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ANKLE & FOOT CARE NEWSLETTER


A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

April 2013 Edition:


Patient Goes to Great Lengths to Get Best Treatment

Imagine how many foot and ankle specialists Michael Muhn drove past on his way to Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ Boardman office from his Sandusky home west of Cleveland 120 miles away. But to undo the debilitating effects from arthritis that started with a Little League injury 54 years prior he learned his best course of treatment would come from a surgeon in Youngstown.

One Friday night in the fall of 2012 Mike was videotaping a football game for the local high school team when the team’s doctor noticed him walking in obvious pain. The doctor, a podiatric physician, saw him the following Monday in his office, took some x-rays and developed a treatment plan for Mike’s swollen and sore feet. He also identified Mike as a potential candidate for a total ankle replacement – a procedure Mike had never heard of – and said he knew a former podiatry school classmate who was the best around to perform the procedure.

Mike scheduled an appointment with Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico and liked him right away. They were both Miami University grads, for one, and Mike appreciated the way Dr. DiDomenico fully explained what to expect and what he wanted to do in terms that were honest, candid and easy to follow.

“My issue started at age 11 sliding into second base in a baseball game,” Mike recounted. “It was the 1950s and I wanted to get back out and play, and I was told it would be fine. I come from a bow-legged family, and tend to walk on the outside of my feet; I’m sure compounding my problem.”

Dr. DiDomenico’s treatment plan involved two surgeries; the first to reposition the heel on Michael’s left foot and line everything up; and the second was the total ankle replacement two weeks later.

Patient Goes to Great Lengths to Get Best Treatment“The procedures went great, and pain-wise it was a piece of cake,” Mike said. “I spent one night in the hospital and wore a 20-pound cast for a month.”

Mike’s podiatric physician from Sandusky came to Youngstown to observe the total ankle replacement (TAR) and saved Mike some travel by performing portions of the follow-up care. Three months post-surgery, Dr. DiDomenico was having Mike focus in coming down on his heel and rolling to the ball of his foot during his physical therapy sessions, a proper gait that Mike just wasn’t used to.

“I’m changing 50 years of habit and it’s not easy,” Mike said. “Dr. DiDomenico said it could be 12-18 months before walking heel-to-toe becomes second nature.”

Mike has lots of plans now that he’s walking pain-free.

“I’m looking forward to being able to walk on the beach this summer,” he said. “Walking on slopes and uneven surfaces like lawns was very difficult for me. I found myself leaning on the mower like it was a walker. And I used shovels and rakes like a cane. I now anticipate being able to move around in the sailboat with a lot more confidence which just might allow us to win a race or two."

Copyright © April 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. Emch Addresses Pediatric Podiatry Concerns

Meet the DocDr. Kenneth Emch has cultivated a strong presence as a podiatric foot and ankle specialist in the Mahoning Valley. Along with nearly two decades of practice as a founding partner of Ankle & Foot Care Centers, he’s the section director of podiatry at St. Elizabeth Boardman. In his practice, he takes particular interest in sports medicine and wound care, areas that not only affect adults, but children as well.

“Since other, more obvious childhood maladies get more awareness, parents sometimes don’t notice that their child has a foot problem needing attention by a podiatrist,” said Dr. Emch. Foot issues that are treated in childhood can forestall future problems as the child reaches adulthood. “While sprains are among the more common foot and ankle problems in children, it’s rewarding to see the relief that can be brought for less obvious conditions such as toes pointing in, heel pain, ingrown nails and other underlying problems,” he continued.

Dr. Kenneth EmchParents may want to consider a visit to a podiatrist if their child has uneven shoe wear, skin or nail problems, warts, foot or leg pain, or even if a child trips and falls often, which may be a sign of an underlying issue that needs addressed, Dr. Emch noted.

Taking care of foot problems early can benefit children as they grow up, especially when they are involved in sports. Dr. Emch’s own children are active in sports at Cardinal Mooney and St. Charles School, involved in lacrosse, cheerleading, and volleyball. He himself is an avid golfer and bicyclist, and enjoys following his favorite football teams, Ohio State, Notre Dame and the Dallas Cowboys, further underscoring his particular interest in sports medicine.

Dr. Emch grew up in the Mahoning Valley on Youngstown’s North Side. Upon graduating from Youngstown State University, he enrolled at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland and was chief resident during his residency. In 1994 he joined up with Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico and Dr. Robert Debiec to form Ankle & Foot Care Centers, which today is a 18-office regional podiatry practice spanning Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, and Greenville, Pa. Dr. Emch is certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and the American Academy of Wound Management.

Copyright © April 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Cindy Johnson – Helps Alliance Office Run Smoothly

Fifteen years ago when Cindy Johnson was looking for a part-time job after being a stay at home mother, she says she was fortunate to find an opportunity at the Ankle and Foot Care Center in Alliance. “I love what I do and the people I work with”, Cindy states. “In addition my flexible part-time schedule has allowed me to maintain a work-life balance which is important to me.”

Employee SpotlightDuring her first two years at the Ankle and Foot Care Center, Cindy assisted physicians and patients in the exam rooms, but over the last 13 years she is one of the first individuals patients see when they walk up to the reception desk. “I really enjoy the interaction in the front and making sure that everything runs smoothly for both the patients and the staff”, she remarks. Cindy is responsible for scheduling both office and surgical appointments, as well as patient charting and record keeping.

One of the major projects Cindy is currently working on is the migration to Electronic Medical Records (EMR) which the federal government is requiring by 2015. The EMR project will convert all patient paper records to electronic records which should provide more efficient and coordinated record keeping and overall patient care.

In her leisure time Cindy enjoys spending time with her family the most. Her husband Eric, a second grade teacher in the Plain Local school district will be retiring at the end of this school year, after 39 years of teaching. “We are both looking forward to this next chapter in our life,” states Cindy. “Eric is an avid vegetable gardener and loves to can salsa, beans and beets. In addition we are thinking about taking an Alaskan cruise sometime in the near future.”

Cindy feels extremely lucky that her three sons and their families live very close by. Her two older sons and their families live only 5 minutes away, actually in the same neighborhood and her youngest son still lives at home while attending Kent State University. “I love spending time with my family and being able to help out with my two grandchildren Jaiden 5 and Tyler 2.”

While her husband enjoys vegetable gardening, Cindy prefers her flower garden. “I just love being outdoors”. Cindy also enjoys volunteering at her local church.

Copyright © April 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

We often view the sun’s harmful rays as the primary cause of skin cancer. And while this may be true of some bodily skin cancers, skin cancers of the feet are most often related to viruses, exposure to chemicals, chronic inflammation or irritation, or inherited traits.

For this reason, your podiatrist’s knowledge and clinical training is of extreme importance in the early detection of both benign and malignant skin tumors.

The next time you clip your toenails, take a closer look at the rest of your feet. Foot and ankle specialists say routine self- examinations of the feet are an important way to find skin cancer early, when it's easiest to cure. The three most common areas for foot melanoma are the soles, between the toes, and around or under the toenails.

If you detect any unusual lesions on your feet schedule a foot screening right away at your nearest Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

What do all these skin lesions have in common? They are all cancer

Copyright © April 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Ouch! Shin Splints…Too Much, Too Soon

Running Shoes: Basic Guidelines If you are an avid walker, have begun a new exercise program, or are an experienced runner, you may have experienced one of the most common lower extremity ailments, shin splints. Shin splints are characterized as pain at the front inside area of the shin bone due to overexertion of the muscles. Shin splints usually involve small tears in the leg muscles where they are attached to the shin bone. The most common cause of shin splints is inflammation of the periostium of the tibia (sheath surrounding the bones).

Some other common causes include flat feet (overpronation), a high arch (underpronation), inadequate footwear, running on hard surfaces, and increasing training too quickly. For immediate relief of shin splits ice the affected area. In order to reduce pain and inflammation take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (e.g., ibuprofen) than rest to allow the injury to heal. Consult a podiatrist if your pain is really bad in order to get a full diagnosis to find out if there is a stress fracture in the area.

Use the following tips to prevent shin splints:

  • Stretch and strengthen the leg muscles
  • Wear insoles or orthotics that offer arch support
  • Make sure you have the right running shoe for your foot type and for the activity
  • Avoid running on hard surfaces
  • Shorten your stride

Copyright © April 2013 American Podiatric Medical Association and Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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From The Kitchen: Spicy Chicken Kabobs with Vegetable Rice

From The Kitchen Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium zucchini
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
24 red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup chopped red sweet pepper (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 1/3 cups cooked brown rice

Directions
In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, salt, thyme, and black pepper; set aside. Cut zucchini in half crosswise. Chop half of the zucchini; cut the remaining zucchini lengthwise into thin slices. Add zucchini slices, chicken, onion, and tomatoes to olive oil mixture; toss to coat. On twelve 8-inch skewers,* alternately thread chicken pieces, zucchini slices, onion wedges, and tomatoes, leaving 1/4 inch between pieces.

For a charcoal or gas grill, grill skewers on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, for vegetable rice, coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add chopped zucchini, sweet pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Add kale, broth, and Cajun seasoning. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Stir in cooked rice; heat through.

Serve skewers with rice mixture.

Tip: If using wooden skewers, soak in enough water to cover 30 minutes; drain before using.

Preparation
Total time: 40 minutes (prep: 20 minutes, cook: 20 minutes)

From The Kitchen: Spicy Chicken Kabobs with Vegetable Rice

Per serving: Calories: 300; Total Fat: 10 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 22 grams; Total carbohydrates: 33 grams; Sugar: 8 grams; Fiber: 5 grams; Cholesterol: 47 milligrams; Sodium: 264 milligrams

Copyright © 2013 Food Network Magazine

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