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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

July 2011 Edition:

Positive Attitude Gets Norwalk Man Through Journey

“Never give up” is the philosophy that kept Roger Ungerer going throughout a challenging medical journey that lasted six years.

What began as a typical work day for Ungerer, a lineman for a cable company, turned out to be anything but normal. A sharp fall triggered the first phase of his long, painful journey with a hurried trip to the local emergency room to treat multiple, compound injuries of his leg and feet.

His first of many treatments, a 12-hour surgery, resulted in an infection in his foot which then settled into the bone. And the more than 20 subsequent surgeries to treat issues resulting from the infection were all unsuccessful.

“After so many surgeries and procedures, nothing seemed to be working and I was looking for help,” recalled Ungerer, now 59, of Norwalk.

Positive Attitude Gets Norwalk Man Through JourneyOn a referral, he contacted Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico of Ankle and Foot Care Centers, for an appointment.

“On that very first visit, he spent three hours with me and my wife, Cherie, just sitting and talking about all of my issues and possible treatment, Ungerer explained.

Dr. DiDomenico’s objective was to identify the source of the problem within the leg and administer an aggressive treatment plan including surgery to remove the bone marrow.

And, even despite the nearly heroic attempts to battle the infection, Ungerer, together with a team of physicians, reached a mutual decision. In October 2010, after 29 surgeries, he underwent an amputation below the knee.

“What had to be done, had to be done,” he declared. “It was tough -- not knowing whether I would ever walk again. But you just have to keep going, knowing that tomorrow is going to be a better day.”

Recently, Ungerer was fitted with a red, white and blue prosthetic leg and is learning to adjust to his new life and new outlook.

“There were plenty of days that were pretty tough to get through,” he said. “But I have so much to be thankful for.

“I couldn’t have gone down this journey without Dr. DiDomenico. He and his staff did everything they could to help me through this. There were so just many complications.”

His goal is to walk again.

“I’m not going to say when, but one thing I know for sure is that I’ll never give up until I do.”

Copyright © July 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. Anania Delivers Assistance from the Sidelines

During her college years at Youngstown State University, Michelle Anania never was part of the sports crowd.

Meet the Doc“I went to all the games and tailgated, but that is as physical as it got,” Anania remembers.

A decade later, that has changed -- at least a little bit. This avid sportswatcher, now Dr. Michelle Anania, a podiatric physician with Ankle & Foot Care Centers, is the official podiatrist for YSU athletics.

“You still won’t see me down on the sidelines,” she says, stressing that she leaves the spot at the game to YSU sports medicine physician Dr. Jim Shina. “I treat many athletes, especially basketball players with bad ankles and other problems, but all from my office.”

Dr. Anania Delivers Assistance from the SidelinesAnania says the toughest part of treating these young athletes is rarely the injury. Instead it is more often coping with the pressure from the “invisible timeline.” Coaches, parents and the athletes themselves want the doctor to get them back on the court right away for the “big game.” She’s found a way to make this drive work in her favor.

“Athletes are pretty compliant patients because they want to get healed and get playing again,” she says. “If they don’t listen, they know it will just take longer.”

Anania enjoys the variety of care this assignment brings to her career. In fact, diversity in patients and conditions is what attracted her to this medical specialty in the first place.

“Podiatry is not pigeon-holed,” the effervescent Anania explains. “We do sports, geriatric, pediatrics, surgery -- sometimes in the same day. It allows me to do so many different things instead of choosing one.”

Although a professed non-athlete, Anania doesn’t get out of the group’s annual golf outing. “I’m the only doctor that doesn’t play so they think I should organize,” she laughs.

Dr. Anania and her staff are planning its 13th annual American Diabetes Association Golf Benefit, a four-person golf scramble. It is set for Monday, Aug. 15, at the Lake Club in Poland. A shotgun start is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., following sign-in at 10:30. (Read more here.)

The tournaments have raised more than $90,000 for the Tri-County Chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

Copyright © July 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. DiDomenico Lectures at National Events

Dr. DiDomenico Lectures at National EventsDr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico, managing partner at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, was recently a featured speaker at two major gatherings for podiatric physicians and surgeons.

Dr. DiDomenico delivered five lectures in April as part of the 2011 national conference of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. All five addresses covered aspects of minimally invasive reconstructive surgery, which uses smaller incisions that allow patients to bear weight much earlier than after surgery with traditional techniques.

In June, Dr. DiDomenico was a speaker and scientific chair of a national seminar sponsored by the American Podiatric Medical Association in Columbus. He participated in five separate presentations covering diabetes, deformities, arthritis and other topics.

Dr. DiDomenico is a widely recognized author and speaker on foot conditions and treatments. He was among the founders of Ankle & Foot Care Centers and remains an adjunct faculty member at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland.

Copyright © July 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Shock Wave Therapy Can Relieve Heel Pain

Runners have it, and movie stars have it. Lots of people have it in the morning when they get out of bed. We get it after a trip to the mall or the grocery store.

What is it? It’s heel pain, medically known as plantar fasciitis, and it’s non-discriminating and can be really annoying.

Just think for a moment about that lonely bone in the bottom of your foot, the heel bone. This bone, the largest in our foot, withstands a great deal of abuse as we cram it into our shoes day
after day and subject it to our full weight with every step on hard surfaces.

Shock Wave Therapy Can Relieve Heel PainWith such abuse, it’s no wonder that plantar fasciitis is a problem for so many of us. Podiatrists say that heel pain is the number-one complaint of patients.

Common treatments like anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, stretching exercises, and custom orthotics (shoe inserts) can often clear up the problem. In some cases, however, patients continue to have pain after trying these traditional conservative treatments.

That’s when podiatric physicians and surgeons turn to extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or ESWT, which has emerged as an effective treatment option for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. ESWT delivers focused shock waves to the body designed to treat chronic heel pain. A shock wave is an intense, but very short, energy wave traveling faster than the speed of sound. The word “extra-corporeal” means “outside the body” and refers to the fact that the shock waves are generated outside the body.

Shock wave therapy induces microtrauma to the tissue affected by plantar fasciitis. This microtrauma initiates a healing response by the body. This healing response causes blood vessel formation and increased delivery of nutrients to the affected area.

Low-energy shock wave treatments can be given as a series of three or more treatments. The low-energy shock waves are generally not painful, or can be mildly painful. On the other hand, high-energy shock wave treatments are given at one session. High-energy shock wave treatments are quite painful, and some type of anesthesia is used.

Your podiatrist has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of all manner of foot conditions. Take advantage of your doctor’s expertise to alleviate your heel pain. To learn more or order a free booklet on heel pain, visit our Heel Pain page.

Copyright © July 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers and American Podiatric Medical Association

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From The Kitchen: Barbeque Dry Rub

From The KitchenDr. Mark Smesko shares another one of his favorite recipes for Summer – barbeque dry rub. Watch this space each month for a new recipe from one of our doctors or staff members.

Barbeque Dry Rub

8 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme

This is an-all purpose dry rub that is excellent on chicken, ribs, or pork shoulder. I usually apply 2 hours prior to cooking the meat. This rub will keep in an air-tight container for up to a month.

Copyright © July 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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