Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cold and Snowy Holidays-Winter Boots

The holiday season is here! This can bring cold, wet, icy, and snowy weather, which can be hard on our feet. It is important to remember to have warm socks and sturdy and water resistant boots or shoes. Patients often develop foot pain when winter boot season arrives, as many boots are very flat and offer little support. When buying boots, it is important that you cannot bend them in half and that you cannot bend the heel portion of the boots together. Additionally, you want to find boots with some arch support, as they should not be completely flat in the inside. It is also possible to buy an over the counter arch support to add to the boots to make them more comfortable. Podiatrists can also make custom molded orthotics which give support and control abnormal motion. These can make the boots more comfortable. Keep your feet happy and healthy this winter! Happy Holidays! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Foot Injuries

The time from Thanksgiving to New Years is often busy in a podiatry clinic. One of the common things we treat during this time of year is fractures or breaks to bones in the foot. People are wearing fancy shoes, rushing, cooking (and dropping cans on their feet), cleaning, and entertaining. I have people tell me that their foot has been swollen and tender for a week, but they felt it would just get better or go away. Generally, if the foot is injured and remains swollen and tender for more than three days, it needs to be examined by a foot doctor and X-rays need to be taken. If there is so much pain or swelling that it is hard to walk on, it is essential to visit a podiatrist sooner than three days for an exam and treatment. Immediately after injury, it is important to rest, elevate, ice the area, and wrap the area. If the patient has diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or another serious health condition, it is important to get the injury checked out immediately. Certain diseases can dramatically affect healing. If your foot is swollen or tender, give us a call! 708-763-0580

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blood Sugar Control and a Diabetic's Feet

Each week, I see several diabetic patients, and on each visit, I ask them what their blood sugar has been running when fasting. Many of the patients wonder why I am asking this if they are just coming in for nail care or heel pain or something else. Elevated blood sugars can affect the feet of diabetics in many ways: delayed healing, increased risk of infection, tingling, numbness and burning, pain, and eventually diminished circulation or blood flow. Thus, for ulcers, open wounds, broken bones, and other injuries, healing will be slower or delayed when blood sugars are elevated. Additionally, the chances of infection are dramatically increased for these same patients when blood sugars are higher than normal. For the long term, elevated blood sugars pose a significant risk for diabetic patients: nerve damage that can develop into neuropathy and numbness, increased risk of limb loss and amputation, and reduced blood flow. IT is critical that diabetic patients maintain a proper blood sugar to prevent these long term and short term problems. Also, if you are diabetic, it is important to get your feet checked regularly by a podiatrist. 708-763-0580

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving and Your Feet

Many of us will be enjoying delicious meals with our family and friends on Thursday. Many healthy food options are available on Thanksgiving that are great for our bodies and our feet! Turkey, vegetables, fruit salads.....all things that make our bodies healthy! Pie, white bread, potatoes, white rice...these are some items that are not as good for us, and if you are diabetic, these foods will also raise your blood sugar. Eat healthy on Thanksgiving! Get some exercise with your family and friends. Make the day a healthy and thankful one! Happy Thanksgiving! Dr. Bender

Thursday, November 20, 2014


As the temperatures drop, our skin starts to get drier. Often, we do not pay close attention to our feet because they are in warm socks during these chilly days. The skin on our feet can get very dry, itchy, and scaly during the winter. If not properly hydrated with lotion, cream, or vasoline, the skin on the feet can crack open. So, make sure you check your feet and keep them soft and hydrated with cream, lotion, or vasoline. Twice per day works best, and it is important not to put the lotion or cream between the toes. The skin between the toes should be kept dry, as the skin in this area of the foot can open up (sores, blisters, etc) if it is too moist. Foot problems? Give us a call! 708-763-0580

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What is a Neuroma?

Funny things are happening with your foot: sharp pains, two toes separating, feeling like you are walking on a marble or pebble, burning, or tingling in two toes. This may be a Morton's Neuroma. Fibrosis or thickening around the nerve that goes between the metatarsal heads of the foot can cause these symptoms. Typically, the metatarsal bones are too close together, and the rubbing or friction on the nerve and the adjacent metatarsal heads causes the neuroma to form. There will be symptoms in the two toes that are innervated by that particular nerve. Often, the third and fourth toes are involved. Tight shoes, high heeled shoes, trauma, genetic position of the bones, and other causes can generate the neuroma. Neuromas can be diagnosed with a clinical exam and occasionally with MRI or diagnostic ultrasound. X-Rays cannot identify the neuroma (a soft tissue mass) but can look at the position of the metatarsal bones (which can lead to neuroma formation). Common treatments for neuromas include the following: injections, padding, orthotic devices, shoe changes, activity changes, and surgical excision. Pain in your foot? Give us a call, 708-763-0580. Dr. Mary Ann Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ankle Sprains-Derrick Rose of the Bulls

Many Bulls fans were fearful after watching Derrick Rose limping a few days ago and then missing the Chicago Bulls game Saturday. Reports in the news state that he sprained both ankles and that x-rays are negative. With an ankle injury, x-rays look at the bony structures to determine if there is a fracture or break in one of the bones. The ligaments that are typically injured with an ankle sprain are not visible on x-ray because they are soft tissue structures. Soft tissue structures can be better visualized on MRI or diagnostic ultrasound tests, and these may be ordered if the injury is bad enough. Howeve, if the ankle sprain is improving with the typical conservative treatments (ice, rest, strapping or immobilization,medication, physical therapy, and elevation), an MRI may not be needed. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Friday, October 31, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why do I need a toenail biopsy?

Your toenail is crumbly, brown, or thick? You did not notice over the summer, under your nail polish, or you have been putting off treatment of it. Now is the time to get this toenail treated. Toenails take 9-12 months to grow out, so starting treatment now can get the toenail ready for 2015 summer fun. Most commonly, nails can develop changes when they are infected with fungus, subjected to micro trauma, or if the person has psoriasis. It is important to visit a podiatrist so that a sample of nail can be sent to the lab to determine if fungus is present. The foot doctor will take a portion of nail (usually quite far back) and send it for testing. This will help to identify the cause of the abnormal nail and find a treatment that will work best. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kevin Durant has a Jones Fracture-What is this?

Oklahoma City Thunder player, Kevin Durant, injured his foot and sustained what is called a Jones Fracture. Three times this weekend, I heard ESPN newscasters call this a fracture of the base of the pinky toe. A Jones fracture is a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone, which is the bone on the outside of the forefoot and that corresponds to the fifth toe. The injury is near the base of the bone and is more serious because the blood supply is weaker to this area of the bone. This can cause delayed healing of this fracture. This injury takes 6-8 weeks for initial healing and is treated with surgery or immobilization. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Abnormal Bumps or Color Changes to the Foot

Breast Cancer Awareness month reminds all of us, not just women, to check our bodies for any new bumps, pain, changes, or discolorations. Women get mammograms, annual check ups, and perform self exams to look for any breast changes. Similarly, podiatrists warn diabetics and patients with poor circulation to check the tops and bottoms of their feet daily for any changes. This is all a good rule of thumb for all of us! Check your feet! Look for discolorations or moles that have changed. Look for any bumps, bruises, or new swelling. Check the nails for color or thickness changes or drainage. Check the skin for blistering or scaling. Keeping a healthy body is essential for a long and happy life. If you notice a change to your feet, get it checked out and potentially treated! Happy FEET= a Happy Life! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ouch! I stepped on something! What do I do?

You accidently stepped on something while walking barefoot. It is bleeding and sore. What do you do? It is important to see a podiatrist to get the condition checked out. A foreign object (splinter, glass, pebble, needle etc.) in the foot can become a serious condition, as the object can travel deeper into the foot the more you walk on it. Additionally, the foot can become infected very easily after a foreign object enters. It is important to see a podiatrist as soon as possible to get the object removed and to get the area assessed for infection. Anesthesia may or may not be needed for removal of the object, and occasionally, advanced tests like MRIs or surgery may be needed for objects that have moved deeper into the foot. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quarterback Matt Cassel out for the season with multiple foot fractures

Quarterback Matt Cassel, of the Vikings, is out for the 2014 NFL season with multiple foot fractures. A break or fracture in the foot typically takes 6-8 weeks to heal. After the initial healing, physical therapy if often needed to reduce swelling and strengthen the foot. Foot fractures can either be treated with immobilization (walking boots or shoes or casting) or surgery depending on the location of the injury and position of the fracture. If a fracture is out of alignment or in an area of the foot with a weaker blood supply, surgery may be indicated. Additionally, if there is significant damage to surrounding soft tissues (tendons and ligaments), surgery may be needed. The foot is a complicated area of the body, with many ligaments, tendons, and muscles but also 28 bones! Other factors that play a role in the healing of foot fractures include the following: occupation or activity level, smoking, other health conditions (diabetes, peripheral vascular disease), malnutrition, obesity, age, and poor bone density. If you have a foot injury, give us a call-708-763-0580!

Monday, September 15, 2014

What is a dislocated Ankle? Robert Griffin III Injury

Frequently, we watch as pro-athletes are carted off of the field with ankle injuries. A dramatic injury occurred yesterday with Robert Griffin III, of the Washington Redskins. He dislocated his ankle. What does dislocation mean? This means that the bones that make up a joint are shifted out of position. In the case of the ankle, there are three bones that make up the joint: the tibia, fibula, and talus. When the bones are shifted out of position, the joint cannot carry out its normal function or movement. The joint will become immediately painful and difficult to operate or move. In the case of lower extremity injuries, walking will be nearly impossible. Additionally, swelling and bruising often occur. A dislocated joint must be assessed by a physician, so patients typically will go to the ER for immediate care. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, September 4, 2014

NFL and Fifth Metatarsal Fractures: Marvin Jones

The NFL season opens tonight, and fans across the country are excited for a great season of football. There were several injuries during preseason play as players tried to earn spots or maintain their spots on NFL teams. Marvin Jones of the Bengals sustained a fracture of his fifth metatarsal in August. The fifth metatarsal is on the outside of the foot and attaches to the fifth toe. Fractures of the fifth metatarsal can occur anywhere along the bone and may be due to trauma or repeat pressure on the bone. There is a portion of this bone that has a weak blood supply, and this is a common area for fractures, such as the Jones Fracture. Additionally, the very end of the bone may be subject to an avulsion fracture, due to pressure where a major tendon, the peroneus brevis, attaches. When a patient fractures the fifth metatarsal, there is pain, swelling, and difficulty putting pressure on the area. Whether surgery is indicated depends on the severity of the injury, bone density, and the activity level of the patient. Some patient do very well with conservative, nonsurgical care. However, elite athletes, such as Jones, typically have surgery on this injury. If you have foot or ankle pain, visit us! 708-763-0580

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bone Cotusions: David Ortiz Injured after Fouling Ball off Foot

During Sunday's Red Sox game, David Ortiz fouled a ball off of his foot and had to leave the game with a bone contusion of the foot. What is a bone contusion? This is an injury that is typically caused by a sudden, often traumatic or abrupt situation, like hitting a baseball off your foot for David Ortiz. A bone contusion means that there is not a fracture or break in the bone, but there is localized internal damage to the bone. These bone changes may not be visible on conventional x-rays but can be seen on other types of tests, like MRI. Rest, ice, strapping/compression, and elevation are essential for these injuries, and it may be necessary to add anti-inflammatory medication, walking shoes or boots, and physical therapy to the treatment plan to achieve a pain free foot or ankle. Bone contusions can resolve rapidly or may take weeks to feel better.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Exciting things are Happening at Dr. Bender's Foot Clinic- Your Oak Park Community Podiatrist

As the summer wraps up and school is about to be back in session, many of us reassess our lives and refocus. What a perfect time to improve your health. Be more active. Try something new. Have more fun. Since I am a foot doctor, I run into people all the time that say their feet are sore or their heel has been bothering them or they have this thick, ugly toenail. The list of questions and foot worries is endless as I meet new people. Now is the perfect time to get that nagging foot problem checked out! We love helping people at our office and making people feel great! Happy feet make for happy people! Give us a call to get happier, healthier feet in a great environment! We ARE your community, Oak Park podiatrist!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ankle injury for Dee Milliner, Awaiting MRI...But why do they need an MRI?

As the 2014 NFL preseason progresses, players are beginning to get injuries that will affect their ability to play when the official season begins. New York Jets player, Dee Milliner, sustained what is believed to be a high ankle sprain and is awaiting an MRI after his x-rays were negative for a broken bone. Patients always ask me why they need a test like an MRI if their x-rays are negative for a fracture or broken bone. An MRI is a great diagnostic tool (helps us make our diagnosis) for foot and ankle injuries. MRI looks at small pictures or slices of the injured area, so it can pick up things that are hard to see on x-rays (bones that overlap, especially). Sometimes, even a broken bone may be hard to see on regular x-rays because it is overlapping another bone. Additionally, radiologists can look at soft tissues, such as tendons, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, and fascia on MRI, rather than on x-rays (which show bone and the outline only of some soft tissues). Finally, MRI can pick up things, such as stress fractures, earlier than conventional x-rays, which can take up to 21 days to show the bone changes associated with a stress fracture in a bone. In the case of this NFL player and others, an MRI will look at the soft tissues that were damaged in this injury and allow physicians to see the extent of the injury, develop a treatment plan, and also determine a return to play date. In Chicagoland, MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is readily available and typically covered by insurance. Additionally, we have local foot and ankle radiologists that give us the most experienced and accurate readings. This allows for better care and better recoveries! If you have foot pain, give us a call, 708-763-0580 or visit oakparkpodiatry.com! Dr. Bender

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How long does it take for a broken bone to heal?

Typically broken bones take 6-8 weeks to heal if properly treated. In the foot, this means immobilization (casting, strapping, walking boots, surgery shoes) or surgery. Additionally, foot and ankle fractures or broken bones require rest and limited weight bearing on the side that was injured. This helps the area to heal. Certain things can slow bone healing: prolonged standing or walking, not following instructions, re-injury, poor nutrition, alcoholism, smoking, poor circulation, certain medications, poor bone density, diabetes, and other health conditions (cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, etc). If you injured your foot or ankle, it is essential to see a foot doctor for x-rays and evaluation. Some fractures are not visible initially on x-rays, so CT scans or MRIs may be needed. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What is this bump on my foot?

All of the sudden, you notice a little bump with a callous over it on your foot. To make matters worse, it hurts! This could be a wart. A wart is caused by a virus, and warts develop in warm and moist environments like our feet. Pools, locker rooms, and sweaty shoes or boots are great locations for wart growth, and a single wart can spread into a big patch of warts if the environment is right. Thus, it is important to seek treatment by a podiatrist if you notice one of these pesky bumps on your foot. Further, it is essential to keep your feet dry by changing your socks frequently, changing shoes each day if possible, and using foot spray or powder to reduce sweating. Warts are treated in my office by a chemical that I apply every two weeks, and sometimes a home prescription medication is added. Occasionally, the wart may need to be surgically removed or removed by laser. Happy Walking! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Friday, July 25, 2014

What is a Subungual Hematoma?

A subungual hematoma is a condition where the toenail is injured and blood accumulates between the nail plate and nail bed. Thus, the toenail appears to be red, purple, or black due to the injury. Usually this happens when an object is dropped on the toe or the toe is bumped. Additionally, it can happen during certain sports that involve kicking, running, or jumping. It is important to determine if the bone under the toenail(the distal phalanx) is injured, and an x-ray may be needed to see if there is a fracture or break. If the injury is new, the toenail may need to be removed or holes may need to be placed into the nail to drain the blood. If the toenail injury is old, the blood under the nail will be dry and will gradually grow out with the nail (9-12 months is the growth period for the nail). Of concern, also, is that the nail plate may loosen due to the blood underneath it. Therefore, it is important to watch the nail for total or partial lifting. If the nail rips off, it can create an open sore on the toe. Therefore, if you injure your toenail, it is important to see a podiatrist. Visit us at Advanced Physical Medicine, and Dr. Bender will make your feet feel better! 708-763-0580

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Prediabetes-Is it useful a useful term?

This is an interesting article about the term "pre-diabetes" and whether it is a good term to use. Additionally, it discusses whether treating people who are pre-diabetic with medication is really useful. Diet and exercise are great ways of controlling your blood sugar! http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-07-pre-diabetes-unhelpful-unnecessary.html

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What is a tendon?

Frequently, we hear of athletes with tendon injuries or see a friend who is being treated for tendonitis. What exactly is a tendon? A tendon is a type of soft tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. It is usually tough and strong, but it can change over time from injuries, disease, aging, or repetitive trauma (continuous and repeated use). Tendonitis is acute inflammation of a tendon. Overtime, tendonitis can escalate to what is known as tendonosis, which is a chronic irritation of a tendon that can result in changes to the make up of the tendon and can cause small tears in the tendon. Either way, it is essential to seek medical help if you have a tendon issue that is not resolving. There are several tendons in the foot and ankle which can be injured, and there are many conservative, non-surgical treatments that can help! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sunscreen on the Feet

As vacations and summer fun approach, it is essential to remember our sunscreen! Often, we forget about our feet when at the pool or beach. A terrible sunburn on the feet can make wearing our fun summer sandals impossible and can ruin the rest of the trip! Thus, it is important to lather the feet with sunscreen, even the heels if they will be exposed to the sun. It is also important to remember to apply more sunscreen the longer you are outside, as it wears off when outside for prolonged periods. Plus, using sunscreen can help protect the body from the sun's dangerous rays and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Happy Summer! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Malignant Melanoma-Lentigo Maligna

Another form of malignant melanoma is lentigo maligna melanoma. This form is often caused by sun exposure, and the ears, nose, arms, and face are common areas that is will develop in. This form of melanoma is more common in the elderly. The lesions can start as flat spots that gradually may become malignant. This is why it is important to check any moles or spots on your skin and alert your doctor to any changes. Asymmetry, abnormal borders, color changes in the lesion, diameter thicker than a pencil eraser, and any lesion that is changing (itching, draining, or any other changes) are all important things to watch for when evaluating a mole. It is important to keep an eye on your skin and watch for any changes. The skin is the biggest organ in our bodies, so keeping it healthy is essential. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reduced Office Hours

Dr. Bender will be working a reduced schedule this week due to an illness in the family. Please call Kasia to check her schedule at 708-763-0580. Happy Sunday to all!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Superficial Spreading Melanoma

A friend recently posted on facebook that she was being treated for malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is a serious and life threatening form of skin cancer. Often, we hear about applying sunscreen when outdoors and checking our skin for any changes. However, we do not always adhere to these recommendations. Thus, I am writing a four part series on malignant melanoma, as some of the forms can readily affect parts of the foot. However, this form of cancer is important to know about for any skin changes throughout our bodies. The most common form of malignant melanoma is superficial spreading, comprising up to 70 percent of melanoma diagnoses. This form may originate from a previously benign or normal mole or freckle which suddenly or even gradually changes color, shape or contour, or begins to itch. People with a family history of this form of cancer, those who have weakened immunity, those with a history of overexposure to the sun in adolescence, and people with over 100 moles on their bodies are at higher risk for developing this cancer. Early detection and treatment allow for the the best outcomes, so it is essential to show any abnormal or changing moles to your doctor as soon as you notice them. A biopsy (or portion of the skin) will be removed, and if there are abnormal or cancerous cells identified in the skin, a larger portion of the skin will be removed. Further treatment from an oncologist may also be needed. Dr. Bender

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why should I visit a Podiatrist?

Often, people say they have foot pain and do not know what to do! If your foot or ankle hurts, visit a podiatrist...a foot and ankle specialist! Podiatrists attend podiatry school after graduation from college, and this is a four year program, very similar to traditional medical school but focusing on the lower extremities (from the hip down). However, we still take the same medical school classes, like biochemistry, physiology, histology, gross anatomy of the entire body, pharmacology, and others. During podiatry school, we begin working in podiatry clinics, learning the basics of foot care and also get surgical exposure and training on how to assist in surgeries. After podiatry school, we enter a two or three year residency program that offers further and more intense clinical training, rotations with other specialties (dermatology, emergency medicine, internal medicine), and surgical education and training with the foot and ankle specifically. Podiatrists are specialized and highly trained with all conditions of the foot and ankle. There are some podiatrists that sub-specialize in certain areas, like dermatology, sports medicine, limb salvage or foot and ankle reconstruction, and pediatrics, and you may need to referred to one of those podiatry groups if you have a very specific condition that needs special care. If you have foot pain, choose a foot specialist and pick a podiatrist! Visit APMA.org for more information on podiatry! Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ouch! I have a sunburn on my Foot?

Often, we go to the pool and slather our bodies with sunscreen. However, many people come into the office with a sunburn on the tops of their feet. The intense rays of the sun can also affect our feet, so it is critical to apply sunscreen to our feet to protect our skin from the rays. A sunburn on the feet will be red, hot, painful, and potentially be itchy or develop blisters or sores. Sunburns damage the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer later, so it is essential to use protective sunscreen or socks and shoes. Happy Spring!

Monday, May 19, 2014

How do I GET RID of this ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be an annoying problem. They hurt. They can get infected. They make certain shoes difficult to wear. There are permanent procedures, called matrixectomies, that can get rid of the ingrown nail border for good. The toe is numbed up with an injection. After the anesthesia takes effect, the nail border is removed, and a chemical is placed in the border to destroy the root of the nail. This creates an open sore that may take one or more weeks to heal and will require soaking and bandaging. This procedure only destroys the border where the chemical is applied, and the remainder of nail grows normally. The remaining nail will be narrower, but after complete healing, it is hard to tell that a procedure was performed at the site. Plus, the toe is no longer painful! Have Happy Feet! Call for your foot appointment, 708-763-0580.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ingrown toenails

Patients come into the office daily complaining of ingrown, painful toenails. They often ask two questions. Why did I get this? How can I stop it from continuing? Ingrown toenails can be caused by a variety of issues: genetics, bunions, hammer toes, pressure against shoes, fungus, improper cutting of nails, and trauma. For some people, it is a genetic issue, and they have battled ingrown nails since childhood. Often, they have other family members with the same issue. Other people have structural issues, like bunions, hammer toes, and long toes, that cause the edge of nail to push into the skin due to abnormal bony issues. Improper shoes that are too tight, do not have enough room in the toe box area, or have a stiff material that rubs on the area can cause this problem. Fungal nails cause the nail plate to develop an abnormal contour, thickness, and shape, which can lead to incurvation. Finally, trauma from stubbing the toe, dropping something on it, or it getting injured in a sporting activity can lead to curvature. Many people try to dig the nail out themselves, which can make the issue worse. Ingrown nails can be treated most effectively by a podiatrist. The podiatrist will use sterile instruments to cut the edge of nail out. Sometimes, anesthesia will be needed if the edge is deeply embedded in the skin. There are permanent procedures, as well, which use a chemical to kill the root of the nail, so the edge of ingrown nail will not grow back. It is best to schedule an appointment with a foot doctor to determine which option would work best for you. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Phone System!

A new phone system has been installed at my office. There are many kinks that need to be worked out. If you are trying to reach me, you can email drbender@oakparkpodiatry.com (or any of my other five email addresses), request an appointment on my website oakparkpodiatry.com, text me (if you know the number!), send a Facebook message, knock on my door, stop my around town....It has been a challenging week.... But TGIF!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Yuck! My feet Smell!

As the temperatures go up, our feet tend to get more sweaty, and this can lead to foot odor. Why is this? Where does the odor come from? How do we make it go away? There are many sweat glands on the bottoms of our feet. The combination of socks, shoes, and increased temperatures can lead to sweaty feet. Many organisms that are around us each day (fungi, bacteria, viruses) love warm, moist environments, such as showers, pools, and our FEET! They colonize or live on the warm, moist surfaces, and this is what often creates the foot odor. Thus, drying out the feet with sprays and powders (some by prescription) often helps. Additionally, changing socks frequently and spraying the shoes out with lysol also help. If you have a foot problem, give us a call! We can find a solution! Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North Ave., Oak Park, IL, 60302. 708-763-0580.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What is Uric Acid and GOUT?

Gout is an arthritic condition where uric acid builds up in our bodies and causes pain, redness, swelling, and heat in joints of the body. The big toe joint is one of the most common locations in the body for a flare up of gout. Uric acid levels should remain under 6 mg/dL in the body, but when the levels increase, gout may develop. Flare ups of gout are caused when crystals from the uric acid build up in a joint or the surrounding soft tissues. If this condition does occur, it is important to see a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. Certain foods and drinks can cause a gouty flare up: beer, wine, shrimp, organ meat (liver), red meat, cheese, and green leafy vegetables. These should all be consumed in moderation to prevent an attack. Additionally, certain medications, infection, trauma, and illnesses can cause a gouty attack. Men are more predisposed to gout, but post menopausal women can also develop gout. If you think you have gout, call us at Advanced Physical Medicine for relief of your foot pain! 708-763-0580

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What is Foot Drop?

Foot Drop occurs when the foot does not move upward when we step and almost flops with each step. This requires using the thigh to more aggressively lift the foot and ankle (like climbing a stair) because the foot does not lift up when stepping. This can also involve inability to move the toes or other parts of the foot voluntarily, dragging of the foot with walking, pain, weakness, nerve symptoms (burning, tingling, and numbness), and increased falls. Foot Drop is typically caused by a nerve or muscle injury. Common causes include the following: knee injuries, knee surgery, injury to the common peroneal nerve, multiple sclerosis, diabetes with nerve damage or neuropathy, strokes, muscular dystrophy, ALS, spinal stenosis, and spinal injuries. A clinical exam with a doctor and certain tests (MRI, EMG/NCV) are often used to diagnose the condition with details of the patient's medical history. Successful treatment or control of the underlying medical condition that is causing the foot drop may make the condition temporary. However, in some patients, this condition is permanent. If this is permanent, physical therapy, special shoes and braces are used to control the condition and make the patient more functional. Additionally, regular foot exams are important for patients with foot drop, as foot drop can lead to callouses, blisters, pain, and other issues with the feet. Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL, 60302. 708-763-0580.

Monday, March 31, 2014

My heel Hurts-What should I do?

Heel pain is a common condition that podiatrists treat each day. There are a variety of causes of heel pain, but the most common cause is plantar fasciitis. This involves the band that runs along the bottom of the foot, and it can become irritated where it originates on the bottom of the heel. This condition usually causes the most significant pain after rest (first thing in the morning or after sitting and then getting up). It is important to make an appointment with a podiatrist to get this condition checked out, especially if it is swollen (a break in the heel bone can also cause heel pain and swelling). It is essential to wear supportive shoes (gym shoes) and avoid barefoot walking with heel pain. At your podiatry appointment, you will learn about stretching, icing, and other treatments that will help your pain. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Iowa State basketball player, Georges Niang, has broken Foot

March Madness is an exciting time of year where basketball excitement flourishes. Sadly, Friday evening, and Iowa State basketball player, Georges Niang, broke his right foot. Typically, foot fractures take 6-8 weeks to heal, so this means that Niang will be out for the remainder of the 2014 season (and March Madness). A fracture or break in a bone of the foot can be diagnosed with an x-ray, but occasionally, MRI or CT scans may be needed to visualize the injury. Immobilization or surgery are the two forms of treatment for foot fractures. Additionally, bone stimulators may be needed to assist with healing, and physical therapy may be needed after the area is healed to reduce pain, swelling, and improve function. If you have a foot injury, it is important to get it checked out. Call us for an exam, 708-763-0580.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Afraid to get your Foot Checked?

Often, patients tell me they have put off getting their feet checked. Some say they figured the problem would go away. Some say they didn't think it was a big deal. Finally, some say that they were scared what I (the foot doctor) would say! I always tell people that coming into the office and getting an exam (and possibly x-rays) is the best way to get good information about their feet. Most conditions have a variety of conservative, nonsurgical treatment options. Better yet, patients often have many choices about what treatment plans work into their schedules or with their lives. For example, plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain, can be treated with ice, stretching, medication, physical therapy, a night splint, strapping, orthotic devices, and walking boots. These are all good, conservative and non-painful options to get the heel feeling better! Greater than ninety percent of people with heel pain get better through conservative care. Obviously, there are situations where injections or surgery may be indicated. There are also situations where immobilization is required: fractures, tendon or ligament tears, and post operative patients. The good news is that seeing a foot doctor will give you good information about your feet! You can get recommendations about what will help with healing, and YOU (the patient) will have many good options for getting better! The foot is a complicated structure, with 28 bones, and numerous muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. Make your appointment today to start feeling better TODAY! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580, 6931 W. North Ave., Oak Park, IL, 60302.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What is this soft bump on the top of my FOOT? Ganglion Cysts...

Recently, you noticed a soft bump on the top of your foot. It bothers you when a shoe rubs on it but maybe not the rest of the time. You do not know what caused this condition. One possible diagnosis is a ganglion cyst. This is a soft tissue mass that forms from a joint or tendon that is in an area of friction, repetitive motion, or was mildly injured. Additionally, some people with a history of these may be more likely to form more of them. The cyst is typically filled with fluid or gelatinous material, and it is soft. It may get smaller and then refill with fluid if pressure is applied to it. MRI and diagnostic ultrasound tests are the best ways (other than surgical excision) to identify what type of cells are in the cyst. Treatments can include any of the following: watching the mass for any changes, padding, different shoes, and surgical excision. There is a high recurrence rate with surgical excision. Ganglion cysts are benign lesions. If you have a bump on your foot, get it diagnosed at Advanced Physical Medicine. Call for your appointment with Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Frieberg's Disease-What is it?

Each toe on the foot has a corresponding metatarsal bone, which is a longer bone that attaches the toes to the foot (along with various muscles, ligaments, and tendons). The second metatarsal bone is typically the longest metatarsal bone and also the one that moves the least with standing and walking. This predisposes it to some problems, and one of these issues is Freiberg's disease. The blood supply to the top or head of this bone can be disrupted, causing pain, bone changes, stiffness, and swelling. Patients may have the symptoms at rest or with activity, and teenage girls are the most common group to develop this condition. A combination of the length of this metatarsal, its lack of mobility, and persistent and repetitive microtrauma (running, marching, jumping are good examples) are the common causes. Conventional x-rays are taken to look at the contour of the bone, but MRI or CT scans may be necessary for an accurate diagnosis of this condition. Treatments typically include rest, immobilization, orthotics, shoegear changes, and on occasion, surgery. If you have foot pain, give us a call at 708-763-0580.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Heel Pain and Stress Fractures of the Calcaneus

One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, where the band on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This typically causes pain in the area after rest, and the pain will get better after taking some steps. However, there are other causes of heel pain. One of the other causes of heel pain is a stress fracture of the heel bone or calcaneus. This happened to a friend of mine while she was training for the Chicago marathon last summer, and with improved weather conditions in the next few months, it is something to consider as people increase their outdoor activities. The calcaneus or heel bone is a large and complicated bone just under the ankle. It is very strong but also undergoes a lot of stress and pressure with running, jumping, and even walking. On occasion, this bone can develop a stress fracture (a hairline type of fracture or break), which will cause nagging pain that does not improve. There may be pain to touch, swelling, and difficulty with walking and exercise. This injury can be caused by improper training or improper shoegear, weak bone density, continued microtrauma (marching, running, jumping), obesity, trauma, and biomechanical issues. Conventional x-rays may be taken to look at the bone structure of the calcaneus, but often, more advanced radiological studies like CT or MRI studies may be needed to identify the fracture. Stress fractures frequently cannot be identified in the bones of the foot for at least 21 days on conventional x-rays, and sometimes, they are never visible on x-rays because the break is so thin. Treatments include the following: rest, immobilization, elevation, and avoiding the activity that may have caused the injury. After healing, physical therapy, new shoegear, and orthotic devices may be needed to transition the patient back to normal life and exercising. If you have heel pain, call Dr. Bender at Advanced Physical Medicine, 6931 W. North Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302. 708-763-0580. advancedphysicalmedicine.org and oakparkpodiatry.com

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Minimalist Running Shoes

The February 2014 issue of Podiatry Today highlights several studies about an increased rate of injury for runners who use minimalist running shoes. The most common types of injuries these runners can get include the following: metatarsal bone injuries such as stress fractures, inflammation around nerves (neuromas), capsulitis (thin filmy structure around the joint), and injury to the two circular sesmoid bones under the big toe joint. These injuries are all in the forefoot or area in the front of the foot around the toes. There is also an increased risk of tendon issues around the ankle and foot involving the Achilles tendon, anterior tibial tendon, and posterior tibial tendon. The study points out that a gradual transition to these types of shoes is essential if a runner want to try them. www.podiatrytoday.com If you have a foot problem, we can help! Call Advanced Physical Medicine for an appointment with Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580.

Monday, February 17, 2014

More Snow!

Due to the severe weather, the podiatry clinic is cancelled for tonight. Sorry! 2/17/14

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Exercise and the FEET

We all know that exercise is good for our bodies, but we do not always think about exercise and our FEET. Being active helps with our circulation or blood flow to the feet. People that have blockages or narrowing of their arteries are often told by physicians to increase their walking or biking to help stimulate new artery formation and increase blood flow. Exercise also helps strengthen our muscles, tendons, and bone density, all of which are good for our feet. Finally, exercise helps to lower blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and our weight. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces foot problems, like plantar fasciitis or heel pain. Start 2014 off right, and be ACTIVE for your FEET! Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL, 60302. 708-763-0580

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cold Weather and your FEET-Frostbite

These frigid temperatures can be very dangerous to the feet. It is important to wear warm socks and boots when outside, and also, it is essential to limit your time outside. Frostbite usually affects structures that are on the outside areas of the body and that are smaller like the toes. Additionally, the toes are the furthest away from the heart, which puts them at greater risk. With frostbite, the blood vessels become constricted and smaller, so blood, nutrients, and oxygen cannot be delivered to the area as they are normally. The skin and deeper areas can become frozen, resulting in tingling, numbness, pain, blistering, discoloration, itching, hardening, and swelling. It is essential to get to a safe, warm environment immediately and to seek medical attention if you have symptoms or concerns about having frostbite. The frostbitten area should be slowly rewarmed in warm (not hot) water. It is essential that the areas not be rubbed, as this may cause further break down of the skin. It is necessary to remove any jewelry from the areas, if possible. Patients may need IV fluids, medications for pain, a tetnus shot, and hospital admission due to the frostbite and possible hypothermia. Blisters or open sores will need to be treated by a wound care specialist. Occasionally, tissues that are deeply damaged will require amputation or other surgeries. However, many patients recover from this condition with side effects of sensitivity to cold, prolonged pain and/or numbness of the areas.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cold Weather Closing

The podiatry clinic at the APM/63rd St. office will be closed tomorrow due to the cold weather.