For your convenience, we offer Saturday appointments at many of our locations in the six counties we service. Several of our locations are open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon by appointment. To find the location nearest you and schedule an appointment, visit our website.
By: Dr. Jennifer Flo
The weather is warmer and COVID restrictions are relaxing, encouraging more of us to get out and enjoy the outdoors and wear our open-toed shoes and sandals. If you want to get a safe pedicure, remember these three things:
Fall sports season is in full swing which means ankle and foot injuries are a possibility. Dr. Kwame Williams, podiatric physician at NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers in Boardman, says choosing proper footwear can protect athletes from injuries.
Dr. Williams recommends that athletes have their feet measured by a podiatrist to confirm their correct sizes.
“Athletes want to avoid shoes that do not fit properly,” said Dr. Williams. “They are known to increase the risk of ankle injury.”
Children in sports are susceptible to various ankle and foot injuries, such as blisters, repetitive motion injuries, sprains and fractures.
“Athletes participating in a certain sport at least two to three times a week should wear a sport-specific shoe,” said Dr. Williams.
Dr. Williams recommends shoes with high ankle support and proper traction for football and lacrosse players. For soccer players, he urges no more than a half inch of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe and proper studs for the playing field.
If an athlete does sustain an ankle or foot injury, he or she should check in with a podiatrist right away, Dr. Williams said.
“Ignoring an injury can leave you susceptible to future injuries,” he said.
More information on foot health is available on our website.
NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers held its 22nd annual Diabetes Golf Benefit, a four-person scramble set on Friday, Aug. 20, at the Pine Lakes Golf Club at 6233 W. Liberty St. in Hubbard, Ohio.
All proceeds from the tournament benefited the Diabetes Partnership of Mahoning Valley, which provides education, resources and support for people and families living with diabetes in our community. Diabetes is a leading cause of foot and other amputations, as well as blindness, kidney failure, heart failure and stroke.
"After an unexpected year of hiatus due to the pandemic, we were glad to restart our annual golf outing. Raising money for a local organization that supports the fight against diabetes, a disease that impacts many in our community, is near and dear to our practice,” said Dr. Michelle Anania, physician at NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers and the event's lead organizer.’
The event has been sponsored by Ankle & Foot Care Centers since 1999 and has raised nearly $200,000 for services and education for diabetes patients.
Gina Sorg dedicates her days to helping others in a nursing home. The 48-year-old thought her days were numbered at her job because of an ankle pain making it difficult to walk, but a recent surgery performed by Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico of NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers has given her new hope.
Gina’s demanding and important job as a nurse aide keeps her standing for 12 to 16 hours a shift and her coworkers noticed that while walking around, she would sometimes be dragging her left leg.
About 10 years ago, Gina started having pain in her left ankle. Five years later, she found out that there was a spur in that exact location.
“I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so I toughed it out longer than I probably should have,” said Gina. “What started as something minor, turned into something major.”
At her worst, Gina could barely walk and only had enough energy to go to work and then come home — forcing her to cut back on time spent with family.
When she did finally decide to seek help, a doctor placed a bandage and boot on her left foot and sent her to physical therapy. None of this seemed to work, so the same doctor referred her to NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ Boardman office on Market Street.
Gina received care from Dr. DiDomenico and Dr. Henry Spingola, who both decided that surgery would be necessary to correct the issue.
By this time, the spur was pushing against her ankle enough to make tears in the Achilles tendon. They had to add tendons to put it back together.
The surgery was performed in August. It involved performing a tendon transfer along with a calcaneal osteotomy and insertion of screws to her foot.
After the surgery, Gina said she felt no pain. In the time that has elapsed since, there have been difficulties, but no days nearly as bad as before the surgery.
“I have good and bad days, but the swelling has gone down tremendously,” Gina remarked.
Gina returned to work in January. Her first day back was 12-hours long, so it was tough but no longer because of her ankle.
“Dr. DiDomenico and Dr. Spingola are my heroes,” said Gina. “They are the ones that healed me.”
Gina is not only back to helping people, but she can now spend more time with her children and keep up with her grandchildren.
“I can walk all day now without any pain and I haven’t had to take ibuprofen to deal with that pain,” Gina said. “Overall, I feel like I’m back to being a normal person.”
Andrew Bayowski spent years trying to live his life around a leg wound. But thanks to Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico of NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers, the injury that impacted his life is now barely noticeable.
For three years, Andrew suffered with this wound, which was located on his right leg between the knee and ankle. The 78-year-old is still not sure what caused it but one of his guesses is that it happened while cutting grass.
He tried different tactics, including leaving bandages on, but nothing led to improvement. Andrew resorted to protecting the leg and trying not to put much weight on it when walking, standing or going up steps.
This protection of the right leg led to him wobbling when he walked and moving much slower up and down stairs.
“I was shuffling my right leg instead of reaching it out,” Andrew said.
Doctors initially told Andrew not to worry about it — so, he didn’t. But time progressed and not worrying did not seem like the correct solution.
Andrew heard an advertisement on the radio for NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers, regarding their work with stem cell therapy. He knew that it was worth a shot. One of the people that would come to care for him was Dr. DiDomenico at the group’s Market Street office.
“Right away, I liked Dr. DiDomenico’s demeanor and got the impression that he knew what he was doing,” Andrew said. “He told me he could solve my problem, so I was all for it.”
Dr. DiDomenico and staff performed a skin graft operation. This involved surgically removing skin from Andrew’s thigh and using it to cover the wound.
Once the procedure was complete, Andrew wore a compression sock and bandage on his leg for several months, to help with his circulation.
After several months, Andrew’s wound had filled in and he is currently on a path toward having scarless legs. “It is getting to the point that if I didn’t tell somebody about it, they probably wouldn’t even notice it,” Andrew added. “I think in about two months, I’ll be able to get a suntan in that area.”
Andrew said he feels happier since the problem has been solved. Now, showering and moving around are much easier.
“I no longer have to worry about brushing up against something that could reinfect my wound,” Andrew said.
The Poland resident is really enjoying being able to utilize exercise machines again and getting outside to chop down trees with his trusty axe.
Michelle Bayne spent over a decade dealing with crippling leg issues, but she never gave up on trying to walk properly. She is now reaping the benefits of her persistence, as well as the care she received from Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico of NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers.
The Beloit resident’s struggles began in 2008 when swelling on the bottom of her left foot reached the size of a tennis ball.
“The arch of the foot is supposed to go up, but mine went out and down,” Michelle explained.
She scheduled an appointment with an Alliance doctor who told Michelle he was in over his head when it came to her issue, so he referred her to NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ Market Street office, where she received care from Dr. DiDomenico.
In addition to the issues with the bottom of Michelle’s foot, Dr. DiDomenico also diagnosed her with Osteomyelitis in her ankle. Osteomyelitis is a bone-reaching infection that causes swelling and redness.
In 2010, doctors advised Michelle to leave her job, which she did. The now 47-year-old still had tasks to accomplish, including taking care of her family.
“He is 13 now, but, when this started, my son was only two years old. I did everything I could, even if it was from a wheelchair; nothing could stop me,” said Michelle. “I still volunteered at his school and did everything I could do because he’s my kid.”
Most of Michelle’s life from 2008 to 2019 was spent off her feet. She went through several procedures including a midfoot fusion and multiple debridements. It wasn’t until December of 2019 that she received a last-resort-procedure to prevent amputation.
Although prior to the surgery she was mentally worn from taking care of her leg, Michelle agreed to the procedure Dr. DiDomenico suggested to prevent amputation, and that turned out to be the right decision.
“I just thought if we do this and it fails, at least we know we’ve tried everything,” she said.
Today, Michelle is fully capable of walking by herself. The last time she went for an appointment, Dr. DiDomenico said Michelle would not have to return for three months — a major milestone for someone who used to be a patient roughly once a week.
As ailments now improve, Michelle has found liberation in tasks many may take for granted, like going to the grocery store.
“Before, going to the store would involve bringing a whole entourage with me,” she said. “Just something as simple as that now feels good. It has been a long road but we’re almost there.”
Dr. John Chiaro has turned his career as a podiatrist into a daily opportunity to help people of all ages overcome their foot pain.
“I especially enjoy taking care of my diabetic patients and take pride in healing diabetic wounds and preventing amputations,” Dr. Chiaro said.
Dr. Chiaro received his graduate degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland and earned his residency at Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital. For the past 20 years, he’s been board certified in foot surgery.
Foot surgeries are only part of Dr. Chiaro’s job. He also focuses on exhausting conservative care to improve a patient’s condition.
“If conservative care fails, I am confident that surgical correction will suffice for a patient's problems and deformities,” Dr. Chiaro added.
When Dr. Chiaro is still on the clock but not in his office treating children and adults of all ages, he works with several nursing homes tending to the residents.
“Helping patients every day, preventing amputations and knowing that I am making a difference is an achievement for me,” Dr. Chiaro said.
A few professional achievements Dr. Chiaro has earned include becoming a member of both the American Podiatric Medical Association and Ohio Podiatric Medical Association. He is also a certified wound specialist for the American Academy of Wound Management and recently passed his board recertification in foot surgery.
What Dr. Chiaro enjoys about working at NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers is the high quality of work all his co-workers produce.
“I know that we are the best at comprehensive foot and ankle care,” he said. “We work together as a team and have in-house advanced diagnostics such as MRI, vascular testing and an orthotist to help with our challenging patients.”
As much as he loves his profession, Dr. Chiaro feels equally blessed in his personal life.
“I have a beautiful and supportive wife, as well as two wonderful children,” he said. “My wife and daughter are school teachers, and my son is finishing college while working as a student football coach at Youngstown State University.”
When there is spare time, Dr. Chiaro is an avid fisherman and golfer.
Amanda Craig’s versatility when it comes to patient care has made her an asset to NOMS Ankle & Foot Care Centers, working as a medical assistant for the past five years.
Having a background in general health care, Amanda was initially nervous about going into podiatry. But as she started to hone her skills in this career path, she put more time into learning the requirements of the job.
Amanda splits her time between the East Liverpool and Market Street offices and describes the job as multi-faceted.
“I do just about everything except take X-Rays,” Amanda said. “I handle applying most of the casts, wound vacs and drawing blood. I help the patients into their rooms by getting their vitals and setting them up to see the doctors, then I go back in to assist and help finish their treatment.”
Much of her work involves supporting doctors with patient care from start to finish. Often times, this includes wrapping legs, putting wound vacs on, or getting a doctor the supplies they need.
“I have learned a lot from the doctors I work with,” Amanda said. “We all seem to work well together and that makes the day go smooth for the most part. The doctors are all really nice and make me feel at home even if I have to travel from one office to another.”
Amanda also loves the women she works with, noticing they all have strong suits they put into their respective jobs, which has created a system that makes everyday tasks easier to handle.
When away from the office, Amanda has six- and eight-year-old boys who keep her busy. When she gets some free time from her outgoing duo, Amanda and her husband can be found on any of their three motorcycles.
(From the Kitchen recipes are provided by the Diabetes Partnership of the Mahoning Valley.)
This recipe can make for a great breakfast, brunch or quick dinner, packed full of protein and veggies. If you don’t like asparagus, you can substitute zucchini or broccoli.
Serving size: 1 slice
Nonstick cooking spray
1 bunch (about 12 oz) thin asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups egg substitute
2 tbsp skim milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp margarine (trans fat-free)
1/4 cup reduced fat, shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, toss asparagus with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes. Chop cooked asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg substitutes, milk, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Set aside and prepare broiler.
Spray a 9 1/2-inch-diameter nonstick ovenproof skillet with cooking spray. Add margarine to skillet and melt over medium heat. Add asparagus to skillet and pour the egg mixture over the asparagus. Cook for a few minutes until the eggs start to set.
Add the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the frittata is almost set but the top is still runny, about 2 minutes.
Place the skillet under the broiler. Broil until the top is set and golden brown on top, about 2 to 4 minutes. Let the frittata stand 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from skillet and slide the frittata onto a plate. Cut frittata into 6 equal slices and serve.
For more information, including nutritional information, see this link.
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