store, doctor’s office, visit my kids or walk around the house – on my own.
Throughout my recovery I learned that it’s not just the doctor, but I had to participate in my own care, as well. If I were to save my foot I had to listen to what the doctor told me.
It’s been nearly seven years of stabilization, two surgeries, a few staph infections and doctor’s appointments three times per week. But there’s no one who could have led me through this process better than Dr. DiDomenico. If it weren’t for him I surely would have lost my foot. But now I’m back to walking with just a cane and learning to enjoy and appreciate the ability to live independently.
People don’t realize how much they use their feet until they don’t have use of them for a while.
I suffered a bad break that was initially and incorrectly diagnosed as a sprained ankle by a local emergency room. By the time it was determined how badly my foot was broken, an orthopedic surgeon told me if it were 10 years ago it would have been amputated.
Dr. DiDomenico was literally the only foot and ankle specialist in the region who could treat my foot. Believe me, I checked around in Cleveland, Akron and Pittsburgh, and every single surgeon I consulted with referred me back to Dr. DiDomenico.
In the past four years I’ve had 21 surgeries to fix what was wrong with my foot. Through it all, the office staff at Ankle & Foot Care Centers has been nothing but professional and genuinely concerned about my well-being.
Dr. DiDomenico is on top of all the latest technologies in his field. It was good to hear the other surgeons referring him and consulting with him. Plus he’s one of the kindest and hardest working men I know. I’d recommend him to anyone.
I’ve seen the results of what diabetes does to the feet, and I didn’t want that to happen to me. After suffering through the pain, soreness and raw irritation caused by hammer toe I was determined to take care of my feet.
Dr. DiDomenico was a God-send for me. He not only assured me with straight talk and a quiet, assuring confidence, but he displayed the operating room skills that eluded others and that took care of my problem once and for all.
He resolved my hammer toe and restored my ability to do the things I enjoy doing, like mowing my yard, raking leaves, going to Mass and enjoying retirement with my husband.
You don’t have to live with the discomfort associated with hammer toe. Even if you’re diabetic, there’s a solution out there, and I highly recommend seeing Dr. DiDomenico.
The complications of diabetes really did a number on my feet. Just the simple act of walking caused the small bones in my feet and toes to crack and break.
I was fortunate to be referred to Dr. DiDomenico through a Youngstown-native podiatrist in my hometown of Niagara Falls, N.Y. He not only was able to save my foot from having to be amputated, but he gave me back my freedom to do the things I enjoy, like fishing, hiking and taking long walks.
Before my surgeries I was pretty much confined to my second-floor apartment, unable to walk up and down the 16 steps without severe pain.
As a retired military serviceman, the V.A. just didn’t have the ability to do what Dr. DiDomenico does. If it weren’t for him I would have certainly lost my foot.
When I lost my mobility and independence at age 78 after I badly twisted my already compromised ankle, I was certain I was going to lose my foot. I went through two doctors, two surgeries that failed to straighten my ankle, some bad complications and years of frustration.
I am an elite marathon runner. Despite a series of setbacks related to my feet, I am back in training for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in January. Much of the credit goes to my podiatrist, Dr. Greg Blasko of Ankle & Foot Care Centers.
In the past six months, Dr. Blasko has helped me overcome two serious bouts with plantar fasciitis. He helped me stay in training on several occasions because he understood that telling me to not run was only the last-case scenario for a solution. This was completely obvious when he once questioned a career-ending MRI diagnosis from a doctor I visited while injured in another state.
When I twisted my left ankle and tore my deltoid ligament while playing indoor soccer, I figured my days as an athlete were over. But thanks to the surgery by Dr. Blasko, I’ve played soccer, run track and completed military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan on the strength of my repaired leg.
I was a junior in high school in early 2005 when I hurt my leg playing indoor soccer. I actually heard the injury. It sounded like somebody broke a piece of wood. It swelled up really big and went numb.
I was a little bit nervous about doing anything. I had to ease into it. But I found out after a while that my leg was pretty much like brand new. I resumed playing soccer, then ran the 400 and 4 x 4 relay events on the track team in my senior year.
In the Marines, there were a lot of 20-mile hikes, and my leg never bothered me much. I did seven-month tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’ve lost a little mobility, and it feels like I had surgery. But there’s been nothing disabling.
"I never give up. And I appreciate what Dr. DiDomenico and his staff have done to keep me going. After a terrible fall at work, I wound up undergoing more than 20 surgeries to treat issues related to my leg injury.
"When nothing seemed to be working and I was looking for help, I was referred to Dr. DiDomenico. On that very first visit, he spent three hours with me and my wife, Cherie, just sitting and talking about all of my issues and possible treatment.
"Despite his help, including several more surgeries, we decided together to amputate my leg below the knee last year. What had to be done, had to be done. But recently I was fitted with a red, white and blue prosthetic leg and am learning to adjust to my new life and new outlook.
"There were plenty of days that were pretty tough to get through. But I have so much to be thankful for. I couldn’t have gone down this journey without Dr. DiDomenico. He and his staff did everything they could to help me through this. There were so just many complications.
"My goal is to walk again. I’m not going to say when, but one thing I know for sure is that I’ll never give up until I do.
I’ve always been able to count on Dr. Blasko. Since I have diabetes, there’s always something going on. So far he’s been able to take care of it and heal it, whatever the problem is.
The latest issue for me was an ulcer between the fourth and fifth toes of my right foot. The sore grew when my toes began rubbing together. But a surgery eliminated the sore. Within two or three days of the surgery, the ulcer had healed.
One time when I was out of town, I had to call him, and he called in a prescription for me. Any time something happens, no matter what, he takes care of it.
Last year, I noticed a small depression in my right foot about the size of a quarter. I wound up being admitted to a local healthcare facility, where a doctor applied salves and medicines. None of them worked. The sore continued to grow wider and deeper and I lost the ability to move my toes.
The hole grew so deep you could see the bone. They said they would need to amputate. But my wife and daughter told me to get a second opinion, and I did, from Dr. DiDomenico at the Market Street office. My sore turned out to be a severe diabetic ulcer. Dr. DiDomenico set me up with a wound VAC and removed a piece of bone from my foot. I also had an angioplasty with Dr. Michael Cicchillo, and some of my blood vessels were repaired.
Now the size of the sore has decreased and the color has returned almost to normal. I have feeling again in my toes and the pain has gone away. It still hurts to walk, but I can walk very carefully – like a cow on ice. I can wear shoes again for the first time in months. If not for Dr. DiDomenico I would have lost my foot.
Cecil Price, North Lima, OH
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I am grateful for the surgeries and support that saved my foot after I was diagnosed with Charcot foot.
I hurt my ankle at work one day, and because of a lack of feeling in my foot I did not realize that the damage was so extensive. I was walking around on it for a week. It was swollen, but I figured it was just because I was on it too much. Dr. DiDomenico looked at my ankle and scheduled me for surgery. There were four surgeries, because the ankle had to be repaired in stages. There was a long recovery, and the therapy was difficult.
Today I get around fine with a walker. There is still some pain and swelling, and the neuropathy makes it difficult to keep my balance. But as the ankle has healed, I can exercise more and that helps with the balance.
Dr. DiDomenico has stuck by me, and the girls in the office are all so nice. They made a miserable situation so much better.
With some doctors, you can't ask questions, because they make you feel like you're questioning their authority or their knowledge. He has answered all of my questions and calmed my fears. He stays calm, and sets such a good example. If it weren't for him, I'd have lost this foot.
DG, Youngstown, OH
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I am very fortunate to still have my foot today. I had an injury at work, and the bruise on my left foot developed a terrible infection. I was being treated regularly for the injury, but it kept swelling and I kept getting more blisters. It was very painful and I cried every time I looked at it. Between my regular appointments, I got in to see Dr. DiDomenico. He said I had to go to surgery right away. So they admitted me and I had the surgery that day. That surgery got rid of the infection and saved my foot.
I cannot say enough things about this doctor. If not for him, I would be in a wheelchair. I tell everybody about it. Do you know what it's like to feel like you owe someone? That's how I feel.
Mary Ann Perez, Campbell, OH
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After a foot deformity that developed in my childhood, I wore a leg brace for almost 30 years. Then, in September 2009, I underwent surgery with Dr. DiDomenico and regained the ability to walk without a brace for the first time since I was 12. This came about by chance. In 2009, I got a new brace, and it was made wrong. So I was looking for a different podiatrist to get it fixed, and wound up at the Ankle & Foot Care Centers.
I was just planning to get a new brace, and then one of the staff members suggested I see Dr. DiDomenico.
The surgery changed my life. Before, with the brace, I could walk about 10 to 15 feet, and then I would have to rest. Now I can walk all day with no problem.
Randall McFarland, Hillsville, PA
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In early 2005, the pain of my bunion was so bad that I felt like I was stepping on a nail with every step. It was real bad pain." There was no cause for it that I was aware of. It was a sharp pain around the joint of the big toe on my left foot. I favored the left foot so badly I practically dragged it. In August of 2005, I had bunion surgery with Dr. DiDomenico. He removed some soft tissue and bone in that area and used three small screws to keep the remaining bone in place.
I had therapy. It included using my foot to rotate a disk and using my toes to lift and move marbles. I also wore an air-cast to relieve pressure on the big toe.Within a few weeks, I was back on the golf course.
Dr. Larry is absolutely the best. He's good with patients and he knows what he's doing.
Ron Chevront, East Liverpool, Ohio
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Last year, a sore appeared on my right foot and I figured it was a blister from a new pair of shoes. But within just a few months, it expanded into a seriously painful blister that made it nearly impossible to stand, let alone walk. Fortunately, I called Ankle & Foot Care Centers and was scheduled with Dr. Emch. He was a godsend. After some tests, I was diagnosed as a diabetic. The "blister" was a diabetic ulcer. I had three different skin grafts to heal up the ulcer. My foot got better with each one. The ulcer ended up being fully covered, and it got to the point where I didn't even have to wear a Band-Aid or anything on it. I went back to work in April.
I have had a few setbacks. But the severe pain is gone.
It was a very long process, but I couldn't have asked for better people to work with me. I think a lot of it is the faith you have in your doctor, and I have all the faith in the world in him.
Tina Kayser, Youngstown, Ohio
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I broke my ankle in 2004 when I slipped on some wet grass in the backyard. When I walked into the house, I noticed it had swollen severely, so I arranged for transportation to Pittsburgh and had surgery there. The doctors inserted a pin in the ankle. For several months I lived at Vista Center, and underwent therapy on her ankle. They walked me around there daily, and the ankle began to feel better. But even after I got home, there was still pain, especially in the winter time. I had to take pain pills for the pain.
As a result of a wart, I wound up visiting Ankle & Foot Care Centers in East Liverpool office in 2008, and met Dr. DiDomenico. That was the first I had heard of these foot doctors in Liverpool. I haven't had any pain. I'm walking fine and I feel really good. I don't have to take any pain pills.
It feels a lot better now than when I had those screws and pins and bolts in there.
Martha Peters, Salineville, OH
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I had tingling and numbness in my left foot and lower leg, and it was so severe that I often felt like I was going to fall down. It was hard to feel my feet, and that made it very difficult to walk. I always felt like I had to be on guard. The tingling also made it difficult to sleep.
Thanks to a nerve decompression procedure with Dr. DiDomenico, that feeling is now gone. I expected some pain, but I came home from the surgery and didn't feel any. It was a breeze.
I thought the surgery might slow me down, but it didn't. And now I don't have any tingling or pain. I went back to work quickly. Besides the relief from the pain, I have more confidence now in walking. I don't have that feeling any more like I need to be on guard all the time.
Marsha Drapp, Andover, OH
Walking was difficult for me after an accident in 2008. One morning, my son found me unconscious after a severe fall. I had fallen into an ottoman, and my left leg wound up in a position that caused terrible swelling. I had to have surgery right away. In one of the complications from the surgery, a tendon and nerves in my foot were cut, leaving me with 'drop foot.' This made it difficult to walk. It also put tremendous pressure on my left heel, which compounded an ulcer I had there. The ulcer had persisted for a year, and seven surgeries to address it brought only minor healing. But the surgery to correct the drop foot wound up eliminating the ulcer, too.
Dr. DiDomenico inserted two steel rods that straightened my foot, making it easier to walk as I had before the accident. Without the pressure on my left heel, the ulcer cleared up. The day I had the surgery on that foot, the ulcer began to go away.
Mary Caccarozzo, Austintown, OH
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I would recommend Dr. DiDomenico to anybody. He did an ankle replacement that took away years of pain and enabled me to walk again.
In 2000, I was working in a warehouse and a pile of steel fell on my left foot. It was virtually severed, right at the ankle. I had surgery to reassemble the foot, and I stayed in a hospital for 19 days. Over the next seven years, I had eight other surgeries. The pain was constant.
In 2007, I had support rods and plates removed to prepare for total ankle replacement. Later that year, Dr. DiDomenico installed my new ankle. The relief didn't come right away, but after the therapy it made a lot of difference. The pain subsided. I still walk with a limp, and it's a little rough on uneven ground, but I can walk a lot better. The pain is nothing like before.
John Ohler, Malvern, OH
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For three years, I dealt with severe numbness, pain and burning in my feet. It got so bad at night that I often could not sleep. One day, while I was working (I am a waitress), both of my legs started burning, and I lost all feeling in them. I wound up falling down. I was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. I had it in both of my feet.
A month later, Dr. DiDomenico did surgery to decompress the nerves in my left foot, and the results were quick. I could not have asked for a better outcome. I was nervous at first, because this was about my ability to walk. But I went from being able to walk about 5 percent of the time, and for about 10 minutes, to being able to walk as I please. Two months later, Dr. DiDomenico did the same surgery on my right foot. Now I can walk straight for 30 minutes without any discomfort in either leg.
It is beautiful. I can actually go to sleep at night and not have the aching, the burning, the numbness and the tingling in my left legs as before. They did an awesome job.
Frances Cox, Youngstown, OH
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About three years ago, I learned I had Charcot foot. I was walking in the grocery store with my wife one day, and a bone shifted my ankle. It was very, very painful, and I could not walk on it. I was hospitalized and wound up suffering an infection. The pain became so severe that I could not walk at all and had to use a wheelchair. One doctor told me my foot had to be amputated. But my family doctor disagree d, and referred me to Dr. DiDomenico. He performed a reconstructive surgery on my foot, using a bone graft, a rod, plates and screws. A second surgery applied skin grafts to treat an ulcer on the same foot. After the surgeries, the infection and pain subsided, and I've been able to walk with crutches.
I wear a reinforcement brace on my left foot, and also wear a specially padded shoe to protect my heel. I am able to drive, as long as the car has automatic transmission."
Charles Hueberger, Dillonvale, OH
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I can't begin to describe the relief I feel since my foot surgery. The stabbing pain that was in my heel almost all the time has disappeared. I have resumed walking (for exercise) and actually added light jogging.
It was February '09 when I first noticed the pain. Of course I hoped it would go away on its own, so I did not seek medical attention until July '09. I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and had the following treatments:
1 month of physical therapy
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As a beautician, I spend a lot of time on my feet. So when they're not right, life is difficult. A few years ago, severe pain emerged in my feet. It got worse during a vacation in Myrtle Beach. It got to the point where they hurt constantly and I could hardly walk. I went to a foot doctor in Weirton, and started getting cortisone shots, but they didn't help at all. Then I had orthotics made, but that didn't help much either. I was in horrible pain.
A friend referred me to Dr. DiDomenico. He ordered X-rays and wound up repairing my Achilles tendon and removing bone spurs on both of feet. When I still had pain in the right foot, particularly around the heel and arch, Dr. DiDomenico did an [extracorporeal shockwave therapy] procedure. Shortly thereafter, both feet were pain free.
I'm fine now and don't have any pain at all. I'm able to do just about anything, including walk long distances several times a week.
Barb Heinen, Colliers, WV
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After almost two years of very limited mobility, I am now able to get around again -- without a wheelchair or walker -- thanks to a total ankle replacement. I am 78. I am glad to be walking and not sitting in a wheelchair. I've been through a lot with this ankle. Dr. DiDomenico did a fantastic job.
In 2008, I broke my ankle when I slipped on the porch steps when it was raining. My leg was put in a cast, and I was fitted with a support plate. For most of the past two years, I have had to use a wheelchair or a walker to get around. The pain was terrible and my therapy was not working. When Dr. D suggested an ankle replacement, I said 'Go ahead. What do I have to lose?'
That worked. My pain subsided, and I was able to move without the wheelchair and, eventually, to walk without the walker.
Wanda McDowell, Struthers, OH
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I walk a lot in my work as a meter reader. One day in 2007, as I was walking alongside a house, I stepped into a drainage ditch that was covered by snow, and I severely hurt my foot. I was on crutches and wore an air cast. But I could not put my foot down and stand. Any weight at all made it very painful.
I visited Dr. Emch, whom I had heard about from a friend, and he performed some tests. He recommended shockwave therapy for my heel pain. He applied this treatment to my left foot, and the results were fast. The very next day, I was able to get out of bed and walk around. It was really something. I could walk around easily, and did not have any pain.
A few months later, Dr. Emch applied the same treatment to my right foot, and the same thing happened. Before too long, I was back in the business of reading meters. I walk between five and eight miles a day, and there is no more pain.
Linda K, Youngstown, OH
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"There is help, don't let anyone tell you nothing could be done.I’ve been a diabetic for over fifty years and the past six years have been very painful. My feet and legs were so painful I couldn’t stand or walk. I was told by doctors I had to live with it until I read an article in the Youngstown Vindicator where Dr. J. Francisco helped a woman from Columbiana who was experiencing the same symptoms as me. I called the doctor's office and made an appointment. Dr. Francisco was the only one who gave me hope. What a blessing. I had my surgery (pain free) and am now beginning to get my life back. Thanks to Dr. Francisco (there is help)."
"After 20 years of battling chronic foot pain and two surgeries to help correct it, I finally found relief, quite by accident last month, in the office of Dr. Joe Francisco.
"During a visit to his office with my uncle, who was there to learn more about a procedure to correct neuropathy in diabetic patients, I happened to mention that I had a lot of problems with my foot and explained to him what I’d already done in an effort to gain some relief. He said it sounded like something he could treat but I wasn’t getting my hopes up because I was told that because of nerve damage and scar tissue I’d probably always have pain in that foot.
"The following week I made an appointment with Dr. Francisco, had x-rays and an examination and was scheduled for surgery the following week. I know there’s a name for the procedure Dr. Francisco did on my foot, but I’m calling it a miracle. For the first time in 20 years I have absolutely no pain in my foot….none at all!
"I think things always happen for a reason and I know that if I hadn’t taken my uncle to his appointment, I’d still be experiencing the pain I’d had for years. Also, my uncle had his surgery 2 weeks ago and is doing extremely well. We both have Dr. Francisco to thank for making our lives a little easier."
"I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to one of your employees. I was at your office on Thursday, 11/19/09 for an MRI. Denise was the person to take care of me and she was absolutely wonderful.
"You should be proud to have her working for you. She took great care to make sure I was comfortable and at ease during the MRI. I would gladly return to your office as long as I knew she would be taking care of me. Thanks again!"
"I've had problems with my feet for many years. I lost a toe in 2007, and a year later I lost part of another toe. In late 2008, a diabetic ulcer on my right leg got so bad that my doctor told me my leg would have to be amputated. Fortunately, Dr. DiDomenico and Dr. Williams had a different viewpoint. They put together a treatment plan that saved my leg. I walk now with a cane. But I can look down and thank God I have both feet and both legs."
"When I contracted juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 12, walking became very difficult and painful. My ankles and wrists were affected first, and my ankles started to fuse, so my mobility became very limited. I lived in Florida at the time, and my doctor wanted to do a permanent ankle fusion.
"I decided to check around when I moved to Ohio. A doctor at the Cleveland Clinic recommended an ankle fusion, but Dr. DiDomenico recommended an ankle replacement. The rationale for getting the fusion was that even though an ankle replacement would offer more mobility, it would only last about five years, and then I’d likely need to consider another replacement.
"I felt that having the mobility for five years was worth it, so I went through with it – for both ankles. It's been three years now, and I can walk a lot longer with my own stride, without the pain. I’m so glad I did this."
"I had severe pain and discomfort in my right foot, likely because of my work. I spent a lot of time climbing and standing on a ladder.
"For over a year, I tried painkillers, but they provided temporarily relief at best. I tried injections, too, and they didn’t help much either. Neither did some new exercises or the stretchers or foot inserts I tried. Eventually, it got to the point where I could not even walk without pain. Whenever I did walk, I had to sit down and take breaks. I always wanted to go lay down, just to get off of my feet. It was just a miserable condition.
"Then Dr. Chiaro recommended ESWT [extracorporeal shockwave therapy] to take care of the heel pain. Within a few weeks of my first treatment, the pain started to go away. I had phenomenal results! Now I can walk as much as I’d like without that pain."
"For almost seven years, I struggled with severe neuropathy in my feet. I felt acute pain or a frustrating tingling sensation whenever I was not walking or otherwise using my feet. Most days, the pain was severe. Every night, I would put an ice pack on my feet to deal with the pain, just to get through the night. But I rarely enjoyed a full night’s sleep.
"In late 2008, Dr. Francisco suggested a nerve decompression surgery to address my neuropathy. He was very convinced that it would work, and I said I’d try anything to get rid of this pain.
"The procedure did work, and I have been very thankful for the dramatic change in my life. Since the day after the surgery, the pain and tingling in my feet have been completely gone. No more pain medication and no more ice packs in bed. The change has been like night and day – very dramatic."
"Dear Dr. Francisco,
The purpose of this letter is to express my sincere appreciation to you and the members of your staff for the excellent patient care and courtesy during my neurolysis procedures.
"Pre-surgery I suffered from pain in both feet to the extent of rendering me nearly incapacitated at the end of the work day. Now, thanks to the procedures, my pain has diminished to very tolerable levels and daily improvement is noted. Being able to ambulate without severe pain is, to say the least, wonderful.
"I would provide positive testimony to anyone considering the procedures."
"My experience was outstanding and 1st rate. Dr. John Chiaro, Jr. and the staff at Ankle & Foot Care Centers delivered great care and outstanding treatment while removing an infected blister from my right foot. At every step of the care and recovery process Dr. Chiaro kept me well informed on the treatment and progress.
"The most impressive fact was the teamwork the whole staff displayed to care of my health care needs and the friendly, professional demeanor that they showed during my office visits.
"Healthcare professionals of the highest order at Ankle & Foot Care Centers. I was very fortunate to have been in your care. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
"I have been diabetic for most of my life and over the last few years I developed peripheral neuropathy. The pain in my feet was excruciating - I felt like my feet were on fire. It became so bad that I was unable to sleep at night without the assistance of pain medication, and even then, my sleep was not restful. The worst feeling was that I didn’t believe there was anything that could be done. A family friend suggested I see Dr. DiDomenico as he might be able to help. Dr. DiDomenico explained that there was a procedure available to help alleviate the pain I was feeling in my feet. Although I was nervous about the procedure, I was grateful to finally have some hope. I can honestly say the night after my procedure was the first night I slept peacefully in years. The care I received from Dr. DiDomenico and his staff was outstanding. Each day I feel better and better and am glad I took the advice to see Dr. DiDomenico. It has changed my life."
"On 12/11/2000 my husband sustained a life altering injury to his left ankle. This injury changed life as we knew it. Over the next several years we (my husband, myself, our son and our dog) endured more than a normal family would in a lifetime. Activities my husband used to enjoy (hunting, fishing, biking) were now no longer enjoyable. If he did occasionally engage in these activities, he was miserable for DAYS from the pain. We searched and searched for a doctor to help him, several operated on his ankle trying to correct the issues, but they only made things worse. Along with the surgeries came the grueling hours of physical therapy. I am not sure who the rehab was harder on, him or us. The man I had met fell in love with, and married no longer existed. This injury has affected us mentally, physically and financially. In August of 2006 we moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania and the search began again for a doctor to help us. We found Dr. Joseph Francisco and for the first time, someone gave us hope. There was a light at the end of the tunnel. On January 24, 2007 Dr. Francisco operated on Vinson’s left ankle. That first night home from the hospital, I could tell something was different. Vinson commented that the agonizing pain he had experienced for 7 years was GONE!!!! Since then, our lives have taken a wonderful turn for the good. Vinson is making great progress, and with a little hard work, we can once again enjoy all the physical activities we relish doing. Mush gratitude is extended to Dr. Francisco for giving us our quality of life back."
"I'm a 41 year old woman with 34 years being diabetic. I’m always on my feet and on the go because of my custodian job. For the last few years I put up with leg pain so bad I cried. The 24/7 pain was of numbness, not able to feel hot or cold in my feet, sharp-dull burning, stabbing pain, (like stepping on nails), loosing my balance, always tired, achy, didn’t care a darn about anything. I thought my life was over. Until I went to the Salem Community Hospital Diabetes Health Fair on November 2, 2006. Dr. Joseph Francisco was the speaker on 'Diabetic Foot Disease'. The first 10 minutes of his talk, I knew this doctor could help me. I have now had the surgery on February 7, 2007. At this time I am still recovering. But, I now can feel hot and cold in my foot, don’t have the sharp-dull burning pains as before. I can even walk straight instead of looking like a drunken duck trying to walk. I now feel like my life can mover forward for many more years to come. Who knows, maybe I can do that skydive jump I’ve always wanted to do. Dr. Francisco has a passion for this kind of work, and I hope and pray he can help many more people like he has helped me. Thank you Dr. Joseph Francisco."
"Over the past year, I have dealt with constant pain and numbness in my left foot. The problem had become so bad, I had trouble walking. When I went to see Dr. Joseph Francisco, it was recommended I have surgery to relieve the nerve entrapments in my foot and ankle. I had the neuropathy procedure of my left, lower extremity done that Dr. Francisco recommended, and what an incredible difference it has made in my day-to-day life! The recovery from surgery was quick and painless. The pain and numbness in my foot was gone immediately.
"I’ve had such amazing results that I recommended my husband, a long time diabetic with no feeling in his foot, to see Dr. Francisco. On November 29, 2005, he had a multi-nerve decompression procedure and miraculously, he has feeling in his foot again and walks without dragging his leg. Everyday, he’s regaining more feeling and motion in his foot and leg.
"In the near future, we plan on having the same procedure done on our opposite foot to repair the nerve entrapments."
"My name is Latoasha Franklin and I am a twenty-nine year old African American female, who two and half years ago had my life altered due to extreme pain and numbness in both my feet.
"I had a hard time standing and walking for long amounts of time. Then I met Dr. Francisco and he began to be my caregiver. He took all the necessary steps to help me to improve my every day living.
"Then he and I decided to go ahead with the surgery that we had discussed previously. He preformed the first surgery on my right foot on 11/11/05 and I could tell the difference almost immediately.
"He preformed the surgery on my left foot on 2/15/06. Since the surgery I have noticed a very big difference, in the amount of numbness and pain. I also have discovered that I have a reduction in the amount of pain in my knees.
"From this point on in my life I feel that my life is going to be a whole lot better and eventually pain free."
"Before my surgery, I was experiencing significant pain and tingling with numbness in the top of my foot and at times up into the back of my calf. When walking, I would experience times when it felt as though my foot would lock up or give out. As a result, I was unable to walk and sometimes would occasionally fall. When this happened, I would rotate my foot in a circular motion until I would hear a popping sound, which at the time, indicated to me that something must have popped into place. For minutes up to approximately an hour, I would have extreme pain and aching in my foot when walking. After seeing Dr. Francisco, he explained to me about a surgery that would help relieve my symptoms. As a result of the surgery, I have not experienced any pain, numbness, or tingling within my foot. Also, I have not experienced any instances where my foot has given out or locked up. As of today, I am pain free and able to walk without any concerns of falling. The recovery time was short and virtually painless. I was up walking with a surgical shoe the next day."
"Dr. Joe did an excellent job on my right foot. The nerves on my right foot, first and second toes. The healing process was amazing. I was healed in 3 weeks and it was great since I’m a diabetic. He was really pleased with how well it relieved the pain in my feet because I have neuropathy."
"As a result of an injury to my right foot I developed unbearable constant sharp pain in my foot comparative to a constant toothache. It was impossible to drive, walk or carry on any normal activity without the pain. I was sent for a PSSD nerve testing, which indicated that I had an entrapped nerve. Immobilizing the foot and medication did not affect the pain consequently surgery was the last recourse. I was referred to Dr. Francisco, who preformed the surgery. I had the surgery done as an outpatient. Within hours of the surgery I was up walking. The excruciating pain in my foot was gone! I returned to work the following week on light duty. The recovery was just customary surgical recovery.
"Dr. Francisco is beyond doubt blessed with skill and compassion. He truly listens to his patients. The compassion is not limited to Dr. Francisco; his entire staff including the receptionist is excellent. I am an active person, who enjoys walking several miles a day, this was impossible before the surgery. Dr. Francisco gave me my life back and I am able to resume my normal activities. I would recommend Dr. Francisco without any hesitation. Thank you again Dr. Francisco and staff."
"I am the mother of a 13 year old boy who has been a patient of Dr. Blasko’s since 2001. Steven was born with severe flat feet and over time the condition worsened. His ankles at the very end prior to surgery were what appeared to me turning inward. He would cry at night holding his legs and feet and developed severe cramping in the legs. The only thing that would alleviate the symptoms for the night was moist heat. I remember many nights rubbing his feet and calves to get him to stop crying so he could go back to sleep. He was miserable and at the same time I felt helpless. I had taken him to other physicians but no one could state why he had the symptoms he was having. I took him to another podiatrist and he wouldn’t operate on him because of his age (8). Then one day I turned to the phone book and called the Ankle and Foot Care Center in Poland and we were set up with an appointment with Dr. Blasko. I had never met him before or known anything about his practice but I had decided that Steven couldn’t go on indefinitely like he was. I had to try and see if there was someone out there that could help him.
"Steven has had two operations with Dr. Blasko to correct his flat feet. He had one operation one summer (2002) on one foot and had the other foot done during the following summer (2003). He was on crutches for 6-8 weeks and then a walking cast for a period of time after that. Steven received implants in his ankles and feet to support his arches. He will need to wear orthotics inside his shoes to help maintain the support he has received with the surgeries. He follows up with Dr. Blasko yearly and feels great every day.
"Steven wasn’t able to participate in any sports because of his feet and leg discomfort.Today, he can rollerblade and do just about anything other kids his age are doing. I am and will be forever grateful to Dr. Blasko for all that he has done for Steven. I have never met a physician who was more dedicated and caring like Dr. Blasko is. When you are with the doctor you can see and feel the true compassion he has for his work. Dr. Blasko has been blessed with this wonderful skill. The decision I made to call his office was the best decision I could have made."
"One evening while I was taking the trash out in my stocking feet I inadvertently stepped on a nail. That particular evening I was scheduled to be out to play music in my band so I went about as usual and didn't give the injury to my foot much thought until I returned home. My foot was swollen and it seemed infected. I thought the swelling would go away on its own but after several hours the swelling continued so I went to the emergency room. Because of my diabetes, the doctors there were concerned about the progression of the foot infection and the elevation of my blood sugar and subsequently admitted me to the hospital.
"During my initial stay at the hospital the doctors on my case discussed the possibility of amputating my leg above the knee. I asked for a second opinion and Dr. DiDomenico was consulted. After his evaluation Dr. DiDomenico explained that he thought my foot could be saved. Dr. DiDomenico performed a series of operations, first to rid the infection and then to help my foot ulcer to heal.
"I truly believe that Dr. DiDomenico's expertise saved my foot. Although he is intense, he made me feel comfortable. He is the kind of guy who has confidence in himself and this made me feel optimistic about the outcome. My foot has healed so well it's like nothing ever happened. I am grateful that Dr. DiDomenico thought there was a chance to save my foot."
"I broke a bone in my foot and had the unfortunate complication of it not healing properly. I have diabetes and was diagnosed with charcot arthropathy. I sought treatment from Dr. Joseph Francisco Jr. and Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico. The doctors performed surgery on my foot to replace the bones that didn't grow together and to aid my healing the doctors used a bone stimulator to promote bone growth. Dr. DiDomenico used a metal frame (external fixation) to keep things in place. I was able to walk relatively soon after surgery.
"Prior to surgery I had significant pain and swelling in my foot. I had lost my right leg previously due to complications from an infection and blood clots. The doctors informed me due to my diabetes I had a higher risk of complications and I was concerned about losing my left foot. Both doctors showed great concern for my well-being and their knowledge and skill helped me keep my foot. Now about a year later I am back to work and able to resume normal activities without pain. I am very thankful for the treatment that Dr. Francisco and Dr. DiDomenico gave me."