Home : Newsletters : Second Quarter 2018 NewsletterNewsletter Sign-Up


A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

Second Quarter 2018 Edition:

Ankle & Foot Diabetes Golf Benefit Set for Aug. 17

HUBBARD, Ohio -- Ankle & Foot Care Centers announced plans for its 20th annual Diabetes Golf Benefit, a four-person scramble set for Friday, August 17, at the Pine Lakes Golf Club at 6233 W. Liberty St. in Hubbard. The tournament raises money for the Diabetes Partnership of Mahoning Valley. This organization provides the much needed education, resources, and support for people and families living with Diabetes in our community. Read more here.

Copyright © June 2018 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Surgery Sparks Recovery from Painful Toe Infection

Debra Stubbs of Youngstown contracted osteomyelitis, a rare infection of the bone, in her foot last year.

And although the wound became very painful, a surgical procedure with Dr. Christian Carbonell of Ankle & Foot Care Centers sparked a rapid recovery from the condition.

"What started out as a corn on my toe turned into a bone-deep wound," recalled Debra, 64. "At first I thought the corn was from my shoes and from being on my feet all day as a nurse, but it continued to get worse."

Debra's family doctor referred her to see Dr. Christian Carbonell of Ankle & Foot Care Centers in the fall of 2016.

Dr. Carbonell treated her wound the first time at Northside Regional Medical Center and asked her to return in a few weeks.

"I went back to him a second time after it had gotten worse and it wouldn't stop bleeding," said Debra.

At that time, in the spring of 2017, she discovered she had osteomyelitis.

Dr. Carbonell performed surgery and removed parts of two bones in her pinky toe.

An infectious disease specialist inserted a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line, a tube that delivers antibiotics, to fight the infection.

"My surgery was on a Friday and I went back to work on Tuesday," said Debra. "I wore a special kind of shoe and I was amazed that it wasn't painful to walk on."

Debra was thankful for the convenience of her care with Dr. Carbonell. Living close to Northside made it easier to take several trips for care.

"My husband is also a nurse, so it was nice to have him around to help as well," said Debra. "My toe looks great now and I'm just amazed with how it never hurt during the healing process."

Debra has recently retired from St. Elizabeth and lives with her husband on the north side of Youngstown.

Copyright © June 2018 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top

Dr. DiDomenico Co-Chairs Ohio Foot & Ankle Conference

Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico, managing partner at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, served as co-chair at the recent Ohio Foot and Ankle Medical Foundation Annual Scientific Conference in Columbus.

Dr. DiDomenico, who sees patients at Ankle & Foot Care Centers' Boardman, East Liverpool and Northside offices, also presented six lectures at the conference, attended by more than 300 foot and ankle physicians and over 50 medical assistants. Topics for the lectures included current trends, reviews of treatment options and unusual foot and ankle cases. Dr. Ramy Fahim, also a podiatric physician and surgeon at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, presented alongside Dr. DiDomenico for three of the lectures on foot and ankle surgeries. Read more here.

Copyright © June 2018 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Dr. Groner Lives Active Life at Work, Home

Here are Dr. Groner's boys. In back are Joey (left) and Tommy. In front are Anthony and Patrick.

Dr. Thomas Groner keeps busy both in and out of the office. He is a podiatric physician, a board-certified wound care specialist and the co-clinical director of a podiatric residency program, as well as a husband and father of four young boys.

He keeps a full clinical schedule, seeing patients primarily from the Austintown and Alliance offices and spends several days at the Alliance Community Hospital Wound Center.

Although he keeps busy with his many roles, Dr. Groner enjoys spending time with his family. He lives in Boardman with his wife, Leanne, and his four boys, Tommy, 13, Joey, 12, Anthony, 10 and Patrick, 8.

"My wife and I are always chasing our kids around playing sports," said Dr. Groner. He most recently coached his son, Tommy, in 7th grade basketball at St. Charles. He also has coached his sons' baseball teams.

Dr. Groner has always had an interest in athletics, which is what drew him to podiatry. He grew up in the Youngstown area, playing basketball and other sports and as a result, he became interested in sports medicine.

In addition to sports medicine, Dr. Groner is also highly motivated by wound care. He is a board-certified specialist in wound care by the American Board of Wound Management.

He also keeps busy as the co-clinical director of the podiatric residency program at Alliance Hospital.

Dr. Groner has been practicing with Ankle & Foot Care Centers since 2004 after graduating from Youngstown State University and the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland.

"Ankle & Foot Care Centers is so unique to this area in that we provide multiple locations, as well as multiple providers that specialize in all aspects of podiatric medicine, surgery, sports medicine and wound care," Dr. Groner said.

When he is not working or coaching the sports teams of his children, Dr. Groner stays active running trails at Mill Creek

Copyright © June 2018 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Orthotist Enjoys Friendly Work Environment

Here are Rafi's kids (from left), Edon, Ziva and Azi.

For Rafiel Bibbins, interacting with patients every day and providing them with solutions is his favorite part of his job.

"As a licensed orthotist, I'm responsible for evaluating, casting, adjusting and fitting all patients referred to me by the Ankle & Foot team of physicians," said Rafiel. "I enjoy working with my hands and trying to help these patients live better lives, by providing them with orthotic bracing, diabetic shoes or inserts and custom foot orthotics to help reduce their pain."

Rafiel, referred to as Rafi, joined Ankle & Foot Care Centers in June 2017.

Rafi works primarily at the Boardman testing center, but he also takes nursing home calls and sees patients at several other offices, wherever he is needed.

"I work with the physicians on a regular basis, either face-to-face, by phone, email or text," said Rafi. "Having the access to a network of people is something that makes Ankle & Foot Care Centers so unique, because we can make sure our patients are getting the best treatment they need and deserve.

"The people here make the difference," he said. "I enjoy the friendly atmosphere and the people I get to work with daily, including Mary Ellen, Tina, Tammy, Kathy, Sheila and Joan."

When he's not at work, Rafi enjoys hanging out with his friends and spending time with his family. He lives in Beachwood with his wife, Stefanie, his daughter, Ziva, 20, and his two sons, Edon, 18, and Azi, 15.

He also enjoys good bourbon, watching sports and listening to science fiction, action and mystery audio books.

Copyright © June 2018 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Early Treatment Can Limit Impact of PAD

Ankle & Foot Care Centers is spreading awareness of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which affects more than 18 million people in the United States. PAD is a vascular disease caused by plaque build-up and the hardening of arteries, limiting blood flow to the legs and feet. Dr. Mark S. Smesko, a podiatric physician with Ankle & Foot Care Centers, warns his patients to be aware of some common symptoms of PAD because it is crucial to seek early treatment and implement a prevention plan. Read more and watch a video here.

Copyright © June 2018 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Poland Nurse a Walking Testimonial for Orthotic Inserts

Christine is back to doing what she loves - Tabata, spinning and other exercise classes - after a period of time when she couldn't walk without experiencing pain.

Christine suffered from Achilles tendinitis, a condition that occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed and irritated.

The Poland woman says she feels no more pain and is surprised by the effectiveness of the simple solution and treatment she received from Dr. Gregory Blasko, of Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

"I had Achilles tendinitis about nine years ago in my left foot," recalled Christine, 47. "I was treated by Dr. Blasko back then, too. So I knew right away when I experienced that same pain in my right ankle and heel that I needed to see him."

Christine's feet don't have much of an arch, which affects the way she walks and causes strain on the Achilles tendon, resulting in inflammation and irritation over time. Exercising likely didn't help either.

After feeling persistent pain for two months, she knew it was time to call Dr. Blasko, which was in the spring of 2017.

"Dr. Blasko took conservative measures, by starting with physical therapy and then shockwave therapy, but when that didn't relieve the pain, he fit me for orthotic inserts," explained Christine. "Within 48 hours of having the inserts, I felt 95 percent better.

"I should be a walking commercial for orthotics because they work so well for me," she said. "Everybody should have them."

Christine wears her orthotics to work everyday as a nurse, as well as when she exercises.

"For awhile there, I wasn't able to do any physical activity because of the pain I felt in my heel and ankle," she said. "It was very frustrating because I enjoy exercising. It is my outlet."

Now she has her outlet back and is pain-free.

"It's like night and day compared to what life was like without the orthotics and now with them," she said.

"My whole family goes to Dr. Blasko," Christine said. "He's great. I couldn't imagine us going anywhere else."

Copyright © June 2018 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

From the Kitchen: Diabetic Friendly Greek Orzo Salad Recipe

From The Kitchen

(From the Kitchen recipes are provided by the Diabetes Partnership of the Mahoning Valley.)

This Greek Orzo Salad with peas, lemon and kalamata olives will make the perfect side dish to bring to cookouts or to pair with any meal at home this summer. Simply add rotisserie chicken or even shrimp to turn this salad into an entree.
Serving size: 6
Diabetic Friendly: Yes


8 ounces whole-wheat orzo, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed under cold water
1 cup English cucumber, diced 1/2 inch
1 cup tomato, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped (half a medium onion)
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons dill, freshly minced
6 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 heaping cup baby spinach leaves


Combine all ingredients except spinach leaves in a large bowl. Marinate at least one hour in refrigerator, covered, before serving. Add spinach leaves just before serving.
For more information, including nutritional information, see this link.

[ top ]

About Services Conditions Locations Contact Us
Meet The Doctors
Research Studies
Community Outreach
Calendar of Events
Medical Disclaimer
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Privacy Practices
Diagnostic Vascular

Shockwave Therapy
PSSD Neurosensory
Nerve Testing

Ilizarov Fixation
Improved Bunion Surgery
Orthotic Therapy
House Calls
Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density (ENFD) Testing
Ankle Implants
Ankle Sprains
Arthritic Feet
Athlete's Foot
Charcot Foot
Children's Feet
Cracks & Fissures
Diabetic Foot Care
Flat Feet
Forefoot Surgery
Fungal Nails
Heel Pain
Nail Problems
Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Plantar Fasciitis
Boardman- Rte. 224
Boardman- Market
East Liverpool
East Palestine
Follow Us