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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

December 2013 Edition:

Dr. DiDomenico Featured on Local News Broadcast

Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico, managing partner of Ankle & Foot Care Centers, was recently featured on WFMJ-TV’s Healthy Living to discuss an important bunion procedure that gets patient back on their feet faster.

The procedure, called Lapidus bunionectomy, is a used to treat bunions, one of the most common sources of foot pain. Bunions occur when the big toe angles in toward the other toes, causing enlargement of the metatarsophalangeal joint.

Restrictive shoes, arthritis and constant pressure inside the joint cause pain for bunion sufferers and may necessitate corrective surgery.

The goal of Lapidus bunionectomy is to move the metatarsal bone back to its original place on the foot. The procedure realigns the metatarsal joint at the mid-foot.

Dr. DiDomenico was recently invited to speak about the technique at an international foot surgeon’s conference in Germany.

“This is the best, long-term procedure out there for patients with bunions, said Dr. DiDomenico, who has been performing this procedure his entire career. “More recently with the latest technology, the procedure does not involve entering the joint and there are many benefits with this treatment.”

These benefits include better range of motion, less pain, quicker recovery time, limited stiffness, a smaller incision and early weight bearing.

Dr. DiDomenico Featured on Local News Broadcast

Dr. DiDomenico discussed bunion treatment during a recent interview on WFMJ. To watch the interview, click on the photo above.

Copyright © December 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Limb Salvage Procedure Gives Odom a New Beginning

No one would blame Francis Odom if he maintained a sour outlook on life. It’s easy to allow challenging life circumstances to carve out negative attitudes.

Limb Salvage Procedure Gives Odom a New Beginning

Patient Francis Odom credits the care he received at Ankle & Foot Care for his new positive outlook on life.

But, due to his positive outlook, and the help of Ankle & Foot Care Centers podiatrist Dr. Kwame Williams, Francis is choosing to focus on the good things in life – like life itself.

“It’s not the end of the world,” said Francis, who had all 10 toes surgically removed in order to save his feet. “I’m living on my own, cooking my own food and living my life. You just have to be as positive as you can and treat this as a new start.”

“I looked in the phone book and started with the “A’s” and found Ankle & Foot Care,” he explained. “I got in to see Dr. Williams and he took me straight into the operating room. There were a few vascular surgeons who suggested we cut to the knee, but Dr. Williams didn’t want to do that. We ended up performing surgery toe by toe.”

Francis was in and out of surgery for six months, as his toes were removed, first on his right foot, then his left. He spent a week to 10 days in the hospital for each procedure, then home for a week to recover.

Some may see this as a negative outcome, but Francis feels the opposite and was thrilled with the care he received from Dr. Williams and the staff at Ankle & Foot.

“They gave me immediate treatment and the service was excellent,” he said. “Anyone who has a foot problem should go to him. He gave me a new beginning.”

Copyright © December 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. Heather Petrolla Joins Ankle & Foot Care Team

Life’s past experiences often have a way of shaping our thoughts and future decisions. That was surely the case for Dr. Heather Petrolla, whose choice to pursue a career in podiatry can be traced to an event in her past.

Dr. Heather Petrolla Joins Ankle & Foot Care Team“I had bunion surgery in the mid-1970s and it turned out really well,” she explained. “I had a great surgeon and a great result, so that had a lot to do with why I went into this field.”

Ever since, Dr. Petrolla has committed her career to improving patients’ quality of life through her practice. The life-long Mahoning Valley resident from Kinsman attended Ohio State, majoring in microbiology, and later studied at Case Western Reserve. She attended podiatry school at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland.

Before recently joining the team at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, Dr. Petrolla practiced podiatry for more than 35 years alongside her husband, Dr. Angelo Petrolla. They provided care out of offices in Struthers and Andover.

“I’ve known everyone at Ankle & Foot for years and years,” explained Dr. Petrolla. “They are great people and have a great reputation for doing what needs to be done to help patients. It’s a great group to be working with.”

Meet the DocDr. Petrolla now sees patients out of three Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ offices – Struthers, Andover and Cornersburg. She had spent most of the last 10 years working primarily out of her Struthers location and sometimes making the commute to Andover.

“I used to make that long trip a lot – it’s about an hour and 15 minutes,” she said. “I don’t mind traveling to different offices. You get to see a little bit of everything and the clientle is different at each office.”

While technology and podiatric medicine has changed during the span of her career, Dr. Petrolla’s focus and goal today remain the same.

“The bottom line is that I’m here to help people,” she explained. “We’re here to help them not lose a limb, to help them be able to walk and to help them not be in pain anymore. That’s why I’m here doing what I’m doing.”

Copyright © December 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Reagan Enjoys Billing Work, Short Commute

When Cathy Reagan leaves the house for work at Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ East Liverpool office, there are two things she can be certain of – she’s going to a job she likes and it won’t take long to get there.

Employee Spotlight“I love it [the job],” said Cathy, who has worked in the practice’s billing department for 13 years. “I really love the billing aspect of it, putting the charges in and seeing results when the bills are paid. I really like what I do and the people I work with.”

The East Liverpool resident also enjoys the fact that her morning commute is shorter than it takes to brew the morning’s coffee. The trip from her driveway to the Ankle & Foot office parking lot is about two miles.

The entire billing department for the practice is located in East Liverpool and includes 11 staff members, including Cathy. Each team member handles their own specific type of task, which allows for efficiency and accuracy, something Cathy embraces.

“My whole job is entering all the charges,” she explained. “We all get along great and it’s definitely a group effort. We handle everything that comes in, whether it’s office billing, nursing home billings or hospital surgeries. Everything the doctors do that’s billable comes here.”

Reagan Enjoys Billing Work, Short Commute

Cathy Reagan has worked in the Ankle & Foot Care billing department for 13 years. She lives and works in East Liverpool.

The billing department is currently going through a transition to a new computer system, which makes each day challenging. But, Cathy and her co-workers know that in the long run, the extra effort will be worth it.

“We are working with two computer systems right now,” Cathy explained. “At times, it is confusing because we have to toggle between the two. We are still in the learning process. When a patient calls, we need to check their balance in both systems.

“We also have to make sure to bill under the correct doctor and system before sending the claims to the insurance company. “I like the challenge and think it will ultimately benefit the billing department and help to better serve the patients.”

Cathy has lived in East Liverpool for 20 years after relocating from Pittsburgh. Her and her husband, Patrick, will celebrate 30 years of marriage next August and have four adult daughters. The past couple of years have been pretty hectic in the Reagan family, as three of their four children have gotten married in the last two years.

“It’s been pretty busy,” said Cathy. “The last one got married in October, so we’re done with the weddings. But we have six grandchildren who keep us busy. They live all around, so that keeps us traveling to see them in Pittsburgh, Erie and Canton. We’re always going somewhere.”

When she’s not working at Ankle & Foot or spending time with family, Cathy enjoys shopping or walking at the local YMCA. As a Pittsburgh native, she also actively supports the Steelers and Pirates.

Copyright © December 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Saving Limbs and Lives with Smart Medicine

Our lives are surrounded by “smart” technology — smartphones, smart cars, and smart sensors. Now, today’s podiatrist is saving limbs and lives with smart medicine.

Outsmarting Diabetes: Saving Limbs and Lives with Smart MedicineOf the more than 26 million people in the US with diabetes, about half will develop neuropathy, a loss of feeling in the lower extremities. This nerve damage means an open sore or injury on the foot may go unnoticed until it becomes infected, which can eventually lead to the need for partial or full amputation of the foot or lower leg. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputation.

But today’s podiatrist is staying a step ahead, with cutting-edge technologies like 3-D printing and smart textiles to better monitor and address issues commonly faced by their patients with diabetes.

For Diabetes Awareness Month in November, APMA has worked with Dr. Anna Marie Chwastiak to produce an educational video for patients on some of the most interesting types of smart medicine.

From smart socks to smart cells, the video covers a range of medical advancements, and highlights both the physicians creating these innovative and life-saving tools as well as the patients benefiting from them. To watch the video, click here.

With proper foot care from today’s podiatrist, you can manage the effects of diabetes on your feet. APMA encourages diabetes patients and those at risk for developing the disease to take a step in the right direction by having their feet regularly checked by a podiatrist.

Podiatrists are the most qualified doctors to care for your feet, based on their education, training, and experience.

Copyright © December 2013 American Podiatric Medical Association and Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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From The Kitchen: Peanut Butter and Lemon-Mint Banana Toast

From The KitchenIngredients
2 slices whole-grain bread
2 bananas
1 lemon
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
4 tablespoons natural peanut butter


Toast the bread.

While the bread is toasting, slice the bananas into 1/2-inch thick disks and put them into a bowl. Grate the lemon zest over the bananas. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Tear in the mint leaves and gently mix to combine.

Spread each piece of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and top each with half the bananas. Serve immediately.

To see a video of how to make this recipe, click here.

From The Kitchen: Peanut Butter and Lemon-Mint Banana Toast

Copyright © 2013 Food Network Magazine

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