A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.
Third Quarter 2016 Edition:
For almost a year, the pain in his right heel was so intense that local referee Kevin Holmes would walk without letting it touch the ground.
Even though he was seeing a podiatrist, wearing orthotics during the day, wearing a foot brace as he slept and taking anti-inflammatory medicine frequently, the pain was almost constant, he said.
But a transition to a new podiatric physician, Dr. Christian Carbonell of Ankle & Foot Care Centers, brought more effective treatment and a definitive end to his pain in a few months.
“It’s amazing how well the treatment worked,” recalled Kevin, 52, of Girard. "The pain went away in huge chunks."
Kevin says his feet have taken “a lot of pounding” in recent years. He works full-time delivering Frito Lay snack foods to stores and part-time as a high school football and basketball referee.
Although the orthotics and brace ordered by his previous podiatric physician were helpful, "the pain just moved around or went away for a while but kept coming back," he said.
As a result, he walked and ran on his tip toes to avoid putting any weight on his sore heel. He also missed some work because of his heel pain.
Kevin knew about Ankle & Foot’s office on the Northside Medical Center campus through his previous work with an ambulance service and decided to visit right before the 2015 football season.
Since a test indicated Kevin has an extremely high arch, Dr. Carbonell prescribed a different set of treatments. Included was shockwave therapy, which directs acoustic pressure waves that stimulate the metabolism, enhance blood circulation and accelerate the healing process, often making surgery unnecessary.
"The pain has been reduced tremendously – by leaps and bounds," Kevin said. "During football season, I got more and more comfortable running with my heels instead of always on my toes. Toward the end of basketball season, I was able to run as if I’d never had a problem. This is by far the best thing I could have done for my feet."
Kevin still wears the different orthotics Dr. Carbonell performed and still uses a foot brace at night.
Ankle & Foot Care Centers is planning its 18th annual Diabetes Golf Benefit, a four-person scramble set for Friday, Aug. 19, at the Pine Lakes Golf Club in Hubbard. The event raises money for local diabetes resources and support. Read more here.
A love of people and a passion for the sciences culminated in Frank A. Luckino III becoming a doctor of podiatric medicine and working in a comprehensive practice in his hometown area.
A Steubenville native, Dr. Luckino joined the staff of Ankle & Foot Care Centers a year ago and he feels well placed.
“It’s really a family atmosphere with the doctors and staff, and our mentality is to put patients first and everything else will fall into place,” he said. He’s equally impressed with the many services the practice provides.
“We have a large practice that offers everything from orthotics and bracing, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, MRI, vascular studies, PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections and much more,” he said.
Noting his interest in science and anatomy as a youngster, Dr. Luckino took advantage of an opportunity in high school to see the medical profession up close with a friend’s father who was a vascular surgeon. He was able to shadow doctors, and it resulted in him enrolling in the pre-med program at John Carroll University.
A later externship at Kent State College of Podiatric Medicine caused him to fall in love with podiatry. He enrolled at Kent, garnered his doctorate of podiatric medicine and then spent his residency at the Cleveland Clinic.
An opportunity arose for additional training in a surgical fellowship in Youngstown focusing on total ankle replacements, diabetic limb salvage, and complex reconstructions of the foot and ankle.
He studied under experienced podiatric surgeon Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico of Ankle & Foot. He noted that fellowships are becoming more sought after by new doctors.
“If I was going to be operating and doing this type of work, I wanted to be the best-trained as I can be,” Dr. Luckino said.
Most recently he become part of the faculty for the podiatric surgical residency-training program at Northside Medical Center. And in 2015, he contributed to a chapter in an orthopedic trauma textbook on nail trauma of the foot and ankle and assisted Dr. DiDomenico in an article on bunion repair for Podiatry Today.
Dr. Luckino said the most common ailments he sees are plantar fasciitis and arthritis of the foot and ankle. Most patients with plantar fasciitis can get better with stretching, anti-inflammatories, orthotics and wearing good supportive shoes.
“Very rarely does anyone have to go on to any type of surgical management,” he said. With arthritis, “Most of it can be treated with orthotics, bracing and anti-inflammatories if needed.” Surgical options also exist should the condition not respond to conservative care. Dealing with his patients on a personal level is important to the young doctor.
“My philosophy focuses on treating patients as if they were my own family members,” he said.
Dr. Luckino also recommends that his patients have active, healthy lifestyles. He noted that he and his family like to eat healthy and exercise whenever possible.
“If I am telling a patient that part of their problem is attributed to weight and things of that nature, and they see me as not being the healthiest individual … you have to practice what you preach,” he said.
Dr. Luckino, the youngest of four brothers and sisters, is married to his wife Jessica and has a 1-year-old daughter, Nora.
Photo: Dr. Frank Luckino, Jessica and Nora.
Foot sprains left untreated can lead to more severe problems, Dr. Ramy Fahim points out in this new video. Dr. Fahim sees patients in the Warren, Niles, Campbell and Andover offices. Watch the video here.
For Tara Wiley, medical assistant at the Ankle & Foot Care Centers East Liverpool office, life and work are all about helping people, making them feel comfortable and being upbeat and positive.
She's been assisting patients of the practice, many of them with difficult foot and ankle ailments, for 19 years.
"I really like to help people," said Tara, 39. "Sometimes they come into the office and are scared, and they may not be too pleasant. Once we show that we aren't going to hurt them, they calm down and feel comfortable."
As a medical assistant, Tara's work includes taking X-rays, drawing blood (her prior medical experience was in phlebotomy), taking blood pressure and logging patient information. "We get them ready for the doctor to see them, then follow up with services they need after the doctor is done," she said.
What's the reason for her longevity at Ankle & Foot? "I really like the girls that I work with," Tara said. "When you’re with people for eight or more hours a day, it’s so much better to be with people you like. And the doctors are great, too."
East Liverpool office patients comment frequently about the friendliness of the staff, she noted. Tara started out as a full-time employee in 1998 but now works as needed and enjoys spending time with her husband, Jody, of 15 years, and her sons Dawson, 14, and Rowan, 8. They live in East Liverpool, where Tara was born and raised, and her parents live nearby.
When she's not at work or caring for her family, Tara likes to collect old furniture pieces and re-paint them, especially with chalk paint. She hopes to have a side business restoring antique furniture some day. She also enjoys the family’s in-ground pool and having family over for swimming and picnics.
Steve Bland of Salem, Ohio, said his foot pain after a series of misfortunes was so severe that he often had to place it in ice at night.
Fortunately for him, a surgery by Dr. Johnny Alayon of Ankle & Foot Care Centers alleviated his tarsal tunnel condition and several other problems, as well as his pain.
“It’s like night and day,” said Steve, 58, a trainer at a restaurant equipment service who spends a lot of time on his feet. “The relief of the pain has been the biggest change. I was in pain all the time.”
Steve has battled foot problems for years. Born with feet that tend to point inward, he played a lot of basketball from his youth into his 40s and believes that condition led to the several ankle sprains he sustained over the years.
His latest foot injury occurred in July 2014 when he rolled his ankle on a driveway. That left him in severe pain. After conservative treatment didn’t produce results, Dr. Alayon performed the surgery that straightened out Steve’s crooked foot.
He wore a cast for six weeks, then followed up with physical therapy, including weight training and stretching exercises.
“If not for this surgery, I don’t know what I would be doing now,” Steve said. “I can walk without pain. Before, I was in pain all the time, and now I can get around and do my job without hurting.”
WFMJ-TV Channel 21 News recently aired a health feature about summer weather and heel pain, featuring Dr. Robert Debiec of Ankle & Foot Care Centers. View the news story here to see Dr. Debiec's recommendations.
(From the Kitchen recipes are provided by the Diabetes Partnership of the Mahoning Valley.)
Greek yogurt and cashews make for a deliciously creamy pesto to top poached shrimp or fish fillets.
This recipe serves: 6 people
3 cups water
1. Bring water and salt-free seasoning to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to just barely a simmer and add shrimp. Cook 6 minutes or until shrimp are pink and just cooked through.
2. While shrimp is cooking, add the arugula, yogurt, garlic, olive oil, cashews, Parmesan cheese and black pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
3. Drain shrimp and toss with the pesto while shrimp are still hot. Chef Tip: Serve this shrimp hot over cooked whole-wheat pasta, or chilled with salad greens.
For more information, including nutritional information, see this link.
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