Monday, November 25, 2013

Diabetes Awareness Month

Why are diabetic patients at higher risk for losing parts of their feet and legs to amputation? Diabetes can damage our nerves and blood vessels. This creates a very complicated situation, as some diabetics cannot feel all or portions of their feet. In other words, they do not have protective sensation, or the ability to feel things like blisters, cuts, pebbles, splinters, rough edges on shoes, and other things. Damage to blood vessels causes diminished blood flow to the feet, making walking difficult. Further, healing of wounds, even small cuts, is delayed if there is not enough blood flow. Blood brings certain cells to the area of an injury that allow it to properly heal. If that is not complicated enough, the immune systems of diabetics are not as strong as those in other people. This means that diabetics cannot fight off infections as well as non-diabetics. Again, a simple cut can quickly get out of control on the foot of a diabetic patient, as the immune system is not as powerful as in other people without diabetes or chronic conditions. Prevention and education are the keys for diabetic foot conditions. 1. If you or a family member have diabetes, it is essential that the feet get checked daily. This includes the tops, bottoms, and between the toes. If you notice a cut, sore, opening, drainage, or discoloration, call you podiatrist immediately. If the area is red, hot, swollen, has an odor, smells, or is green, yellow, black, or some other strange color, you may need to go to the emergency room to have the area assessed if your doctor is not available. 2. Control your blood sugar! Keeping your blood sugar within the normal range, typically 80-120 mg/dL, is essential, as this is healthy for the nerves, blood vessels, and other body structures. Prolonged periods with high blood sugars are very damaging to the feet. 3. Avoid smoking! It decreases blood flow. 4. Avoid alcohol abuse. It damages the nerves and is unhealthy. 5. Exercise! It is good for your body and helps the circulation. Ask your doctor what form of exercise is best for you! 6. Wear supportive shoes that do not have seams or other areas that rub on your skin. 7. Keep the feet hydrated but no cream, lotion, or vasoline between the toes! If the areas between the toes are too moist, sores can develop. Questions? Need an appointment for a diabetic foot check? Call Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jay Cutler and High Ankle Sprains

After returning to play after a groin injury, Bear's quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday. High ankle sprains involve an injury above the ankle to the soft tissues or syndesmosis between the tibia and fibula. Typically, these injuries are rotational, so this is an obvious potential problem with NFL players This injury can be hard to diagnose in some cases because it may not include a lot of swelling. Traditional ankle sprains typically involve an injury to a ligament on the side of the ankle, and there is pain and swelling in the area. The high ankle sprain is further up on the leg, rather on the side and may not be as swollen. Initial treatments of high ankle sprains include medication to reduce inflammation, rest, ice, compression or immobilization, elevation, and physical therapy. Severe injuries can require surgery.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What are Shin Splints?

You are undertaking a new exercise program or trying to increase your current program, and suddenly, you get pain along the front of your legs. Obviously, many things could be causing this, but one of the common causes is shin splints. Increasing training too rapidly, hard training surfaces, shoes with inadequate support, high heels, and arches that are too high or too low can all cause inflammation on the front of the legs. The periostium that lines our bones can become irritated (even having small tears) where the muscles meet the bone, specifically on the tibia (one of our two leg bones). If you experience this problem, it is important to begin RICE: rest, ice, compression or strapping, and elevation. Further, anti-inflammatory medications like motrin can be used if you are medically able to take these over the counter drugs. New shoe gear that is more supportive is critical. Additionally, it is important to see your podiatrist for custom molded orthotic devices that will support the feet and control abnormal motion. Finally, avoiding hard training surfaces, high heels, and shoes or activities that aggravate the condition will help reduce pain and recurrence. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cold Weather and Slippery Surfaces

The cool, frosty air has descended on us in Chicago! This morning, I took my daughter to school and was amazed that the new playground surface was covered with frost and very slippery! It is only October! Slippery, icy surfaces are dangerous for all of us, whether in kindergarten or in adulthood. It is important to select shoes and boots that are supportive and have soles that can grip. You should not be able to twist or bend your boots or shoe. If you can do that, they may not have adequate support to protect you on slippery surfaces. Also, the soles should have a material that provides traction on ice, snow, and slick surfaces. Now is the time to begin thinking about the upcoming cooler temperatures! If you have concerns about your feet, schedule your appointment today with Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580 or 773-776-3166. Dr. Bender practices in Oak Park and Chicago/63rd. Visit our websites at and

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What are the Signs of a FOOT Infection?

An infection occurs when a type of microorganism invades the body, multiplies, and begins to damage surrounding tissues by releasing toxic substances. Typically, in the foot, the microorganism enters through an opening in the skin: a blister, wound, ulcer, ingrown nail border, or injured area of skin. The signs of infection are redness, heat, swelling, pain, drainage or pus, and loss of function (inability to use the foot). Infections are diagnosed by an exam with your doctor, vital signs (like temperature), lab work, and sometimes, other testing. Antibiotics are used for treatment, and surgery may also be needed to drain the area and remove any damaged tissue. Infections can become very serious if not treated properly and can infect the bone or bloodstream. Some patients with chronic diseases, like diabetes, HIV, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral vascular disease, and other conditions may have an altered or lesser response during infection. In other words, they may not exhibit the same signs of infection as a healthy person. Foot infections can be very serious. Consult your foot doctor if you think your foot is infected, as it is essential that you get treatment quickly. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How are Neurma's Treated?

The last post discussed Morton's neuromas. The neuroma is usually diagnosed by a clinical exam with your podiatrist. Conventional x-rays or MRIs may be used to further diagnose the condition or rule out something else. After the diagnosis is made, treatments typically start with conservative measures: injections, padding, and orthotic devices. Many patients get significant relief with these modalities. However, in some cases, the neuroma must be surgically excised. If you have a neuroma or other foot condition, call Dr. Bender for an appointment. She will help you feel better FAST! Dr. Bender has had three surgeries on her own feet, including removal of a neuroma, so she knows first hand about foot pain! 708-763-0580, Oak Park.

Friday, September 27, 2013

What is a Morton's Neuroma?

Patients come into the office with a series of complaints when they have a Morton's Neuroma: tingling to the toes; feeling of walking on a pebble, bunched up sock, or cushion under the foot; shooting or stabbing pain; or inability to wear high heeled shoes. Further, the toes may form a "V," rather than being straight and symmetrical like the other toes. A Morton's Neuroma is actually inflammation around the nerve that goes to the toes of the foot, typically the second and third toes. Usually, the metatarsal bones that are on either side of the nerve are too close together, and the continual friction creates the inflammation around the nerve. Abnormal foot mechanics or injury can also cause the neuroma. Morton's Neuromas can be treated with medications, injections, padding, custom molded orthotic devices, or surgical excision. Surgical excision is only used as a final result if the conservative measures do not relieve the pain. If you have this type of pain, please call for an appointment with Dr. Bender at 708-763-0580. She has Monday through Friday hours at her Oak Park location, and Monday morning hours at the 63rd/Chicago. Get your FEET in good shape for the Fall!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jacoby Ellsbury Injures his NAVICULAR bone. What is the navicular bone?

Boston Red Sox player, Jacoby Ellsbury, has injured his navicular bone. Although the extent of the injury is not completely known at this time, many people may be scratching their heads. What is the navicular bone? There are 28 bones in the feet, and the navicular is one of the bones that makes up the inner arch of the foot. The navicular is a bone of the midfoot and classified as a tarsal bone. It has articulation or joins three cuneiform bones and the cuboid bone. A major tendon, the posterior tibial tendon, attaches to the navicular bone. Many injuries can occur in this area and include the following: fractures, arthritis, and posterior tibial tendon problems. It is believed that Ellsbury has a fracture or break of his navicular. The next blog will focus on navicular fractures. Stay tuned! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School 2013!

As the kids go to school today (for most of you!), it is important to make sure they are wearing supportive shoes. There should be some room at the end of the shoe (one thumb length) so that the toes are not bumping the tip of the shoe. Additionally, the shoes should have laces or velcro to ensure proper closure and that they are not too loose. It is important that you cannot twist or bend the shoes in order to achieve proper support. Happy Monday! Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302, 708-763-0580

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What is a LisFranc Injury? Colts player, Justin Hickman, likely out for season with this injury.

We have been hearing more about LisFranc Injuries to the foot during recent years, especially with elite athletes. Justin Hickman of the Indianapolis Colts is the latest NFL player to sustain one of these injuries. This injury takes place at the part of the foot where the metatarsal bones articulate or join with the tarsal bones (cuboid, three cuneiforms, and navicular). The injury may involve dislocation, fractures (breaks), or both. There are a variety of classifications for this injury, as it can present in a variety of ways. The injury can occur in a variety of ways: car accidents, heavy objects dropping on the foot, crush injuries, and rotational force on a plantarflexed (foot pointed downward) foot. There is pain and swelling with this injury, but there can also be bruising, skin irritation or openings, and stress on the blood supply or circulation. X-Rays are always ordered for this injury, and more advanced imaging modalities like MRI and CT may also be needed. Depending on the severity of the injury and the activity level of the patient, it can be treated conservatively with casting or with surgery. This injury can result in arthritis, pain, and swelling even after healing. If you have a foot problem, contact Dr. Bender for an appointment. 708-763-0580 (Oak Park) and 773-776-3166 (63rd/Chicago).

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pujols on the DL with another Foot Injury

Albert Pujols, now a member of the Angels, was placed on the disabled list with a tear of the plantar fascia of his foot. The plantar fascia is a band that runs along the bottom of the foot and frequently causes heel pain. In some cases, the plantar fascia can develop tears in it, resulting in significant pain that does not respond to traditional conservative treatment modalities. Plantar fascial tears are best diagnosed with diagnostic ultrasound or MRI. The best treatment for these injuries is rest and immobilization. Physical therapy is instituted after the area has healed, and patients typically use custom molded orthotic devices into the future. If you have a foot or ankle injury, call Dr. Bender at her Oak Park or Chicago offices for an appointment. 708-763-0580 or 773-776-3166

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Broken for for Phillies Player, Ben Revere

Ben Revere of the Phillies has been placed on the disabled list due to a foot fracture. A foot fracture or broken bone typically takes 6-8 weeks to heal, and occasionally can take longer to heal depending on the specific site that was injured. A broken bone usually causes pain, swelling, and in the case of the foot, difficulty standing or walking. Most fractures can be viewed on conventional x-rays, but hairline or stress fractures may only be visible on advanced imaging modalities like MRI, CT, or diagnostic ultrasound. Treatment of foot fractures depends on the location, whether it is displaced, and other factors but typically involves either surgery or immobilization. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication may also be used. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Open on Fridays!

The Foot Clinic at Advanced Physical Medicine is now open on Fridays! Find a solution to your foot problems by calling today-708-763-0580. Dr. Bender

Monday, July 8, 2013

Painful Bumps on the FEET

When I was out of town this weekend visiting my family, my nephew asked me about some painful bumps on the bottom of his foot. Close inspection revealed that he had warts on the bottom of his feet. These are caused by a virus and thrive in warm, moist environments, like our shoes and socks, pools, and locker rooms. Teenagers, like my nephew, are a common age group that get warts. Although, anyone can get them, children and the elderly are the most common. Warts can appear as raised bumps, calloused areas, white areas, or areas with dark dots throughout, and they are typically painful. Warts are challenging to treat but may respond to any of the following: excision, lasers, acids, freezing, or topical medications. Usually, several months of treatment are required to treat the warts. Recurrence can be prevented by keeping the feet as dry as possible by changing socks frequently, wearing shower shoes at the pool or locker room, and using sprays or powders to keep the feet dry. Happy July! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Topical Treatents for Fungal Nails

During the summer, many people are more concerned about the appearance of their toenails, especially if they are thick, discolored, and irregular looking. Fungal toenails can cause these changes, and a biopsy may be needed to prove that there is fungus in the nail. Fungal toenails can be treated in several ways: oral or topical therapies, laser therapy, or permanent removal. The topic for today is topical treatment for fungal toenails. This therapy involves painting medicine on the nail, and the treatment works from the outside of the nail to fight the fungus. The success rate is lower than oral or laser treatments, often around a fifty percent success rate. There are typically no side effects with topical treatments, other than occasional skin irritation around the nail plate. If the skin does become irritated, discontinuing the treatment will allow the skin to heal. The primary disadvantages of topical treatments with topical antifungal nail treatments include the following: lower success rate, length of use (9-12 months of daily application), and inability to use toenail polish during the course of treatment. If you are interested in getting treatment for your fungal nails, call Dr. Bender today for an appointment! 708-763-0580 Oak Park and 773-776-3166 Chicago.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Itchy Feet!

Summer brings great warmer temperatures, but this can also mean warm, sweaty feet. Athlete's Foot or Tinea Pedis can develop with warm, sweaty feet, as it is caused by a fungus. The skin can become scaly, blistered, red, and itchy. The condition typically develops on the bottom or sides of the feet or between the toes. Athlete's Foot can be treated with creams and gels. Occasionally, oral medication is needed for severe cases. Additionally, it is necessary to keep the feet dry by changing the socks frequently and wearing shoes made of breathable materials. Using antifungal sprays or powders can also be a way to prevent future episodes of athlete's foot. If you feel that you have this condition, call Dr. Bender at Advanced Physical Medicine, 708-763-0580 or 773-776-3166.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Open on Fridays!

The Advanced Physical Medicine Podiatry Clinic is now open on Fridays! Get your feet in good shape for the weekend by visiting Dr. Bender in Oak Park on Fridays! Appointments, 708-763-0580.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Walking is good for YOU! Lurie Children's Hospital Walk is this Weekend!

This Sunday, I will be participating in the Lurie Children's Hospital Move for the Kids Run/Walk. This is for an excellent cause, and our team (organized by my sister), is running and walking to honor a child who had his life end to early. Thus, this weekend, consider running and walking for the health of children in our community. Walking is a great form of exercise! It keeps us strong and healthy: keeping the muscles, tendons, and blood flow strong to our feet and legs. It helps us to maintain or lose weight. Cardiovascular activities such as walking, running, biking, swimming, and others, keep our heart strong and healthy! Plus, you can feel great by keeping yourself healthy and contributing to a great cause! Put on your supportive shoes, grab a bottle of water for hydration, and join us for some stretches before the event! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580 Team Josué Our team was created in honor of a wonderful young man and his family. Josué and his family faced his diagnosis and treatment with love, courage, strength and faith. They have all been an inspiration to many. While Josué's physical time here was short, his legacy will continue to shine in the hearts of the lives he touched. On May 19, 2013, our team will participate in Move for the Kids 5k Run/Walk in honor of Josué and his family. Help us reach our goal to raise $1,000 for the patients and families at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. The hospital relies on philanthropic support to help heal and save more kids' lives. I hope you will support our efforts by making a gift today. Any amount will make a difference! All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged by Lurie Children's Foundation. With your help, more children can receive the best healthcare possible and the opportunity to reach their greatest potential. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day Event 2013

Advanced Physical Medicine is hosting an event this Saturday, May 11, 2013! Let's Celebrate MOMS! The event will take place from 1-4 pm at APM, 6931 W. North Ave., Oak Park, IL. There will be free foot screenings, chair massages, nail polish painting, education on colon hydrotherapy, physical therapy, back pain, and other topics, and kids crafts and story time. Snacks will be served! All services are free and first come, first serve. Dr. Bender

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April is Foot Health Awareness Month-What are Warts?

Verrucae plantaris or a plantar wart is a growth on the skin caused by a virus. The bottom of the foot is a great location for warts to develop, as feet are warm and sweaty in many people. Warts love warm, moist environments, like our feet, shoes, socks, gyms, locker rooms, showers, and pools. Warts tend to affect kids, teens, and the elderly more than other groups of people, but anyone can get a wart. What does a wart look like? A wart can appear raised (as a single area or multiple raised areas), calloused (thick skin over), whitish (resembling cauliflower), have dark dots (capillaries, or small blood vessels, with dried blood), and often are painful when pinched from side to side. Warts typically get larger and spread with time if untreated on the feet. How do you treat a wart? It is important to see a podiatrist to confirm that the area is actually a wart. There are other conditions that can look like warts. Treatment options include the following: topical treatents (acids), medications, laser therapy, and surgical excision. With the warm months ahead, warts will become a bigger foot issue for many people. If you have a wart, give Dr. Bender a call to schedule your appointment at 708-763-0580. Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist in Oak Park and Chicago.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April is Foot Awareness Month-Summer Exercise

As summer approaches, many of us start thinking about our feet. We are getting more active, so happy and healthy feet are more important. If you are a fan of outdoor exercise, it is essential to wear a supportive athletic shoe that you cannot bend or twist. All athletic shoes vary, so it is important to find a shoe that has what you need: support, cushioning, a large toe box, and/or breathable material. All of us have different issues with our feet. Support and cushioning are essential for all of us. These lower the risk of tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. If you have hammer toes, bunions, or a previous forefoot injury, a large toe box will give your toes enough room to be comfortable. Additionally, breathable materials allow your feet to be exposed to air. This diminishes the risk of warts, athlete's foot, and blisters. Happy Walking! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I was practicing yoga during my lunch break, and it got me thinking about how wonderful it is for my FEET! It increases my strength and flexibility. The range of motion of my joints is improved with each session, meaning I can move my joints more and with less pain than before. Further, soft tissue structures, like tendons, muscles, and the plantar fascia that extends along the bottom of the feet get lengthened the more I practice yoga. I found an interesting article from that I am inserting below about the benefits of yoga to the feet. Enjoy! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580 Yoga for Foot Care article: Soothe your feet with these yoga poses for a whole mind and body relaxation. Happy Feet By Melanie Haiken They hold us up all day long, they get us everywhere we need to go, and they connect our bodies to the earth. Some yoga teachers even call the feet the "roots" of the body. Yet for all that our feet do for us, we don't do much for them in return. We cram them into tight shoes, pound along on them all day, and generally ignore them unless they're giving us serious trouble. The result is that at some point in their lives 7 of 10 people will suffer from foot problems, many of which are entirely preventable. Robert Kornfeld, a holistic podiatrist in New York City, says he's seen it all: people hobbling in with knobby, inflamed bunions and hammer toes, the dull throb of tendinitis, the achy soles of plantar fasciitis. Those aren't just niggling minor ailments; some foot problems can alter the foot's structure and trigger pain elsewhere in the body. "I sing that song to my patients," Kornfeld says: "'The foot bone's connected to the leg bone...'" In fact, experts say one of the most important reasons to treat foot problems early is to prevent them from throwing the knees, hips, back, and shoulders out of whack. And one of the best ways to take care of your feet is with yoga. "I recommend that all my patients start yoga immediately," Kornfeld says. "When you treat foot problems with yoga, you end up treating back pain, hip pain, all kinds of structural problems. Not only does it stretch out the muscles and lead to a greater range of motion, but it helps heal the root issue of inflammation as well." In fact, yoga gives feet a healthy workout that they rarely get any other way. "You couldn't ask for a better set of tools to reawaken the feet," says yoga teacher Rodney Yee, of the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California. Below, some tips from the experts on how best to use yoga to prevent or treat foot pain. Throw Your Weight Around The first place to begin building awareness of your feet is in standing poses such as Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Before you start the pose, think about how you naturally stand, suggests Janice Gates, a specialist in therapeutic yoga and the founding director of the Yoga Garden Studio in San Anselmo, California. Do you tend to put your weight on the inner edge of your foot, which tends to make your legs bow inward, or on the outer edge, which tends to make the knees bow out? (If you can't tell, check the bottoms of your shoes—you can often tell from the way the soles are wearing.) Notice how your weight falls, and then play with it by rocking forward and back, lifting first your toes, then your heels. If you tend to stand perched a little forward, try shifting your weight back a bit, and vice versa. Next, try lifting the arch of your foot while pushing down around the edges, creating both a sense of rooting into the earth and lifting energy up from the center, to form the Mula Bandha (Root Lock). "Sometimes I use the image of a jack-in-the-box: collapsing down, then springing up," says Gates. "You're pushing down to lift up." Once you start to do this, you'll find yourself more aware of your feet and distributing your weight better in your everyday life. Work Those Toes One great way to limber up stiff, underused feet is to work on the articulation of the toes, which in most of us have lost at least some of their range of motion, says Tias Little of Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Little considers the feet so important he not only focuses on them in his regular sessions, but has also created a separate class he calls Feet as Foundation. "Think of the way babies spread their toes and crawl by pushing off with them," he says. "We need to regain that." Little guides students through a routine in which they try to move each toe separately from the others and practice picking things up with their toes. In standing poses, focus on elongating the toes to stretch the sole of your foot. Press down into your heels at the same time you press forward with the base of the big and little toes, grounding forward with the ball of the foot. "Think of it as stretching the sole of the foot like a drum," Little says. This can improve circulation, pumping blood and lymph back toward your heart, and potentially stave off edema and varicose veins. Be Square Paying attention to—and correcting—the way your feet connect with the earth can correct foot and ankle problems that have repercussions throughout your body. For example, pronated feet (which roll inward from the ankle down) tend to cause knee problems and back pain. One way to think about foot stability is to think of your feet as having four corners: the big and little toes, and the outer and inner heels. Some teachers use the image of a car with four tires; others conjure up an X on the bottom of the foot. Use whichever works for you, because distributing your weight evenly across your feet is central to healthy alignment. And that, in turn, may lead to a surprise: By resolving foot problems, you may discover you've resolved your knee, back, hip, and shoulder problems as well. Anusara Yoga instructor Amy Elias Kornfeld—who works with patients of her husband, Robert Kornfeld—suggests looking down to make sure that the second toe, shin, and knee are all aligned as you start a pose. If you still need proof of the importance of foot positioning, think of what happens when you try to go into Vrksasana (Tree Pose) or Garudasana (Eagle Pose) and your feet aren't positioned right. "You have to use the feet or you fall over," Gates says. "Wherever the instability is, it's going to show up." There's a reason your yoga teacher is always telling you to spread your toes: Creating a stable base is essential when one foot is all you have to stand on. Stretch for Strength Any pose that stretches the arch or the sole of the foot improves flexibility and loosens tension. Little suggests a simple exercise to warm up your feet before yoga: Stand on a tennis ball and roll it back and forth under your foot, working the toes, the ball of the foot, the arch, and the heel. Virasana (Hero Pose) stretches the top of the foot and elongates the arch, while kneeling with the toes tucked under is the best way to lengthen the plantar muscles on the sole of the foot, which, when contracted, can become inflamed, leading to plantar fasciitis. Little also teaches students to go back and forth between Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) and what he calls "broken toe pose." From Vajrasana, lift your hips, curl your toes under and lift your heels, and then lean back so your weight rests on the "necks" (not the pads) of your toes. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) is another way to give the feet a good stretch; Gates teaches her students to lift the arches of the feet as high as possible, then extend the heels toward the floor to work the plantar fascia. "At first it feels impossible when you try to lower your heels, but it just takes practice. And it feels so good when you do," she says. Make these exercises part of your life, and your foot bones (not to mention your leg bones, hip bones, and maybe even your head bone) will be forever grateful.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Helping the Homeless During these COLD days!

Dr. Bender has a free foot clinic at Chicago's Pacific Garden Mission twice per month. During each visit, Dr. Bender and students at Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine care for homeless patients in Chicago, treating simple conditions like nails and callouses and more complicated conditions like foot infections, ulcers, fractures, and frostbite. These patients have very few places to go for good healthcare, so the services provided by the Pacific Garden Mission are very important. The foot clinic is in need of new Men's socks for the many homeless people that are served there each month. To donate socks, please contact Dr. Bender at or 708-763-0580. Thank you and stay warm!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Rasheed Wallace Being Treated for Jones Fracture

Rasheed Wallace, a New York Knicks player, has had an injury to his left foot since December, and recent X-Rays indicated that there is a Jones Fracture, which will require surgery. What is a Jone's Fracture? This is a break in the fifth metatarsal bone, on the outside of the foot. This area of the bone has a decreased supply of blood, which makes healing slower and more difficult than in other parts of the foot or body. X-Rays are necessary to diagnose this condition, along with a thorough clinical exam. Surgery is indicated if the fracture is out of alignment, there is a gap, there is delayed healing, or if the patient is very active. Many patients heal well with immobilization, but this often takes at least 8 weeks. Bone stimulators can be used to increase the rate of healing, if covered by insurance. If you have a foot problem that needs attention, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Bender by calling 708-763-0580 (Oak Park) or 773-776-3166 (Chicago/63rd).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blood under a toenail

If blood or a bruise develops under a toenail, it is important to get the condition checked out by a foot doctor. Usually, dropping something on the toe, hitting the toe, running (especially marathon runners), or shoegear can cause this condition, also called a subungual hematoma. The blood under the nail will slowly grow out as the nail grows out, over 9-12 months. Nails may loosen or fall off as the growth continues. It is important to make sure that there are no additional injuries other than the blood under the nail, such as a broken toe or ingrown/infected nail. Further, if the blood is not growing out with the nail (staying in one spot and not improving), it is necessary to get it checked out by a podiatrist. Keep your feet happy and healthy...See your foot doctor!! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Feb. 1, 2013 is National Wear Red Day!

Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 is National Wear Red Day. The point of this day is to remind people about the need to keep their hearts and bodies healthy. Exercise, healthy diets, maintaining a healthy weight, and knowing the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke are all important for everyone. Additionally, many women do not realize that heart disease can affect women also, and this campaign brings awareness to everyone about the fact that heart disease can be a silent killer. Visit for great information and facts about keeping your heart, and the rest of your body, healthy. A healthy body keeps the circulation going to the feet and is part of keeping the feet in good working order! Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302, 708-763-0580,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cold weather and your FEET

As the weather turns very cold in Chicago and throughout the country, it is important to protect your feet from the low temperatures. People with diabetes, cancer, peripheral vascular disease, and chronic illnesses, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and others, are at higher risk for frostbite. Other people that are at risk for cold injuries are smokers, people that work outdoors, and the homeless. It is important to limit your time outside when the temperature drops. Also, protect yourself with warm socks and warm shoes or boots that are insulated. If you are stuck outside for a long period, it is important to seek shelter as soon as possible. Do not use an open oven to warm up when in the house. Also, do not put your feet directly on a heating source, like a space heater. If your toes change color or develop numbness that does not go away after warming up, it is critical that you seek medical attention. Further, if you develop open sores on your feet after being outside, it is essential to get medical care right away. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

More about Blood Clots

Calf pain, redness, and swelling can be a result of a blood clot or DVT. This is a very dangerous condition, as the clot can dislodge and travel to the lungs. When a blot clot travels to the lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism. This is a life threatening condition. In the past blog, immobilization was discussed as a cause of DVT. Another cause is prolonged dependency of the leg, such as sitting for long periods in an airplane, train, or car without getting up to move around. The blood pools in the calf and is stagnant (not moving). This can cause the clot to form. Your chances are increased if you are over 60, on birth control pills, a smoker, or obese. When on an airplane or long car or train ride, it is important to get up and walk around. The muscles of the calf contract and help the veins to push blood out of the calves. This makes it less likely that a clot will develop. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL.