Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to All! The Advanced Physical Medicine Podiatry Clinic will be open on Monday, Dec. 27 from 5-8 pm. Please contact the office to make your appontment. 708-763-0580

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Hours

The Advanced Physical Medicine Foot Clinic will have normal hours during the week of Christmas. Appointments are still available. Please call 708-763-0580 for your footcare needs. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Sock Donation

Thank you to everyone who donated socks during the first annual Holiday Sock Drive! They are currently being distributed to the homeless that visit my free foot clinics in Chicago and Oak Park, IL. Thank you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Broken/Fractured Toes

It is fairly easy to break or fracture a bone in your toe because these bones are very small. Bumping the toe, dropping something on it, or someone stepping on it are all easy ways that the toe can be broken. There are two bones that make up the big toe, and these are much thicker and stronger than the smaller toes. Toes 2-5 have three very small bones inside, and these are very easy to break.

If your toe stays swollen or red for a few days after an injury, it is important to have it x-rayed and examined. Often, the best treatment for a broken toe is wrapping it and splinting it to another toe. Sometimes, a surgical shoe or boot and medication are needed. On very rare cases, surgery may be indicated. This is needed when the toe is shifted out of the proper position due to the trauma.

If you have this condition, please call for an appointment, 708-763-0580. Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Office Closure

Happy Thanksgiving to All! Advanced Physical Medicine will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. The podiatry clinic will be open for our normal hours this week on Monday evening and Wednesday afternoon. Call 708-763-0580 for your appointment.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sock Collection for the Homeless

A collection of new Men's socks is being held at Advanced Pnysical Medicine from 11/15/10-12/15/10. Socks can be dropped off at 6931 W. North Ave., Oak Park. These socks will be given to homeless patients at Dr. Bender's free foot clinics at West Suburban PADS and Pacific Garden Mission. Quesions: 708-763-0580 or THANK YOU!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Warning Signs of Diabetes

It is important to understand the warning signs of diabetes: increased frequency of urination, increased thirst, numbness or tingling in the finger tips or toes, delayed wound healing, recurrent infections, fatigue, weight loss (especially in type 1 diabetes), and blurred vision. If you have any of these changes, it is important to see your internal medicine or family practice provider to be screened for diabetes. Your blood will be drawn after you have been fasting for 8 hours, and this test will show your blood sugar level.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What ethnicities are at highest risk for diabetes?

Certain groups of people in the US are at higher risk of developing diabetes: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and people who are native to Alaska. It is estimated that over 5 million people in the US have diabetes and do not know about it.

Next week, learn about the warning signs of diabetes.

If you are diabetic, it is essential to have your feet checked regularly. Please call 708-763-0580 for your diabetic foot exam.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Dr. Bender and the staff of Advanced Physical Medicine

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chicago Marathon

Best wishes to all of the Chicago Marathon runners this weekend! Don't forget your stretching and water!

Dr. Bender
6931 W North Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Diabetes-Why it is important to check your feet?!

It is important to check the tops and bottoms of your feet each day if you are a diabetic. If you notice any color changes, cuts, blisters, sores, or other abnormalities, you should contact a foot doctor to examine your feet.

Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves in your feet, especially if your blood sugar has been running high for prolonged periods or if you have been diabetic for greater than 10 years. This means that you may not be able to feel it if you get a cut on your foot or if you step on an object (splinters, pins, etc).

This is why it is essential that you keep your blood sugar under good control, 80-120 mg/dL, and that you check your feet for changes each day.

If you have any questions about diabetic footcare or if you need a diabetic foot check, please call Dr. Mary Ann Bender, 708-763-0580, for an appointment.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Warts-What are they and how are they treated?


Warts, also known as verrucae plantaris , are caused by a virus. This is an important topic for the summer because warts like warm, moist environments like our shoes and socks. Most people are more active during the warmer months, so our feet may sweat more than usual. This is the perfect setting for the virus that causes warts. Additionally, they can invade the feet at the pool because of the warm, wet environment.

Warts are common in children, the elderly, and individuals with a chronic condition (cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, etc). They can present on the top or sides of the feet as a raised lesion. On the bottom of the feet, they resemble a callous, with thickened skin covering them. They may appear white in color or have tiny black spots throughout.

Warts can be spread to other parts of the body or to other people, so it is important to get them diagnosed and treated. They are treated in a variety of ways: trimming, acid, freezing, medications, surgical excision, and laser treatment. The treatment may take several months.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Corns and callouses- These occur in areas where we are getting extra pressure on the feet and are a build up of hard skin. They can occur because of how we walk or over pressure points caused by our foot structure, like at the location of bunions or hammer toes.

These are best treated by trimming down of (debridement) the hard skin, padding, custom arch supports, and, sometimes, surgery. It is important not to use medication or razor blades to remove these.

If you have this problem, please call for an appointment at one of my three locations. 708-763-0580.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bunions---Ouch-My Big Toe Hurts!

A bunion occurs when the big toe joint develops an extra bump of bone, and the big toe shifts over toward the second toe. The big toe joint becomes deviated or shifted out of place. This is usually caused by abnormal mechanics of the foot, especially a flat foot. Other causes include the following: arthritis or other health conditions, trauma/previous injury, genetics, one leg that is shorter, and improper shoegear.
Bunions do not always hurt, and patients are often encouraged to wear better shoegear or custom molded orthotics. Proper shoegear for this condition should have increased support, soft material (to reduce friction on the bump of bone), and added space around the toes (so the toes are not compressed together). Orthotic devices are custom made inserts for the shoes that correct abnormal motion of the feet and hold the feet in the correct position when standing or walking. Orthotics may decrease the progression of the bunion and reduce the development of pain.
Bunions can become very painful and inflamed (red, swollen). When this happens, orthotic devices and better shoes can be incorporated into the treatment plan. However, additional treatments like injections and anti-inflammatory medications may be added to the regimen. Some patients do require surgical correction of the deformity. This involves cutting and realigning the bones and soft tissues to correct the position of the deviated joint and remove the bump of bone. Initial healing for bunion surgery typically takes 6-8 weeks. Your physician will discuss the specifics of your bunion surgery with you, as there are different procedures for different sizes of bunions.
If you feel that you have this condition and would like to discuss the treatment options, please contact Advanced Physical Medicine for an appointment with Dr. Bender (708-763-0580). Please visit our website at or or follow our blog for frequent foot tips:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Location-7900 S. Drexel, Chicago

I am very excited to announce that I am now accepting podiatry patients at our newest location-7900 S. Drexel in Chicago. Currently, I am at this location on Wednesdays and plan to expand the hours in the Spring! We do not accept HMO's or Public Aid at this location.

Advanced Physical Medicine,
Southeast Chicago
(Chatham and Hyde Park)
7900 S. Drexel Ave.
Chicago, IL 60619

Located on the corners of 79th Street and Drexel Avenue, just two blocks east of Cottage Grove, and with convenient on- and off-street parking, Advanced Physical Medicine is easily accessible by car or bus. For directions, go to google maps.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Labor Day!

The staff at Advanced Physical Medicine wishes you a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. The offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6 for the holiday.

Mary Ann Bender, DPM

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Athlete's Foot/Tinea Pedis

Athlete's foot (Tinea Pedis) is caused by a variety of fungi and can cause dry, itching, red, blistered skin on the feet. It is best treated with prescription medication to kill the fungus. However, there are a few things you can do at home to deal with this condition. 1. Keep your feet dry with fresh dry socks that are changed frequently if you experience significant sweating during the day. 2. Wear shower shoes if you use locker rooms at gyms or live in a dormitory setting (such as college students). 3. Spray all of your shoes out with lysol. 4. Use over the counter antifungal sprays or powders on the feet daily as a preventative measure.

If you feel you have this condition and need treatment, please call 708-763-0580 for an appointment.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Diabetic Footcare Tips

Diabetic Foot Care Tips

It is very important for your FEET that you control your blood sugar when you have diabetes. High blood sugars can cause the following problems for the feet:

-Loss of feeling or sensation in the feet
-Delayed wound healing
-Blood flow problems

1.You should have your feet checked by a foot doctor every few months! Your blood flow, nerves, skin/nails, and any abnormal foot structures (bunions, hammer toes) will be checked. You may qualify for diabetic shoes or diabetic insoles because of your diabetes (depends on insurance).

2.It is very important that you check your feet everyday when you have diabetes. If you see an open sore or something that looks infected (red, hot, swollen, pus present), it is important to call your medical doctor or podiatrist immediately.

3.You may put cream on the top and bottom of your feet but no cream or lotions should be used between the toes.

4.Check the inside of your shoes each day to make sure no stones or other objects have gotten inside. These can injure your feet, and you may not be able to feel them.

5.Control your blood sugar!

Please call Dr. Bender for an appointment to have your feet checked.
708-763-0580 Oak Park office
773-776-3166 63rd Street office (Midway)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Protect your feet during the summer months

It is tempting for all of us to throw off our shoes during the summer months! However, this is the prime time when people accidentally step on something while wearing sandles, flip flops, or going barefoot. Glass, splinters, rocks-all are common objects that we may step on during the warm months.

It is important to check your feet regularly, especially if you are diabetic or suffer from a serious disease (peripheral vascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer). If you think you stepped on something that might still be in your foot, schedule a same-day appointment with a foot doctor. Some objects are visible on X-Rays, but other objects can only be seen with more advanced tests, like MRI or Ultrasound. If you continue to walk with an object in your foot, it may move around in the foot, and this makes it more difficult for a podiatrist to remove.

Have a safe and fun summer!!

Mary Ann Bender, DPM
6931 W North, Oak Park, IL

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!

Dr. Bender and the staff of Advanced Physical Medicine

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Warts are common during the summer months!


Warts, also known as verrucae plantaris , are caused by a virus. This is an important topic for the summer because warts like warm, moist environments like our shoes and socks. Most people are more active during the warmer months, so our feet may sweat more than usual. This is the perfect setting for the virus that causes warts. Additionally, they can invade the feet at the pool because of the warm, wet environment.

Warts are common in children, the elderly, and individuals with a chronic condition (cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, etc). They can present on the top or sides of the feet as a raised lesion. On the bottom of the feet, they resemble a callous, with thickened skin covering them. They may appear white in color or have tiny black spots throughout.

Warts can be spread to other parts of the body or to other people, so it is important to get them diagnosed and treated. They are treated in a variety of ways: trimming, acid, freezing, medications, surgical excision, and laser treatment. The treatment may take several months.

If you think you have this condition, please schedule an appointment by calling 708-763-0580.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Congratulations to the Blackhawks!

It is an exciting day for Chicago! Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the Stanley Cup last night! Great season!

Dr. Mary Ann Bender

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Flip Flops and the feet

Many people enjoy wearing flip flops during the summer months. Although fashionable, these offer no support and very little cushioning to the feet. Injuries to the toenails , broken toes, tendonitis, and heel pain are some of the problems that can be caused by flip flops. It is important to look for a summer sandle that has cushioning and support for the feet.

Mary Ann Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302, 708-763-0580

Friday, May 21, 2010

Brookfield Zoo Health Fair

Thank you to the staff and volunteers of Brookfield Zoo for allowing Advanced Physical Medicine to participate in their annual health fair. I appreciate the opportunity to educate attendees on podiatry and answer questions during the event!

If your organization is interested in hosting a Wellness or Health Education Fair, please let me know! We are eager to spread the word about healthy footcare and healthy lifestyles!

Mary Ann Bender, DPM

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ingrown nail

Do you have painful, ingrown nails? An ingrown nail, also known as a paranychia, occurs when a nail curves in and often cuts the adjacent skin. The nail can cause the surrounding skin to become red, swollen, and painful. Additionally, the area can produce drainage or pus. It is important to see a podiatrist to have the ingrown nail removed. Often, the toe must be injected with anesthetic, so that the removal of the nail does not cause pain. Your podiatrist will give you soaking and bandaging instructions after the procedure. If the area is severely infected, you may be placed on oral antibiotics.

If you have this condition, please contact me at 708-763-0580!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Athlete's Foot

Do you get scaling, itchy, blistered areas on the bottoms of your feet or between your toes? You may have Athlete's Foot, also know as Tinea Pedis. This condition is called by a fungus. Fungus is common in the shoes and socks because they are warm and moist. Over the counter products can be helpful for this condition, but often you need a prescription to kill the fungus. Changing your socks frequently and spraying your shoes out with lysol have also been shown to be helpful. If you think you have this condition, please call 708-763-0580.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Achilles tendonitis

The pain usually occurs at the back of the heel or a little higher up on the back of the ankle. Activities, such as walking or running, aggravate the condition. Often this condition is caused by overuse of the Achilles tendon. For example, "weekend warriors" that start playing a sport without stretching and conditioning prior to playing are at high risk for irritating the Achilles tendon. Common treatments include icing, stretching, padding, immobilization, physical therapy, and medication. Please contact me at 708-763-0580 if you think you have this condition.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fungal Toenails--Formula Three

Discolored, thick, crumbling toenails? I am happy to now be offering Formula 3 in the office for treatment of the toenails. This is sold only at doctor's offices. It is a topical medication that is painted on the toenail twice per day. The active ingredient is clotrimazole (which treats fungus), and the medication has an oil base that allows it to penetrate the hard toenail.

There are many options for treating fungal toenails. Please schedule an appointment to discuss your options.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring=Stretching and Pacing yourself with new workouts

March Madness and the arrival of Spring gets many of us excited about working out! It is important to stretch before and after you exercise. Additionally, make sure that you pace yourself with a new Spring work out program. Start slow with your new running or sports program. Each week add more time or intensity to your workout. Most of all, have fun! Please contact me if you notice any changes to your feet with your exercise routine! Happy Spring! Mary Ann Bender

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hammer Toes

A hammer toe occurs when one of the toes is contracted, rather than in a straight position. This can cause redness, pain, a corn, or even a sore over the knuckle. Certain shoes that are tight in the toe box can aggravate this condition. Padding and changing shoes can offer relief, but the only way to completely correct the condition is with surgery to straighten the toe. If you think you have this condition and are seeking treatment, please call for an appointment-708-763-0580. I will be happy to discuss your options with you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Heel Pain when you get up in the morning?

If you have heel pain when you get up in the morning, you may have a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. This involves inflammation of the band on the bottom of the foot. It can be caused by increased weight, activity changes, flat feet, and lack of support in shoes. A variety of treatments are available for this condition, and it is important to schedule an appointment to see which treatments are best for you! Do not suffer with your heel pain any longer!

Mary Ann Bender, DPM
Advanced Physical Medicine
6931 W. North Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fungal Toenails

Are you experiencing thick, brown, yellow, crumbling nails? Often, this condition is caused by fungus in the toenails. There are a variety of treatments, both oral (by mouth) and topical (creams and polishes) that can improve this condition. Please contact me at 708-763-0580 for treatment of your fungal toenails.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cold Weather leads to Cold Feet-Frostbite

Remember to wear warm socks and shoes during this cold weather. Prolonged exposure to the elements is dangerous for our feet. For certain people, such as the elderly, smokers, people with chronic health problems, and people with peripheral vascular disease (poor bloodflow), extended time in the cold can lead to frostbite. Frostbite can cause redness, blistering, sloughing off of skin, open sores, or gangrene. It is essential that you protect yourself with WARM socks and shoes/boots. If you do feel that you may have frostbite, you need to report to the nearest Emergency Room for treatment.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the toenail grow into the adjacent skin. If the ingrown nail is not removed, it can cut into the adjacent skin and potentially cause an infection. The surrounding skin will become painful, red, swollen, and hot. Occasionally, pus can come out of the area. If this happens, it is important to make an appointment to have the toe numbed up (with an injection) and have the ingrown toenail removed. After the ingrown nail is removed, soaking, topical antibiotic ointment, and occasionally oral antibiotics are incorporated in the treatment plan. Please contact the office at 708-763-0580 if you are suffering from this condition.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What is Gout?


Gout occurs when a joint becomes red, hot, swollen, and very painful. It often affects the big toe joint but can affect any joint in the foot or ankle. Increased amounts of uric acid (a waste product in the body) can bring on an attack of gout.

Risk Factors
Men are more likely to get gout than women. However, after menopause, the risk of developing gout increases for women.

People on diuretics or water pills are at increased risk for developing gout.

People that drink a lot of alcohol can develop gout.

Certain foods can trigger an attack of gout.
Red meat, organ meat, shrimp and other shellfish, turkey
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens

Diagnosis and Treatment
Gout can often be diagnosed based on your symptoms, history, x-rays, and blood work (can reveal an increase in uric acid during an attack). Treatments include the following: medication, injections, rest, surgical shoes or cam walker boots, and strapping of the foot and ankle. Some people need to take daily medication if they get recurrent gout attacks. The best way to prevent gout is to limit intake of excess alcohol and foods that cause gout.
Information prepared by Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580(Oak Park) and 773-776-3166 (Chicago).