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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

May 2011 Edition:

Ankle & Foot Fellowship Lands National Recognition

An educational fellowship directed by Ankle & Foot Care Centers is among 11 programs in the United States recognized recently by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, a national society that advocates advanced surgical education for podiatrists.

The one-year fellowship is directed by the practice’s 15 podiatric physicians and sponsored by the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. It offers an in-depth approach to foot and ankle reconstruction.

“This is an honor, and it validates the effort we’ve made to provide exceptional training to young podiatrists,” said Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico, managing partner at Ankle & Foot Care Centers and the director of the fellowship program.

“We’re big believers in education as the key to making the latest techniques and technologies available to our patients.”

The local fellowship was established in 2005. One of its graduates, Dr. Kwame Williams, is now a physician with Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

It and 10 others identified in April were the first to be recognized under a new initiative by the ACFAS. The recognition aims to spotlight the nation’s best fellowship programs so that other healthcare providers can emulate them.

Copyright © May 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Surgeries Save Youngstown Woman From Charcot Foot

When her ankle swelled after a mishap at work, DG (name concealed by request) figured it just needed time to heal.

She did not realize that a lack of feeling in her foot was hiding the extensive, nearly irreparable damage her ankle had sustained.

Fortunately, Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico of Ankle & Foot Care Centers diagnosed her with a destructive condition known as Charcot foot and got her on the complex but successful road to recovery.

Today, DG, 61, of Youngstown, still has both of her feet and can walk just fine with a walker.

“I didn’t know the ankle was broken, because with my neuropathy I had no pain,” she recalled. “I was walking around on it for a week. It was swollen, but I figured it was just because I was on it too much.

“I am so grateful. I have a cousin who had problems with circulation, had ulcers that kept getting worse, and the doctor just amputated her foot. She never went for a second opinion. If she’d have told me, I would have sent her to this doctor.”

DG hurt her ankle when a rolling office chair slipped away and she fell. Although she did not immediately seek medical attention, she brought it up the next time she saw the podiatrist who was treating her neuropathy, a numbness and lack of feeling in the feet. That doctor asked Dr. DiDomenico to examine her ankle.

“I remember the look on his face,” she recalled. “He said the bones were so soft they just crumbled. Any other doctor would have amputated, but he said, ‘No, we’re going to fix it.’”

Dr. DiDomenico scheduled a surgery, then three others. The ankle had to be repaired in stages. Charcot foot, common in diabetic patients, develops when bones and joints fracture, don’t get attention and then heel unevenly.

In addition to Dr. DiDomenico’s surgeries, DG had to wait out a long recovery and undergo a challenging therapy program.

She can get around just fine with a walker. As her ankle has healed she’s been able to exercise more, which has improved her balance. Throughout the recovery, she has appreciated being able to ask Dr. Domenico questions and get helpful advice.

“He has stuck by me, and the girls in the office are all so nice,” she said. “They made a miserable situation so much better.

“With some doctors, you can’t ask questions, because they make you feel like you’re questioning their authority or their knowledge. He has answered all of my questions and calmed my fears. He stays calm, and sets such a good example. If it weren’t for him, I’d have lost this foot.”

Copyright © May 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Are You at Risk for Diabetes?

A test developed by the American Diabetes Association makes it easy to see if you are. Click onthis link to take the test.

Only your doctor can determine for sure if you have Type 2 diabetes. But it is important to know whether well-established risk factors apply to you.

Ankle & Foot Centers is a long-time sponsor of diabetes research, as many of the symptoms of diabetes affect the feet and ankles.

Copyright © May 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. Carbonell Delivers Foot Care in Colombia

Dr. Christian Carbonell, a podiatric physician with Ankle & Foot Care Centers, has made his work in Colombia a quarterly affair.

Dr. Carbonell now travels four times a year to the South American country, birthplace of his parents, to donate care for children living in and near Cartagena, a city on the Caribbean coast.

“There’s a high incidence of foot problems outside the major cities of Colombia where the access to medical care is limited,” Dr. Carbonell said. “We get quite a few children who are a good distance from the city.”

His quarterly trips usually include conducting pediatric foot examinations, as well as fitting orthotics that were ordered and custom-made for children he screened on his previous visit.

In February, for example, he examined 16 children and will have orthotics for four of them when he returns in May. “I tried mailing the orthotics, but now I dispense them in person to make sure the fit is right,” Dr. Carbonell said.

Both of his parents grew up in Colombia and moved to the United States in late 1950s. His father, Fernando, is a retired surgeon who practiced for many years in Youngstown.

“We still have many family and friends in Cartagena, and we own a residence there that has served as an informal doctor’s office,” Dr. Carbonell said.

Medical Resources, a medical supply company based in Akron, has donated all of the custom-built orthotic inserts to help get Dr. Carbonell’s venture started. As the program continues to grow, Dr. Carbonell is searching for donors to help make the program more permanent.

“Every time I go, we see new people,” he said. “In the major cities, medical care is comparable to the United States. But in the more remote areas and villages outside the cities, you’re going to find a lot of people with deformities.”

Dr. Carbonell has been with Ankle & Foot Care Centers since 1998. He is board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics & Primary Podiatric Medicine and is a certified wound specialist.

He sees patients in our Boardman, Youngstown and Lake Milton offices. When he’s away from the office and hospital, he enjoys golf, working out and travel. He lives in Liberty.

Dr. Carbonell in Colombia
Dr. Carbonell with some of his Colombian patients and their parents and guardians.


Dr. Carbonell in Colombia
Dr. Carbonell fits a small foot for a custom orthotic insert. 

Copyright © May 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. Williams Addresses Diabetes & Foot Care

Dr. Kwame WilliamsDr. Kwame Williams, a podiatric physician with Ankle & Foot Care Centers, led a community education lecture about diabetes and foot care in late April. He spoke at The Commons at Greenbriar, 8060 South Ave.

Dr. Williams has been with Ankle & Foot Care Centers since 2008. He sees patients in our Boardman, Liberty and Youngstown offices.

Copyright © May 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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From The Kitchen: Mediterranean Orzo Salad

From The KitchenDr. Mark Smesko shares one of his favorite recipes for Spring -- Mediterranean Orzo Salad. Watch this space each month for a new recipe from one of our doctors or staff members.


4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups orzo
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives 
1/3 pound feta cheese crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup red wine vinaigrette, recipe follows


Pour broth into a heavy, large saucepan. Cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Drain orzo through a strainer. Transfer orzo to a large bowl and toss until it cools slightly. Set aside and let cool completely.

Toss the orzo with the onion, red pepper, olives, feta, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until incorporated. May use a blender to make the vinaigrette.

Copyright © May 2011 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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