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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

October 2009 Edition:

Ankle Replacement Keeps Boardman Woman in Stride

Ankle Replacement Keeps Boardman Woman in Stride

When Wendy Kelso contracted juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 12, walking became very difficult and painful for her.

Her ankles and wrists were affected first, and the natural fusing of her ankles limited her mobility very severely. Her doctor wanted to perform a permanent ankle fusion. But she wasn’t sure.

“I decided to check around when I moved to Ohio,” said Wendy, now a Boardman resident.

Dr. Lawrence A. DiDomenico of Ankle and Foot Care Centers recommended an ankle replacement – instead of a fusion – to provide more (not less) mobility.

“The rationale for getting the fusion was that even though an ankle replacement would offer more mobility, it would only last about five years, and then I’d likely need to consider another

replacement,” Wendy recalled. “I felt that having the mobility for five years was worth it, so I went through with it – for both ankles.”

Now she’s sure it was the right decision. She can walk longer distances and stand for longer periods of time without as much pain.

“It’s been three years now, and I can walk a lot longer with my own stride, without the pain,” Wendy said. “I’m so glad I did this.”

Copyright © October 2009 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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In School Sports, Happy Feet Can Help

In School Sports, Happy Feet Can HelpSince many kids spend the summer relaxing, participating in football, cross-country, soccer, cheerleading and other strenuous sports can put a strain on out-of-shape muscles, tendons, and bones. To minimize the risk of injury, it’s important to keep in mind some basic rules of thumb.

For one, each child physically matures at his or her own rate, and has a different degree of athletic ability. No amount of training can improve a child’s natural athletic ability, but training helps improve coordination and therefore performance. Parents should encourage their children to participate in sports, but never forget that competition should be fun.

Children active in sports programs will improve their cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, coordination, and state of mind. In addition, participation in sports develops a sense of self, discipline, teamwork, and the recognition of the importance of a healthy body.

Probably the single most important way to avoid injuries in all sports is to warm up before participating. Warming up helps to loosen muscles and prevent injuries in athletes of all ages.

Learning to stretch at an early age will set a good pattern for sports activities as the body develops. In addition, it’s extremely important to wear the correct shoes for the sport. Your podiatrist can help you choose the right shoes for your children; the shoes should fit the sport.

According to podiatrists, repetitive overuse or improper training can lead to problems with ligaments, tendons, bones and joints in the feet. As children’s feet are still growing, serious injuries can cause long-term problems. Some common injuries are listed here:

In School Sports, Happy Feet Can HelpAnkle sprains, which can be stretched or torn ligaments, are more common than fractures. Watch for extensive swelling around the ankle. Immediate treatment by the podiatrist is crucial as he/she can provide treatment as well as recommended balancing and strengthening exercises to restore coordination quickly.

Shin splints are tiny tears or inflammation of the muscles on the front of the leg. Rest is the best way to heal these injuries, but if pain persists a podiatrist can recommend strengthening, specific shoes, or orthotics (insoles).

Sever’s disease (aka Calcaneal Apophysistis) is an inflammation of a growth plate where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone and is often felt as pain on the bottom of or around the heel. Rest, ice, and heel lifts, and sometimes orthoses are often prescribed by the podiatrist in these cases.

Fractures from overuse in child athletes are commonly seen in podiatric medical offices. Growth plates are particularly susceptible to injuries, but mid-shaft fractures of the bone also occur. If a fracture is not severe, rest and immobilization may be the best treatment. More complicated injuries may require casting or surgical correction. If swelling and pain persist, see a podiatrist immediately.

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

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Meet the Doc: Dr. Kenneth Emch

Dr. Kenneth EmchDr. Kenneth J. Emch of Ankle & Foot Care Centers was one of the founders of the practice in 1994. He currently serves as chief of podiatry at St. Elizabeth Health Center’s Boardman campus.

Dr. Emch earned a doctor of podiatric medicine degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland and completed his residency training at Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident.

He is a certified wound specialist and is board-certified as a surgeon by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He also holds certifications from the American Board of Disability Analysts and the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

He sees patients in our Boardman and East Liverpool offices, and has an active role in the practice’s clinical research projects involving new treatments for diabetic wounds and heel pain.

When he’s away from the office and hospital, Dr. Emch enjoys playing golf and watching football.

He lives in lives in Boardman with his wife, Lisa, and three children.

Copyright © October 2009 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Golf Outing Raises $13K+ For Diabetes Research

Ankle & Foot Care Centers reports that that the American Diabetes Association Golf Benefit it sponsored in August raised more than $13,000 to support diabetes research.

The event, held at Pine Lakes Golf Course in Hubbard, attracted 128 area golfers and 64 corporate and hole sponsors. The $13,200 raised represents funds from entry fees, sponsorships and cash donations from the participants.

The tournament was the 11th annual edition of the event organized by Ankle & Foot Care Centers, the region’s largest provider of podiatric care. The 11 events have together raised more than $79,000 for diabetes research.

“We are very pleased to see the community team up with our podiatrists to support diabetes research,” said Dr. Michele Anania, a partner at Ankle & Foot Care Centers and lead organizer of the event.

“Together, diabetes research and advanced foot care go a long way toward addressing the effects of diabetes and preventing the complications of the disease.”

Ankle & Foot Care Centers has been a strong supporter of the ADA’s Tri-County Chapter for many years, providing financial contributions while organizing support groups for diabetes patients and their families and helping to raise awareness of diabetes, especially as it affects the lower extremities and feet.

Copyright © October 2009 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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