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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

January 2012 Edition:

Shoe Drive Nets 700 Pairs of Shoes

Ankle & Foot Care Centers thanks its patients and the community for stepping up to help collect more than 700 pairs of shoes during this year’s Shoe Drive.

Shoe collection stations were placed at each of the practice’s 19 Mahoning Valley locations from the weekend after Thanksgiving through January 6. The local Salvation Army is coordinating a distribution of the new and gently used shoes in February among needy families in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Ankle & Foot Care Centers has conducted its Shoe Drive every year since 1998.

Pictured left to right in front of a Shoe Drive collection bin at the Market Street office in Boardman are Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico, Dr. John Chiaro, Jr., Dr. Robert Debiec and Dr. David Podolsky.

Copyright © January 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Surgery Restores Hammertoe Sufferer’s Active Retirement

In the time it took to put her shoes on, go to Mass and drive back home, Paula Krispli would develop a painful, raw irritation on the raised joint of her second toe that would force her out of her dress shoes and back into her tennis shoes.

Previously she had gone to another podiatrist who tried a procedure that didn’t work. In fact, the toe was worse.

The Boardman resident consequently tried toe separators and guards of various types, but they proved ineffective, causing redness and soreness.

Paula Krispli’s successful hammertoe treatment got her off the sidelines and restored her active lifestyle.
For this active 68-year-old retiree who enjoyed activities such as her parish and diocesan ministries, volunteer work with her husband, attending an occasional dinner dance, attending both the Playhouse and symphony performances, and maintaining her flower gardens and yard, staying on the sidelines just wasn’t acceptable.

As a diabetic who has seen friends and family members with the disease go through awful health issues with their feet and toes, Paula knew how critical it was to not let this issue – diagnosed as hammertoe – linger.

Paula asked her family doctor, Scott Agnew, if he knew of anyone who could do a procedure without breaking bones, and he referred her to Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico of Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

“He was so up front with me,” a relieved Paula said. “He assured me there would be no surprises, and told me ‘I’ll be your coach; if you listen to me we’ll get through this.’”

Dr. DiDomenico’s solution was a unique surgical procedure in which he transferred tendons within the affected foot, lengthening some while shortening others to restore a flatter, more natural shape.

Before seeing Dr. DiDomenico, anything involving a closed toe shoe was “asking for trouble,” according to Paula. After the successful procedure and recovery period Paula was “loving life again,” as she put it, within a few short months.

“For anyone with hammertoe, don’t be afraid of surgery, even if you’re diabetic,” Paula said assuredly. “I’ve seen the results of what diabetes does to the feet, and I didn’t want that to happen to me.

“I’d recommend Dr. DiDomenico to my worst enemy, my best friend and everyone in-between.”

Copyright © January 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Two-Part Surgery Saves Man’s Foot from Amputation

For Ken Kirchmeyer of Niagara Falls, N.Y., just by walking he could hear and feel the small bones of his feet and toes snapping and breaking.

Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico reconstructed Ken's foot after receiving a referral from his New York doctor.
Ken, 64, and retired from military service, was seeing a podiatrist in Western New York for his complicated case of Charcot, a deformity of the foot and ankle often brought on by diabetes. After his condition progressed to a critical stage he was referred to Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico of Ankle & Foot Care Centers. Ken’s podiatrist was a Youngstown native familiar with the experience and unique skills of Dr. DiDomenico, and he knew he was the best option for Ken.

From their initial meeting in Spring 2011, Dr. DiDomenico earned Ken’s trust and discussed various alternatives, which included amputation if the problem were left to persist. Ken quickly agreed to a two-part surgical treatment option.

In April 2011 Dr. DiDomenico performed a procedure to level Ken’s foot, which involved a series of pins to immobilize it while it healed.

Three months later he performed a reconstruction of the ankle and fusion of the foot. Ken recovered at a rehabilitation center in the Youngstown area over the summer and was discharged in September. The surgeries proved to be successful, enabling Ken to walk with the assistance of a cane and climb the 16 steps to his second-floor apartment.

“Just being able to walk again without hobbling or experiencing great pain has been wonderful,” Ken expressed. “Dr. DiDomenico is a phenomenal doctor. If it weren’t for him I would have surely lost my foot.”

Ken has a few steps left in his recovery, including the removal of the titanium hardware in his tibia and heel, but he’s already started looking forward to fishing, light hiking and some nice, long walks.

Copyright © January 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Nursing Home Clinics Inspire Dr. Daniels

Dr. Michael DanielsGrowing up in Rochester, N.Y., Dr. Michael Daniels and his mother, a registered nurse, shared an affinity for caring for the elderly, even working together at a nursing home when he was in high school.

Volunteer work, including assisting at a foot clinic for the community’s homeless, and encouragement from his high school biology teacher steered him toward a career in podiatric medicine.

Meet the DocCombine the two interests and you have Dr. Daniels’ dream clinical career path. Dr. Daniels, a podiatric physician who practices out of Ankle and Foot Care Centers’ Champion and Warren offices, sees patients of all types at the office, but his passion is working with wound care patients at nursing homes and on house calls.

Dr. Daniels visits nine nursing homes per week throughout the Mahoning Valley, and his charm, compassion and clinical expertise have earned him rock star status among the residents.“Wound care takes time and perseverance, and developing a treatment plan with a patient that ultimately saves their foot from amputation is among the most satisfying aspects of the 
Dr. Daniels (far right) adopted two dogs, Meeko (left), 2, and Dory, 5, from the Portage Animal Protective League.
profession,” Dr. Daniels said. “Wound care treatment can be different for every patient, and both the doctor and the patient have to be willing to try different approaches and be open to changing course if something doesn’t work.”

Outside of the office, Dr. Daniels’ hobbies range from working out with a personal trainer twice a week to making candles and raising his two mixed breed rescue dogs, Dory, 5, and Meeko, 2.

The dogs’ names, inspired by characters in Walt Disney films, reflect another interest of his. Dr. Daniels has been to Disney World eight times and considers Lion King and Mulan his two favorite Disney movies.

Dr. Daniels earned a doctor of podiatric medicine degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. He also earned a bachelor's degree in podiatry from Gannon University in Erie, Pa.

He completed his podiatric residency training at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., where he served as chief resident.

Dr. Daniels is licensed as a podiatric physician in Ohio and is also board-qualified as a podiatric surgeon by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He resides in Streetsboro.

Copyright © January 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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7 Reasons to Mind Your Feet as You Resolve to Exercise More

More than half of Americans annually resolve to exercise more, according to polls, but before you hit the gym be sure to address how a workout can impact your feet.

Podiatric physicians Dr. Craig Beaudis and Dr. Michael Daniels at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, with 19 offices in the Mahoning Valley, recommend heeding the following advice:

  1. Time for new shoes. Athletic shoes that are more than a year old have lost their support and may cause an increase in foot pain or possibly injury. Invest in a new pair of shoes.
  2. If the shoe fits. Be measured by an experienced salesperson or podiatric physician, and purchase shoes based on fit, comfort and its intended use. A running shoe, for instance, will not provide the lateral support needed for tennis or basketball.
  3. About that blister. Blisters are caused by wrinkles in socks, poor-fitting shoes, excessive moisture or deformities. Powder or additional padding can help avoid blisters. Avoid the temptation to pop the blister.
  4. Heel pain can be a warning sign. Don’t ignore persistent pain in the heel, especially if it occurs in the morning or after resting. This may be plantar fasciitis. If stretching before taking your first steps in the morning and after sitting for long periods does not resolve the pain, see a podiatric physician.
  5. Don’t ignore nagging pain. Chronic foot and ankle pain after exercising should be checked out. A podiatric physician can develop a treatment plan that alleviates your pain and improves your exercise regimen.
  6. Diabetics can exercise, too. People with diabetes should have annual foot exams, at minimum; more frequently if you have poor blood flow or loss of sensation. Most diabetics are also eligible for diabetic shoes, which are designed to reduce the incidence of foot ulcers. A podiatric physician can provide proper measurements for therapeutic footwear.
  7. Too much, too soon. Tendinitis may occur by overdoing it too soon. Slowly begin your exercise program, and warm up and stretch appropriately. Treat tendinitis with rest, ice and anti-inflammatories. If it does not resolve, see a podiatric physician.

Injuries to the feet are among the more common reasons why the “exercising more” resolution gets broken. Without healthy feet it’s difficult to maintain the momentum and good habits the well-intentioned set out to achieve. Best wishes for staying true to your resolution, and have a safe and healthy new year.

If you need further advice on how to care for your feet upon starting an exercise program, the expert podiatrists at Ankle & Foot Care Centers can help.

Copyright © January 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter

See what’s afoot at Ankle & Foot Care Centers through our newest social media initiatives, Facebook and Twitter.

You’ll learn about trends and advancements in foot and ankle health, news about Ankle & Foot Care Centers, events, special promotions and much more. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

“These social media tools provide a convenient, modern method for communicating with our patients and their families,” said Michael Vallas, practice administrator at Ankle & Foot Care Centers. “They also provide a forum to interact with us through commenting and sharing ideas.”

Click on the icons below to be directed to our pages and start following us today.

Copyright © January 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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External Fixation’s Role in the Healing Process

You may have noticed more people with hardware attached to their feet and ankles lately. This hardware is an external fixation device, and it’s there to aid in healing and bone growth.

External fixation can be used for fractures, fusions (removing the joint surface and healing two bones together), diabetic foot reconstruction, and even to immobilize the foot and ankle to allow wounds to heal. It is called “external fixation” because the device is outside of the body, as opposed to screws or plates that you cannot see that may be surgically implanted. Each method has advantages and indications for certain situations.

External fixation is a method of immobilizing bones to allow a fracture to heal. External fixation is accomplished by placing pins or screws into the bone on both sides of the fracture. The pins are then secured together outside the skin with clamps and rods. The clamps and rods are known as the “external frame.”

The advantage of this external frame is that it can be manipulated in three dimensions to place the foot and ankle in the proper position, which is especially important in complicated foot and ankle reconstruction. Other advantages of external fixation are that it is quickly and easily applied and gives access to wounds that may be present with trauma. The risk of infection at the site of the fracture is minimal, but there is a risk of infection where the pins are inserted through the skin into the bone.

These complicated-looking, bulky devices are another important technology available to the podiatric surgeon to treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions.

Doctors of podiatric medicine are podiatric physicians and surgeons, also known as podiatrists, qualified by their education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.

Copyright © January 2012 American Podiatric Medical Association and Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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From The Kitchen: Penne with Turkey Ragù

From The Kitchen4 servings

Kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks (white and green parts only), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces ground turkey
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for topping
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus the rind (optional)
12 ounces penne
2 tablespoons half-and-half

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic and turkey and cook, stirring, until the turkey browns slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high, bring the sauce to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add half of the basil and the parmesan rind, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Stir the half-and-half, the remaining basil and 2 tablespoons cheese into the sauce. Add the pasta and toss to coat, adding some of the reserved pasta water to loosen, if needed. Remove the parmesan rind and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the pasta among bowls. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon cheese and more basil.

Per serving: Calories, 493; Fat 8 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 27 mg; Sodium 392 mg; Carbohydrate 79 g; Fiber 7 g; Protein 26 g

Copyright © 2012 Food Network Magazine

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