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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

October 2012 Edition:

Peace Race Sponsor Offers Tips for Healthy Running

Ankle & Foot Care Centers is once again among the sponsors of Youngstown’s Peace Race, a 10k and 2k run through scenic Mill Creek Park and downtown Youngstown in the fall that annually draws more than 1,500 runners.

Runners commonly battle foot and ankle injuries, as the impact of every step is the equivalent of up to two times a person’s body weight. That’s a lot of force and wear on a runner’s feet, ankles, knees and hips. Dr. Kwame Williams of Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ Northside, Liberty and Boardman offices offers the following tips for minimizing your injury risk when running.

  • Be a soft runner – Your running mechanics should be such that when you run past someone they can’t hear you. Strike the ground with your forefoot, or the ball of your foot. The forefoot acts as the shocks and springs of your foot. If you land on your heel, it creates a hard, pounding and jarring motion that resonates through your knees and hips. Landing on the forefoot lowers your risk for injury and uses other muscles your body needs to propel it forward, including the calf and Achilles.
  • Run within yourself – This is another running mechanics tip. Your second toe should align with your kneecap and hip bone every time you hit the ground. Your foot should not be ahead of or behind you. Don’t lean backwards or too much over your feet. No matter how fast or how long you run, always stay within yourself from a form perspective, like a straight line.
  • Use your arms – Use inertia on your side. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. For that reason, use your arms as much as your legs when you run. As you get more tired, recruit your arms to help with inertia. Running with your arms above your head or straight down on your sides only makes it harder on yourself.

We’d love to see you at the race, whether as a participant or a spectator. It’s a fabulous event that we’re proud to be associated with. Visit this page to learn more:

Peace Race Sponsor Offers Tips for Healthy Running

Copyright © October 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. Anania Presents “Happy Feet, Healthy You”

Dr. Anania Presents “Happy Feet, Healthy You?What might your tired, swollen feet be telling you about the health of your heart?

Could your “cold feet” be an early warning sign of an iron or Vitamin D deficiency or poor blood flow?

Did you realize your foot pain might actually be a stress fracture related to poor calcium intake?

Is that pedicure the right thing for your toenails?

Join Dr. Michelle Anania of Ankle & Foot Care Centers as she walks through the scope of practice of podiatry and explains the role foot health has on overall health. Dr. Anania will also review the latest ways to prevent and treat common problems such as heel pain, hammertoe, ingrown nails and bunions.

“Happy Feet, Healthy You” will take place Oct. 23 at Mr. Anthony’s in Boardman and again on Nov. 8 at Leo’s Ristorante in Howland. The event includes buffet dinner, Dr. Anania’s presentation, Q&A and evaluations. The cost is $18.

Registration is required and the deadline is one week prior to the program. For more information, call the Humility of Mary Hotline at 330-480-3151 or toll-free 877-700-4647.

Copyright © October 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Help Dr. Daniels Reach St. Jude’s Fundraising Goal

Help Dr. Daniels Reach St. Jude’s Fundraising Goal
Trace and Dr. Daniels enjoy a light moment.

Congratulations to Dr. Mike Daniels in his pursuit to raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital. What started out trying to raise a few dollars for this terrific charity has now become a pretty sizable donation. Dr. Daniels reports, "We are now less than $1,300 away from our $10,000 goal! Can you spare a few dollars to help us reach that goal?"

Dr. Daniels’ efforts for St. Jude are in honor of his nephew, Trace, who was diagnosed with brain cancer this past February. He registered as a “St. Jude’s Hero” to support St. Jude’s lifesaving mission of finding cures and saving children. To learn more or to contribute to Dr. Daniels’ efforts, visit this link.

“St. Jude's is a leader in cancer research and that research is vital for any and all children being treated with childhood cancers,” Dr. Daniels said. “We are very lucky that Trace is doing so well and with your help and donations, many other children will kick cancer's butt too!

We are overwhelmed with all of the support that we have gotten thus far, but there is so much more that we can do! Please spread the word, so we can raise $10,000 for St. Jude's Research Hospital! We are so close! Thank you all for your help!”

Copyright © October 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Diabetes Support Group Meeting Oct. 17 in Boardman

Dr. Robert DebiecDo you have diabetes? Our next diabetes support group meeting will take place Oct. 17 in Boardman, where attendees will learn about the latest treatment options.

Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ Dr. Robert Debiec, DPM, will lead the meeting, which will also include group discussion and a question and answer session.

Call 330.758.6226 x204 to register and receive meeting details. We hope to see you there.

The sessions occur quarterly and are free and open to the public. Dates and locations of future sessions will be announced by the practice.

Copyright © October 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Walk for Diabetes Set for Oct. 21 in Canfield

We’re proud to once again sponsor the Youngstown Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes in Canfield on Oct. 21. The walk includes a 2 or 3.5 mile route throughout the streets of beautiful downtown Canfield and the Fairgrounds.

Walk for Diabetes set for Oct. 21 in CanfieldMark your calendars for Sunday, Oct. 21 at the Canfield Fairgrounds. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the walk starts at 10:15 a.m. Register today.

You can Step Out and make a difference! Everyone has a very personal reason for participating in Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. What is yours?

Participants are changing the future and making a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by diabetes. By registering, you will be helping the Association provide community-based education programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research for a cure.

Once you register, you'll be given your very own Step Out Center webpage to help you fundraise, and you will have access to lots of tools. From your Step Out Center, you can customize the page with your reason for walking, send emails to ask others to join you or donate, and even download Facebook and smart phone apps.

Copyright © October 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Football Injury Steers Dr. Williams to Podiatry

Memories of growing up in Western Pennsylvania are kind of a blur for Dr. Kwame Williams.

Meet the DocNot for any difficulty remembering a specific event from his childhood, but rather because much of his youth was spent on a track sprinting to record performances in the 100 meter, 200 meter and sprint relay events. Or breaking long touchdown runs eluding defenders on the gridiron.

Dr. Williams went on to Brown University to study pre-medicine, run track and play football, but his NFL career dreams were derailed by a series of knee injuries. The silver lining, however, was how his injuries steered him into a career in podiatric medicine.

“Truth be told, I have bad feet,” Dr. Williams said. “I had ACL surgeries on both knees while I was in college, and when rehabbing I noticed there was something just not right with my speed and pain tolerance returning to form. All along I felt the issue was with my feet; not my knees. I couldn’t run on my toes without pain.”

Football Injury Steers Dr. Williams to Podiatry
Dr. Williams enjoys a family moment at home with his wife and young son.

So there he was at a prominent medical and academic institution with access to unlimited resources to help diagnose why his feet were responding the way they were.

“I dove into learning all I could about the anatomy of the human foot and what makes it move and react the way it does, and in the process I found there was a void in the study of foot pathology,” Dr. Williams said. “I decided to make a career out of it.”

Fast forward to today and Dr. Williams is a successful podiatric surgeon at the region’s largest independent podiatry practice. He sees patients at the Northside, Liberty, Boardman and Alliance offices. His practice consists of wound care, diabetic foot care, musculoskeletal pain and a healthy dose of sports injury cases among weekend athletes, high school and collegiate athletes, and children.

Dr. Williams is a native of Penn Hills, Pa., and now calls Boardman his home, where he resides with his wife and two year-old son. The former athlete keeps active with interval training that focuses on muscle confusion – he was doing P-90x type of workouts long before they were all the rage on the late-night infomercial scene – and smoking various types of meats on the barbecue grill.

Copyright © October 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Christina Vallera: Director of First Impressions

Almost 20 years ago, Christina Vallera graduated from Ohio Valley Business College and was selected to do her externship at the office of Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico, who is among Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ founders and the managing partner.

Employee SpotlightThe match proved to be a good fit, as evidenced by her 19-year tenure as the East Liverpool office’s front desk coordinator and medical secretary. “When I started, I had just earned my associate’s degree and was single. Now, I have a husband and an 11-year-old son,” said the Wellsville native.

Christina’s responsibilities are to schedule appointments and surgeries, handle insurance and pre-certifications, and serve as the voice of the East Liverpool office. “I am the first voice patients hear when they call and the first face they see when they walk in the office. I have to be friendly and courteous to set the tone for their experience with our office.”

Her co-workers are the biggest reason she has enjoyed 19 years with Ankle & Foot Care Centers. “I like the people I work with. I also enjoy helping people.”

The soccer mom, who is sometimes pressed into service as the soccer coach, said her hours at the practice allow her to be there for her son. “My husband travels a lot with his job, so I have to be available for my son and be able to juggle everything.”

Christina said a big change over the years has been that many insurance companies are making it very challenging in regard to coverage. “It is getting tougher and tougher to get an MRI covered by insurance.”

However, the biggest change during her years at Ankle & Foot Care Centers is the enormous amount of growth the company has enjoyed. “We now have expanded to 18 locations. Our office in East Liverpool has retained the billing for all locations. And that keeps us very busy here.”

Copyright © October 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Patient Benefits from New Surgical Technique for Charcot

Vivian Albrecht of Youngstown is no stranger to surgery. Since 1992, she has been in the operating room more than 20 times for her back and other issues.

Because of her extensive back and spinal column issues, Vivian sports an implanted spinal cord stimulator and an infusion pump. Both mechanisms affect the fluid levels in her body, causing her legs to retain fluid and her feet to become extremely swollen.

The condition is known as Charcot foot, which is a softening of the bones of the foot that occurs in people with severe nerve damage. The muscles lose the ability to support the foot, leading to a slackness of ligaments, dislocation of joints, damage to bone and cartilage and deformity.

“One day I looked down and my left foot was completely horizontal, instead of lining up vertically. And it wouldn’t go back into place,” she remembered. “I immediately went to Ankle & Foot Care Centers on Market Street in Boardman.”

Dr. Lawrence DiDomenicoVivian had to wait for more than a year to have the surgery performed. As is often the case with Charcot foot, the additional fluid caused so much swelling that the skin became very thin and cracked easily. Therefore, the surgery was delayed for a year.

“We had to wait for the swelling to go down. It was such a relief to finally be able to have the surgery and get this taken care of. My foot is now straight and the ankle is fused. While I am not able to stand for long periods of time due to my back issues, I am thankful that my foot is aligned,” she concluded.

During the surgery, Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico utilized a femoral locking plate, which is typically used for femur fractures, and applied it to her Charcot foot. He commented, “The application of the femoral locking plate to the Charcot is relatively new to foot and ankle surgery.” Dr. DiDomencio is among the first to perform the procedure and has even published on the topic in leading podiatric journals.

Vivian concluded, “Dr. DiDomenico was wonderful from the get-go. I totally trusted him and am appreciative that he is up on the latest methods in this type of surgery.”

Copyright © October 2012 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dancing Dangers

Dancing DangersAre you familiar with “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance?” These television dance programs showcase the rigors of dancing, as well as potential foot and ankle injuries that come with the territory.

“Dancers have the same type of injuries as any other athlete. They have fractures, sprains, strains, tendinitis, ingrown nails, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and of course blisters,” said APMA member and podiatric physician Terry Spilken, DPM.

Common foot and ankle injuries for dancers include the following:

  • Ankle Sprain — Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that connect to the bone pull, stretch, or tear. Ankle sprains should be evaluated by a podiatric physician.
  • Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain) — Overuse injury affecting the sole of the foot and creating pain after weight-bearing exercise or when walking barefoot. This injury causes inflammation of the
    tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) that connects the heel bone to the front of the foot.
  • Achilles Tendinitis — Inflammation to the body’s longest tendon, the Achilles tendon. This tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and is responsible for plantar flexion of the foot to perform jumps.
  • Dancer’s Fracture — Fracture of the fifth metatarsal, the long bone on the outside of the foot. This injury is typically caused by landing on a turned-in foot after a jump, often creating pain and immediate swelling, as well as difficulty in walking.
  • Other Chronic Conditions — Dancers also suffer from more than their share of warts, corns and calluses, toenail bruising, ingrown toenails, and blisters.

Treatment options should always start with prevention. Follow these treatment guidelines:

  • Implement the RICE treatment protocol:
    • Rest — Stop using the injured area or reduce its use to avoid further damage.
    • Ice — Put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time.
    • Compression — Apply compression to an injured foot or ankle to help reduce swelling.
    • Elevation — Keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart.
  • Wear supportive footwear for dancing (when possible) — Shoes that do not fit properly will accelerate issues with calluses, blisters, toenail trauma and inevitably, bunions and hammertoes.
  • Evaluate and correct biomechanical imbalances — You may need custom orthotics prescribed by a podiatric physician. Wear them as often as possible.

If you have an injury, be proactive in consulting a podiatric physician and caring for yourself properly so that further injury can be prevented. Then you’ll be dancing for joy for many years to come.

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

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From The Kitchen: Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers

YFrom The Kitchenield: 6 burgers

6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup corn
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese or 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumb
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
48 inches flour tortillas (soft-taco size)
2 cups shredded lettuce


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, corn, garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add pumpkin, cheese, wheat germ, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper to the onion mixture; mix well. With dampened hands, form the vegetable mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F Stack tortillas and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through. (Alternatively, stack tortillas between two damp paper towels; microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds, or until heated through.).
  4. Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 2 to 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Adjust heat as necessary for even browning. Wrap the patties in tortillas and serve immediately, garnished with lettuce and Salsa, if desired.

Per serving: Calories 355; Fat 13.5 g (Sat. 3.8 g); Cholesterol 8.3 mg; Sodium 684.4 mg; Carbohydrate 48.1 g; Fiber 4.8 g; Protein 11.6 g

Copyright © October 2012 Food Network Magazine

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