Monday, December 31, 2012

Hillary Clinton and Blood Clots

Recent reports state that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has a blood clot. Although I am unaware of the specifics of her case or condition, this is an important topic from a podiatry perspective. Blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can develop in the leg and potentially travel to the lungs, causing a life threatening condition called a pulmonary embolism (PE). The next few blogs will focus on some causes of blood clots. The first is immobilization. Many podiatry patients have to be immobilized with hard or soft casts, walking boots, bandages, ace wraps, and walking boots. These forms of immobilization are often necessary after surgery or injury to the foot or ankle. If the calf becomes red, hot, swollen, or painful or shortness of breath develops, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention at the nearest emergency department, as you may have a DVT or PE.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetics are often diagnosed as children or young adults, but this disease can develop at any age. The body does not produce insulin which converts glucose into energy for the body. The glucose becomes elevated in the bloodstream, which can have serious health consequences. Type 2 diabetics are often diagnosed later in life and either do not produce enough insulin or it is not recognized by the body. Finally, gestational diabetes develops in women during prenancy. This form of diabetes goes away after delivery of the baby in most cases, but some women may remain diabetic. Diabetes can have a serious impact on our feet: delayed healing, increased risk of infection, nerve damage, muscle weakening and wasting, circulation or blood flow problems, dry skin, and nail changes. It is important to see a foot doctor regularly if you are diabetic! Diabetic Foot Checks can save your feet and your life! Dr. Bender is a foot doctor at Advanced Physical Medicine in Oak Park and Chicago/63rd Street. 708-763-0580 or 773-776-3166.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Side Effects of Medication

Antiinflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or indocin are helpful at reducing the inflammation associated with foot and ankle injuries or surgeries. Additionally, they are useful for treating the inflammation associated with arthritis, whether rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, or gout. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications or NSAIDS can be harmful to the gastrointestinal tract and stomach, causing irritation, ulcers, and bleeding. Additionally, they may cause the following side effects with prolonged or inappropriate use over time: kidney or liver failure, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, rash, and constipation. It is important to discuss with your doctor your past medical history, current complaints and level of pain and swelling. NSAIDS may or may not work for your condition, and it is essential to know that there are side effects of these drugs. Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist at Advanced Physical Medicine. She can be reached at 708-763-0580 for appointments at the Oak Park location.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Tips for Keeping your FEET Safe!

Halloween is a very exciting time of year: costumes, candy, treats, parties, friends! However, long costumes, masks, wigs, parties, and trick or treating in the dark can all put our feet at risk. Uneven sidewalks, dips in the pavement or yards, and crowds can cause our ankles or feet to twist and turn. While enjoying the festivities this week, it is important to wear comfortable and supportive shoes, have costumes that are not too long, take care with masks and wigs to be certain you can see clearly, and to use flashlights when it gets dark. Halloween is such a fun event, so make it safe and fun! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Friday, September 28, 2012

Foot Injury for Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez injured his foot this week when he fouled a ball off of it. This can lead to swelling and pain, as it did for Rodriguez. Reports said that he was icing and resting the foot. If a heavy or fast moving object hits your foot or ankle, it is important to rest, ice, wrap, and elevate your foot. These type of injuries may cause breaks and sprains of the foot or ankle, so it is important to make your podiatry appointment soon after injury. Contact the Advanced Physical Medicine Foot Clinic for your foot and ankle needs! 708-763-0580

Monday, September 17, 2012

Forte of the Bears has ankle injury but not a high ankle sprain

Reports today from ESPN state that Bears player, Matt Forte, does have a sore ankle, but it is not a high ankle sprain, as suspected. High ankle sprains involve an injury to the syndesmotic membrane between the tibia and fibula bones of the leg, and the mechanism of injury involves an outward twisting of the leg and/or foot. Obviously, this movement can occur in sports like football, so this is a concern when a professional player like Forte goes down with an ankle injury. X-Rays are taken to make sure that these bones are not broken, but MRI is needed to check the soft tissue structures around the ankle. Compressing the leg often causes pain, especially with twisting. For milder high ankle sprains, RICE (rest, ice, compression/immobilization, and elevation) can be used for treatment, but more severe sprains may require surgery. Thus, the recovery time can vary. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Opening Sunday for the NFL! Garcon out with foot injury!

It is the first series of Sunday games for the NFL and Pierre Garcon of the Saints had to exit today's game with a foot injury. Hope you are enjoying your Sunday! Dr. Bender 708-763-0580

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MLB player Nieuwenhuis out for the season with a tear of the Plantar Fascia

The plantar fascia is a structure that runs along the bottom of the foot. It is divided into three bands and can become inflamed at any portion. Patients with plantar fasciitis will commonly complain of heel pain after rest. However, the plantar fascia can also be injured traumatically, and this can cause tearing of the band. Mets player, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, is now out for the remainder of the season with a tear of the plantar fascia. Plantar fascial tears usually cause a sudden pain, may cause an audible pop when the injury occurs, may have brusing or swelling, and get worse with prolonged weight bearing. Plantar fascial tears can also be diagnosed with suspected plantar fasciitis that is not responding to conventional conservative treatments like stretching, icing, injections, orthotics, taping, and physical therapy. Plantar fascial tears can be diagnosed with MRI and diagnostic ultrasound, as the plantar fascia is not visible on conventional x-rays. Immobilization with a hard cast or soft cast and walking boot are typically s effective treatments for this injury. If you have pain on the bottom of your foot that is not improving with standard treatments for plantar fasciitis, call Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL, 708-763-0580.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Orlando Hudson Foul Ball Hits his own Foot, 8/15/12

Chicago White Sox player, Orlando Hudson, fouled a ball off of his foot (appeared to be the big toe joint area) last night during the White Sox game in Toronto. Hudson had to leave the game after the injury, but reports X-Rays were negative for a fracture or break in the bones of the foot. Heavy objects hitting the foot, objects hitting the foot at high speeds, and objects hitting the foot at unusual angles are examples of trauma that can be sustained during sports activities. It is important to immediately implement RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), and if the condition persists, it is necessary to see a podiatrist for evaluation. X-rays, diagnostic ultrasound, or MRI tests may be used to determine the severity and extent of the injury. After these tests, proper treatment can begin. Thankfully, Orlando Hudson should be on the road to recovery soon! Go Sox! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302

Sunday, August 5, 2012

China's Liu concerned about Achilles Tendon injury at 2012 Olympics

Liu Xiang, a Chinese hurdler at the 2012 London Olympic Games may be troubled by both back and foot problems as reported through several sources by his coach, Sun Haping. A previous article states that he had issues with his Achilles tendon in the past. I am not sure on the specifics of this particular athlete. However, the Achilles tendon is a very important tendon for anything involving the lower extremities: walking, running, jumping, landing, etc. It passes from the knee to the back of our heel bone or calcaneus, so it directly affects knee and ankle motion. Achilles tendon injuries can occur anywhere along its course, but from a podiatry perspective, most of the injuries are at the back of the heel or 2 cm above, in an area called the watershed region (an area of decreased blood supply). X-rays look at bone problems and may not adequately show tendon injuries. Therefore, diagnostic ultrasound and MRI studies may be ordered to determine whether there is inflammation of the tendon or a tear. If your Achilles tendon is sore, it is essential to incorporate RICE-rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you hear a pop, feel a deficit in the tendon, have severe swelling, blistering, or pain in the area, or have difficulty moving the ankle, it is important to seek immediate treatment in case the tendon has ruptured. Additionally, pain, swelling, redness, and heat in the back of the calf require an immediate assessment by the emergency room for DVT or a blood clot, which can be life threatening. Tears of the Achilles tendon are treated with immobilization or surgery, depending on the severity. Tendonitis of the Achilles tendon is treated in a variety of ways: strapping, soft casts, walking boots, physical therapy, medication, rest, and ice. It is important to see a podiatrist if you have injured your Achilles tendon. Presented for informational purposes by Dr. Mary Ann Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302, 708-763-0580

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rajai Davis hit on foot by pitch against the Chicago White Sox

During today's White Sox game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Rajai Davis of the Jays was hit on the foot by a Sox pitch. When an object, like a 90 mile an hour pitch, hits the foot, there is a high risk of injury. The most obvious concern is a broken or fractured bone in the foot, which can sideline a player for 6-8 weeks as it heals. However, less obvious injuries can include a bone contusion, sprains, tears of tendons, ligaments, or muscles, and nerve injuries. Being hit by a high speed object can happen in other arenas besides baseball, but if this does happen to your foot it is important to schedule an appointment for evaluation and x-rays. Immediate care of your injury should include RICE: rest, ice, compression (strapping, ace wrap, air cast), and elevation. Contact Dr. Bender, Advanced Physical Medicine, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL, 708-763-0580 if you have a foot injury! GO CHICAGO WHITE SOX!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Staying cool on this HOT July 4th!

Greetings and Happy 4th! It is important to stay cool and hydrated during these very hot July days. Make sure to drink plenty of water, seek shade or air conditioning if possible, and wear comfortable and loose clothes. Also, do not forget your sun screen, as the intense rays from the sun are very dangerous to our skin! Have a great and festive holiday!!! Dr. Bender

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Steven Tyler says his foot pain is due to a Neuroma

Recent photos of the feet of Aerosmith rocker, Steven Tyler, over the Spring showed toes that were crossed over each other. Articles report that Tyler says his foot pain is due to a neuroma, which is painful irritation and fibrosis around a nerve. Typically, these affect the nerve that goes between the third and fourth toes of the foot but can occur at other locations in the feet and body. When people have this condition, it can feel like they are walking on a pebble or that their sock is bunched up under the foot. Additionally, there can be a sharp pain radiating to the toes. Pointed or high heeled shoes will make this condition worse. However, with increased severity of the neuroma over time, even normal activities like walking and standing can aggravate the neuroma. There are a variety of treatment options for neuromas: injections, orthotics, medications, and padding. Some patients require surgery to remove the neuroma. I surgery is performed, the two toes that are innervated by this nerve usually become numb (usually the third and fourth toes). For articles on Steven Tyler's toes, see my Facebook page. If you think you have a neuroma or contracted toes, contact my office, 708-763-0580. Dr. Mary Ann Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

myFEET-Answers to Teen's Foot Questions

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has developed a very helpful and fun website to address teen foot issues, The website discusses healthy pedicures, proper shoe gear, common foot injuries, and also common conditions of the feet that teens may have, athlete's foot, ingrown nails, warts, smelly feet. With easy to follow language, fun colors, and interesting content, this is a great place to get information on teen foot problems. Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302 708-763-0580

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Greg Stiemsma, Boston Celtics player, has plantar fasciitis

The Boston Celtics are currently battling their way through the NBA playoffs, but one of their players, Greg Stiemsma, is battling something else-Plantar Fasciitis. This is a condition where the band on the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. It causes pain after rest and in the morning when the person is getting up from bed. This pain typically occurs in the heel and usually feels better after walking around for awhile. There are a variety of conservative ways to treat this condition! If you think that you have plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Mary Ann Bender, Oak Park and Chicago, IL. Dr. Bender will be happy to examine, diagnose, explain the treatment options, and finally, treat you for heel pain! 708-763-0580

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Wishing a happy and healthy Memorial Day 2012 to All! Thank you to all of our servicemen and women for the sacrifices you have made for our FREEDOM! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hakeem Nicks of the NY Giants Breaks Fifth Metatarsal Bone of the Foot

During voluntary workouts, Hakeem Nicks of the NY Giants suddenly felt extreme pain in his foot. He broke his fifth metatarsal bone of the foot and will have surgery to place a screw in this bone. He will not return to the field for at least 12 weeks. Fractures of the fifth metatarsal bone, especially close to the base of the bone, are very serious injuries. The blood supply to this portion of the bone is not very strong, and this usually results in slow healing. In my experience, many patients do well with immobilization and rest if the bone is properly approximated (not dislocated and out of position). Some people, especially athletes, respond better and faster with the placement of a screw into the bone to stabilize the fracture. A device called a bone stimulator is often employed for this type of fracture to assist with proper healing. Normal bone healing takes 6-8 weeks, and after surgery and/or immobilization, patients often need a course of physical therapy to get them back to their normal activity level. If you have questions about this condition or any other foot issue, please schedule your appointment! Dr. Mary Ann Bender, 708-763-0580

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

RICE and Ankle Injuries

Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers injured his ankle last night in an important playoff game against the Heat. Ankle injuries can be very complex, as there are several bones, tendons, and ligaments that can be injured when abnormal pressure is placed on the ankle. Simpler injuries like mild ankle sprains can improve much more quickly than breaks or fractures, tendon or ligament tears, or more severe ankle sprains. However, if you do injure your ankle while playing your favorite sport during these great Spring days, it is essential to start RICE immediately after the injury to speed healing, control swelling and pain, and to make yourself more comfortable. Also, schedule an appointment with your foot doctor for assessment. R-rest I-ice C-compress (ace wraps, air casts, cam walkers, walking boots, splints, braces) E-elevate Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012!

We hope all of the wonderful Mom's out there have a great weekend! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Friday, April 27, 2012

United Health Care

Dr. Bender accepts all PPO insurance plans, including United Health Care. The other physicians and physical therapists no longer accept UHC, but Dr. Bender is still in network with all UHC PPO plans! Make your appointment today! Dr. Bender, Advanced Physical Medicine, 6931 W. North Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302, 708-763-0580

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Starting an exercise program

Now that the weather is improving, many of us are motivated to get outside for some exercise. Running, walking, or cross training shoes with good support and cushioning are essential before your start a new work out program. Lack of support in shoes can cause stress fractures, tendonitis, sprains, blisters, and other foot or ankle problems. It is important to set a reasonable goal for yourself, whether it is running, walking or biking. Once you set a goal, it is essential that you pace yourself by not doing too much too quickly. Work up to your goal by adding time or mileage over a period of time! A training log will help measure how far you are going with each activity. It may also be helpful to record how you feel after each training session, so you can decide whether to add distance or speed next time. Finally, do not forget to drink plenty of water (64 ounces per day) and to stretch before and after your work out!

Happy Spring!

Dr. Bender
Foot and Ankle Specialist
6931 W. North Ave., Oak Park, IL

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

APMA article on Common Foot Mistakes

The following is a post from the American Podiatric Medical Association about common mistakes people make with their feet.
As an APMA member, I am excited to share this interesting article with you! If you have foot pain, please contact Dr. Bender at 708-763-0580.

National Foot Health Awareness Month Brings Attention to Common Mistakes

Top Five Mistakes in Footcare Include Compromising on Fit, Chosing the Wrong Athletic Shoe

April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, and the American Podiatric Medical Association along with Spenco Medical Corporation outline the top five mistakes made when it comes to footcare. Whether it’s an athlete, a woman who wears high heels on a daily basis or simply someone who is prone to common foot ailments, following a few simple rules will make the difference in walking or exercising in comfort.

“Many individuals think that discomfort from shoes is normal, but this does not have to be the case,” said Jeff Antonioli, Global Sales Director of Spenco, a leading producer in the nation for high quality insole and footcare products. “By avoiding a few of the common missteps, individuals can prevent many long-term issues that can arise simply by ignoring a problem.”

The APMA and Spenco outline the top mistakes made when it comes to foot health:

Skipping Regular Maintenance. It’s easy to slip on a pair of shoes each day and forget simple foot upkeep. Be sure to always wash your feet daily with soap and water to remove germs and grime. Make it a goal to keep feet dry to ward off athlete’s foot, which tends to grow in moist, damp environments. When trimming toenails, always keep them short and cut straight across or with a slight curve.
Compromising on the Fit. Finding the perfect fit can sometimes be a little more time consuming, but a decision that will pay off greatly in the end. When buying a new shoe, get fitted by an associate if possible, especially since shoe sizes can vary greatly depending on the brand. The best time to shoe shop is late in the afternoon or evening because feet tend to swell over the course of the day. Once a pair of shoes has been worn for a while, watch for signs of wear in the tread, midsole and cushiony part just before the sole.
Choosing the Wrong Athletic Shoe. Sports-specific shoes help athletes’ performance and can prevent injuries. For example, a basketball shoe helps avoid common injuries like sprains, tendinitis and stress fractures with thin stiff soles and high ankle construction. Running shoes should provide different support; a perfect jogging shoe should have maximum shock absorption and match the runner’s arch type. Athletic shoes wear much faster than regular shoes so it is important to replace yearly or once signs of wear begin to show.
Disregarding Common Foot Issues. Warts, smelly feet, ingrown toenails and athlete’s foot are the most common foot problems and should not be ignored. All can be improved significantly by keeping feet clean and dry. For these conditions, try a home remedy to see if the problem subsides. In-grown toenails can sometimes be fixed by soaking the toe in lukewarm water and Epsom salts for 20 minutes, three to four times a day. If the problem persists with these common foot problems, individuals should call a podiatrist.
Putting Full Trust into Your Salon. When treating yourself to a pedicure, be sure to resist the urge to sit back and ignore what the technician is doing. Never allow a salon to use a foot razor to remove dead skin. Using a razor can result in permanent damage if used incorrectly and can easily cause infection if too much skin is removed. Also, consider bringing your own pedicure tools for the technician to use. If the salon fails to properly sterilize its tools, bacteria and fungus can easily move from one person to the next.
About American Podiatric Medical Association

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the nation’s leading professional organization for today’s podiatrists. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are qualified by their education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and structures of the leg. APMA has 53 state component locations across the United States and its territories, with a membership of more than 12,000 podiatrists. All practicing APMA members are licensed by the state in which they practice podiatric medicine. For more information, visit

Midwest Podiatry Conference

Dr. Bender will be attending the Midwest Podiatry Conference this weekend in Chicago to learn about the latest advances in podiatric medicine. Office hours for the Oak Park office will not be affected! For your podiatric needs, please call the Oak Park office at 708-763-0580.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Oak Park Race That's Good for Life

Congratulations to all of the runners and walkers who completed the Race That's Good for Life today, sponsored by the Oak Park Runner's Club. Thank you for stopping by our booth at the event! What a beautiful day in Oak Park for a run!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2012 The Race That's Good for Life in Oak Park

Come visit Dr. Bender and the Advanced Physical Medicine staff at The Race That's Good for Life this Sunday in Oak Park. We will have a booth at the Health Fair. This event is sponsored by the Oak Park Runner's Club. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jaba Chamberlain suffers Open Dislocation of the Subtalar Joint

Jaba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees injured his foot on a trampoline this week while playing with his son. His subtalar joint (which is deep in the foot and in the area of the heel bone) was dislocated or moved out of position. During the injury, there was a break in the skin or opening, which increases the risk of infection, as bone is exposed. Any dislocations or broken bones that involve breaks in the skin are very serious and most be treated with antibiotics immediately. For more information on this topic and Jaba Chamberlain's injury, please review the articles on my Facebook page, Mary Ann Bender/Advanced Physical Medicine.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What is a Jone's Fracture?

Jone’s Fracture

What is a Jone’s Fracture?

A Jone’s Fracture is a break or fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in the region of the diaphysis (which is toward the bottom of the bone). The fifth metatarsal is the long bone which attaches to the fifth toe. This bone can be injured by twisting the foot or ankle, falling, or some type of force directly over the bone. People that have this injury can develop pain, swelling, difficulty walking/standing, and a feeling of instability.


This injury is diagnosed with X-Rays. Other advanced imaging modalities, such as MRI, CT scans, or ultrasound, can be used if further information is needed about the alignment of the bones.

If the break is in good alignment, immobilization with a cast or walking boot will usually allow adequate healing. However, if the X-Rays show that the fragments of bone are not aligned, surgical intervention is indicated, usually with the placement of screws, plates, or other hardware to hold the bone together. Most fractures of the foot will heal in 6-8 weeks with adequate treatment. However, initial healing of this bone in particular can be delayed or prolonged due to the decreased or poor blood supply to this portion of the bone and due to the attachment of the peroneus brevis tendon to the base of the fifth metatarsal.

Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Patriot's Gronkowski and High Ankle Sprains

In preparation for the Super Bowl, the New England Patriot's tight end, Rob Gronkowski, has removed his walking boot for a high ankle sprain. Although anyone can suffer this injury when the leg shifts outward and injures the syndesmosis or ligaments connecting the tibia and fibula bones of the leg, football players are more prone to this injury. This is different than a conventional ankle sprain, as it is higher (above the ankle). The injury can take days or months to heal, and the initial treatment focuses on RICE (rest, ice, compression/strapping/immobilization, and elevation).

Dr. Bender, Advanced Physical Medicine, 708-763-0580

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ouch-Swollen Feet when Pregnant

A common complaint during pregnancy is swelling or edema. This tends to get worse as the pregnancy advances, and although the bones of the feet are not growing, the increased fluid accumulation may make the feet feel bigger. The increased size of the uterus, along with the release of the hormones relaxin and progesterone (in preparation of delivery), makes it harder for the veins of the lower extremities to pump the fluid out of the area.

How do I relieve this discomfort? Elevation, rest, properly fitting shoes and socks, and compression stockings can help with swelling and discomfort.

It is important to know that the swelling associated with pregnancy is often symmetrical and equal on both sides. If one leg is significantly more swollen than the other, this could be a life threatening emergency known as a deep vein thrombosis or a blood clot. It is essential to go to the nearest emergency room if you have this condition.

Dr. Mary Ann Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dwayne Wade and Heel Pain

Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade inured his heel in late December and is still suffering this week. Reports state that he may have a contusion or "bone bruise" or plantar fasciitis. Heel pain can be caused by a variety of conditions: inflammation or tears in the plantar fascia, bone contusions, broken or fractured bones, arthritis, nerve entrapments, decreased fat on the bottom of the heel, back injuries, and other less common causes. X-Rays, CT scans, and MRIs are helpful in determining what is causing of the pain. Initial treatments can include rest, ice, immobilization, antiiflammatory medication, physical therapy, and occasionally stretching or injections depending of what the primary cause is of the condition.

Presented by Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, 708-763-0580

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season! Advanced Physical Medicine Podiatry is back to our normal hours!

Dr. Bender