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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

Novemeber 2009 Edition:

Ankle & Foot Care Centers Shoe Drive Urges
Shoppers to 'Give the Gift of Shoes'

BOARDMAN, Ohio – In light of the slow economy, podiatrists with Ankle & Foot Care Centers are urging holiday shoppers to "Give the Gift of Shoes" to help the area’s less fortunate.

Ankle & Foot Care Centers has begun its 2009 shoe drive and hopes to collect more than 800 pairs of shoes between now and January 9, 2010.

Shoe collection stations are now in place at each of the group’s 20 locations throughout the region, all of which are accepting new or nearly new shoes.

"A gift of new shoes can improve a person’s foot health and provide an emotional boost – for the gift and the giver," said Michael Vallas, practice administrator at Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

Since 1998, the podiatrist practice has helped local shoppers donate thousands of shoes to local needy families. In February, the Salvation Army will distribute the shoes collected this year to individuals throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Jean Malandro, director of social services for the Mahoning County Salvation Army, encouraged local shoppers to give the gift of new shoes.

"The need is greater than many people think," Malandro said. "Unemployment remains high and we have many individuals looking for help for basic necessities like good shoes."

Copyright © November 2009 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Treatment Plan Saves Canfield Man's Leg

Treatment Plan Saves Canfield Man’s Leg
Timely procedures saved Tom Cochrane’s right leg.

Tom Cochrane of Canfield has had problems with his feet for many years. He lost a toe in 2007, and in 2008 he lost part of another toe.

In late 2008, a diabetic ulcer on his right leg got so bad that his doctor told him the entire leg would have to be amputated.

Fortunately, a friend suggested that Tom see one of the physicians at Ankle and Foot Care Centers who had a different approach. Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico put together a comprehensive treatment plan coordinating with other health care professionals to help salvage Tom's limb.

"That saved my leg," Tom recalled. "I walk now with a cane. But I can look down and thank God I have both feet and both legs."

Copyright © November 2009 Ankle & Foot Care Centers


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Meet the Doc: Dr. Michael Daniels

Dr. Michael DanielsDr. Michael Daniels is the newest member of the Ankle & Foot Care Centers team of podiatric physicians and surgeons. He joined our practice in November and is seeing patients in the Champion office.

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 lives in Broadview Heights.

When he's not delivering foot care, Dr. Daniels enjoys movies and baking.

Copyright © November 2009 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Orthotics Offer Advantages in Various Forms

Orthotics Offer Advantages in Various FormsOrthotics are custom-molded devices that are designed specifically for your feet and then placed in your shoes. They are intended to correct abnormal foot biomechanics.

They perform functions that make standing, walking and running more comfortable and efficient by altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.

Doctors of podiatric medicine prescribe orthotics as a conservative approach to many foot problems or as a method of control after certain types of foot surgery. Their use is a highly successful, practical form of treatment.

Orthotics take various forms and are built of various materials. They fall into three broad categories:

  • Those that primarily attempt to change foot function,
  • Those that are primarily protective in nature, and
  • Those that combine functional control and protection.

Orthotics can be categorized as rigid, semi-rigid or soft.

Rigid Orthotics

The so-called rigid orthotic device, designed to control function, may be made of a firm material such as plastic or carbon fiber and is used primarily for walking or dress shoes.

It is generally fabricated from a plaster mold of the individual foot. The finished device normally extends along the sole from the heel to the ball or toes of the foot. It is worn mostly in closed shoes with a heel height under two inches.

Semi-Rigid Orthotics

The semi-rigid orthotic provides for dynamic balance of the foot while walking or participating in sports. Each sport has its own demands and each sport orthotic needs to be built appropriately with the specific sport and athlete in mind.

This functional dynamic orthotic helps guide the foot through proper functions, allowing the muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently. The classic, semi-rigid orthotic is constructed of layers of soft material, reinforced with more rigid materials.

Soft Orthotics

The soft orthotic device helps to absorb shock, increase balance and take pressure off uncomfortable or sore spots. It is usually constructed of soft, compressible materials, and may be molded by the action of the foot in walking or fashioned over a plaster impression of the foot.

This orthotic usually extends from the heel past the ball of the foot to include the toes. The advantage of any soft orthotic device is that it may be easily adjusted to changing weight-bearing forces.

The disadvantage is that it must be periodically replaced or refurbished. Various other orthotics may be used for multidirectional sports or edge-control sports by casting the foot within the ski boot, ice skate boot, or inline skate boot.

Check with Your Podiatrist

Combinations of semi-flexible material and soft material to accommodate painful areas are utilized for specific problems. Only a licensed health care professional can diagnose and prescribe medical treatments, including orthotics.

While there are some outstanding over-the-counter products that your podiatrist may recommend as an interim treatment, remember that you will want the advice of your podiatrist before buying these devices from a retail store.

Keep in mind that wearing the wrong type of insert can be detrimental to feet -- especially for people with diabetes or arthritis.

Copyright © November 2009 American Podiatric Medical Association and Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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