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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

Third Quarter 2019 Edition:

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections Speed Up Healing of Tendon Injuries

A powerful blood therapy that has helped many high-profile athletes recover from injuries is having similar results for patients of NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy, administered through injections, is an alternative to surgery and capitalizes on the natural healing capabilities of the body's own blood platelets to accelerate the healing of tendons.

Read more here.

Copyright © September 2019 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Warren Woman Thrilled to Be 'Alive Again' After PRP Injections

Brenda Greathouse is able to walk again after several long months of debilitating pain in her Achilles tendon. She can now go to the grocery store and leave her house without a cane or a walker - things she couldn't do several months ago.

It wasn't until the 71-year-old woman went to Dr. Ramy Fahim, a podiatric physician with NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers in Warren, that she found a treatment that worked.

Brenda suffered from a heel spur, which is a calcium build-up on the back of her heel, and it began to interfere with her Achilles tendon, causing it to become inflamed and damaged. It had worsened by the time she visited her family doctor back in March.

"I tried every foot apparatus out there," said Brenda. "I joke around and say that I could be a foot doctor after everything I tried."

After months in a boot and with no relief, Brenda decided to seek a second opinion. That's when she heard about Dr. Fahim from a friend who had her foot saved from amputation, thanks to his conservative treatment.

"The first thing Dr. Fahim said to me after seeing my MRI was, 'You have no quality of life,'" said Brenda, after describing how her Achilles tendon had "turned into mush."

Dr. Fahim explained that Brenda had two options.

"He told me that he could do surgery, but that would mean that I'd spend four to six weeks of recovery time in a nursing home," she explained. "Or, he could give me PRP injections, with which I was likely to experience a 70 to 75 percent difference and some relief after two months."

After experiencing a long recovery time for a knee surgery several years back, she chose the latter of the two options.

Platelet Rich Plasma therapy uses injections of a person's own blood, with specially prepared platelets that are taken and then re-injected into the tendon of the affected area. These platelets release substances known as "growth factors" which help stimulate and accelerate the healing process of the tissue.

It's a treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis, knee tears, and other non-healing tendon injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and tennis elbow.

Dr. Fahim and other physicians at NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers offer PRP injections as an outpatient service. The in-office injections take about an hour.

"He explained it like a blood transfusion," Brenda said. "And I've never been more relieved to learn about something I had not heard of before."

She had it done at the end of May and, after two months, Brenda was actually looking forward to her appointment for the first time. She was so happy that she greeted Dr. Fahim by shouting, "I love you! I love you! I love you!"

When he asked how the pain was, she responded that she didn't have any pain.

She still experiences discomfort, because she also suffers from plantar fasciitis, which can also result from heel spurs, but it is nothing like the stabbing pain she experienced with her Achilles tendon.

"Dr. Fahim not only helped me to feel alive again, but he was also very thorough and explained everything very well," she said. "I never waited to see him. He always got me in and out. You could tell he really cares about his patients."

Although she missed being able to play with her great grandchildren when they visited her in June, she looks forward to the next time when they come and she won't have to be pushed around in a wheelchair.

"I finally have my life back and I can actually walk," said Brenda. "I'm no longer depressed from the excruciating pain and I'm so thankful for Dr. Fahim."

Copyright © September 2019 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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3 Easy Steps for Choosing Shoes for Children

By Dr. Jennifer Flo

It's back to school time, so let's help kids put their best feet forward. Here are three guidelines for purchasing new shoes for children.

Read Dr. Flo's blog article here.

Copyright © September 2019 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers Golf Event Raises $15,320 for Diabetes Partnership of the Mahoning Valley

NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers today announced a donation of $15,320 to the Diabetes Partnership of the Mahoning Valley as a result of its recent golf benefit fundraiser.

Copyright © September 2019 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. Blasko, Podiatric Physician, Surgeon, Wound Care Specialist, Focuses on Saving Limbs

Pictured is Dr. Blasko with his two daughters, Avery and Ellie, his wife, Kara, and his son, Van.

Dr. Gregory Blasko has noticed a rise in the number of diabetic patients in this area. As a result, the board-certified surgeon and wound care specialist has dedicated much of his practice to treating these patients with one major goal in mind - saving their limbs.

Individuals with diabetes face the risk of wounds and infections that can, in severe cases, lead to amputation.

Dr. Blasko and other physicians at NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers are always trying to raise awareness and educate their diabetic patients on this potentially life-threatening risk.

"Research shows that the five-year mortality rate is around 50 percent after a patient undergoes a major amputation," he explained. "So saving a limb and keeping people ambulatory is of utmost importance."

Dr. Blasko treats patients at the Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center. He also sees patients at the group's Salem and Poland offices. He performs surgery on all conditions affecting the lower extremities, including fractures, arthritic foot and more.

"I love the feeling of having a patient with an acute problem come in to the office and have him or her leave with relief of the pain and feeling better," he said. "But I'd have to say the best feeling is knowing I can help people save their feet and legs."

Dr. Blasko has been with Ankle & Foot Care Centers since 1997.

After graduating from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, he completed a podiatric surgical residency at Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital in 1997 before joining the group.

"I enjoy working for NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers because we have expertly trained doctors and staff that really care about our patients," he said. "And we have the convenience of 20 locations with state-of-the-art training and facilities."

In his spare time, Dr. Blasko enjoys spending time with his family. He stays busy by visiting Ellie and Avery, his two daughters at college, and attending his son Van's high school sporting events. He also enjoys golfing, clay shooting sports, reading and collecting World War II books and memorabilia.

He lives in Poland with his wife, Kara, and their son, Van.

Copyright © September 2019 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Medical Assistant, Mother, Grandmother, Values Relationships at Work, at Home

For Barb Hubert, going to work is enjoyable because of the people she's surrounded by. Whether it's her coworkers, doctors or her regular patients, she has built strong relationships over the past decade and a half that she's been with NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

As a medical assistant and head technician, Barb interacts with patients on a regular basis as she works alongside the doctors. Some of her duties include taking vitals, performing aftercare for the doctors, sending out orders and making sure everything runs smoothly.

"My favorite part about my job is being able to help our patients," she said. "For many of them, they are coming in regularly and we're seeing the worst of the worst in some cases. But if we keep a positive outlook, we can help to lift their spirits.

"We try to make them feel like family," Barb said.

She also has close ties with her coworkers, some of whom she refers to as her best friends.

"If you work with people you enjoy being around, it makes your job a lot easier," she said.

"I have a great relationship with our doctors, too, and I've learned their different styles after working with many of them for as long as I've been here," she said. "We usually know what they want before they even ask."

Work isn't the only place where Barb is focusing her time and energy into her relationships. She is a mother of two daughters and a first-time grandmother to her 5-month-old grandson, Rowan, whom she proudly admits to spoiling.

"I see my grandson every day after work," Barb said. "I work harder for him so I can buy him everything he wants."

She enjoys going to cookouts at her daughter's house and spending time with her family. Her two daughters, Stephanie and Kristin, live two minutes away from her in Struthers.

"My family is everything to me," she said.

Barb also spends much of her time with her 5-month-old grandson, Rowan.

Barb (center) is very close with her two daughters, (from left) Kristin and Stephanie.

Copyright © September 2019 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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From the Kitchen: Lasagne Soup

From The Kitchen

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

Here is a refreshing and delicious salad for a summer afternoon. This simple recipe is easy to make and it's healthy!

Serving Size: 1 cup soup, 1/4 cup yogurt
Makes: 4 servings
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Diabetic friendly? Yes


2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cups diced onion
1 cup shredded carrots
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups canned low-sodium diced tomatoes, undrained
Zest of 1 orange
6 oz. whole-wheat lasagna noodles, broken into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Add the ground beef, and brown for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.

Stir in the chicken broth, undrained tomatoes, and orange zest. Bring to boiling and add the noodles. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the noodles are soft.

Stir in the basil. Ladle into soup bowls, adding a dollop of yogurt to each serving.

For more information, including nutritional information, see link.

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