Posts for: September, 2015

By Dr. Diana Emini
September 23, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

    Hallux what? Nearly everyone has heard of bunions, but not too many people have heard of "hallux limitus." This is a similar, yet different, problem that can happen to the big toe joint of the foot.

    With each and every step we take, we need to push off with our big toe joint to get the proper propulsion motion required to walk or run. The optimal range of motion needed for this is about sixty-five degrees. Sometimes, due to the structure of the foot, the big toe joint cannot achieve this full range of motion. Instead, it may only get thirty degrees or less of motion. This is what we call "hallux limitus."

    Basically, hallux limitus is the name we use to describe the loss of movement in the big toe. It starts off as a mild limitation of motion and can continue on to become a completely bone-on-bone arthritic joint. Eventually, as the two ends of the bone continue to collide and jam against each other, there is progressive inflammation, loss of cartilage, formation of bone spurs, and loss of joint space. Symptoms include pain in the joint with upward motion, swelling in the joint, stiffness of the joint, and changes in the appearance of the big toe joint. Common causes include abnormal alignment of the first metatarsal, a long first metatarsal, or trauma.

    Early treatment options include functional orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, or cortisone injections. If these do not alleviate the symptoms, then surgery is the next possibility. The earlier the condition is treated, the better the outcome of your big toe joint.

     That's why out-of-sight, out-of-mind shouldn’t apply when it comes to your feet. You may not be wearing flip-flops or sandals for much longer, but you don’t want to forget about your foot health. Now is the perfect time to come into DM Foot & Ankle Associates to get your feet evaluated!

By Dr. Michelle Kim
September 16, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

We all get passed down genes from our ancestors, whether it's our hair color or mannerisms. What you may not have thought about before was what kind of foot you inherited. Do you have a high arch, standard arch, or a low arch? Low-arched feet are also referred to as "flat feet." Some arches might just be a little bit lower than normal, and others may be super flat-- as in Fred Flinstone flat.

People with flat feet have arches that are lower than normal, sometimes causing the entire sole of the foot to touch the floor when standing. Your feet help to support your entire body and contribute to the alignment of your entire spinal system. Therefore having good foot structure is important to your body’s well-being.

The condition can first be detected in children when they become toddlers. Some kids begin to develop their arches, and in other kids they remain flat. In these cases, it is good to begin use of pediatric arch supports to help develop better joint and tendon positioning. Over time, the flattening came become worse and cause tendon damage, arthritis, and lower back pain.

The good news is it can be treated! We believe in early intervention rather than waiting until the damage is already done. Anti-inflammatory medications, icing, physical therapy, supportive taping, bracing, and orthotics are common treatments for flat foot. In more severe cases, there are surgical options to help restore your foot function. If you or your child is experiencing pain from flat feet, be sure to come in and get your feet treated here at DM Foot & Ankle!

September 14, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Dr.Michelle Kim  

Dr. Kim has lived in the Chicagoland area for her entire life, although her parents originated from South Korea. She has oftentimes wondered why she never moved to a warmer climate, as she is not a fan of the Chicago winters. She has three small children who keep her busy while not at work. During her downtime, Dr. Kim enjoys reading, writing, watching movies, and trying out new restaurants with her friends. She admits to being a germaphobe and a neat freak, however due to having children, her house is not nearly as clean as it once was.

As a kid, Dr. Kim wanted to either be a doctor or a writer. She also wanted to be a cashier at Jewel because she thought she could keep all the money in the register. Her parents later informed her that this was not the case, which nixed that dream. Dr. Kim thought it might be fun to be the artist that painted all the billboards along the highway, until again she was told that those are not actual drawings. Since those career aspirations did not pan out for her, Dr. Kim happily pursued the medical field. Although she never originally thought about being a podiatrist, a recruiter for the field actually made this option very promising. The recruiter advised, “You are never on call, and you can make your own hours. As a female doctor, you can balance family life and work life.” That, and the combination of doing foot surgery with other aspects of general foot care sounded very appealing.

Being a natural nerd, Dr. Kim enjoyed studying for the four years of the podiatry medical school program and the years of surgical residency that followed. After all the hard work was finished, it has been really satisfying and gratifying that she has been able to open up her own practice with her partner, Dr. Emini. Together, they try to make DM Foot & Ankle a fun place to work at and hope patients think it is a great place to get their feet treated!

By Dr. Michelle Kim
September 10, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: hammertoes   Foot wear   Toes  


We rarely think about the importance of our toes, but without them, we would have a difficult time walking! These little body parts have six sets of muscles that control each toe and tendons on both the top and bottom. The toes give us stability.

At DM Foot & Ankle, we see many types of toe deformities, but by far the most common one is a hammertoe. A hammertoe is when the toe becomes bent or curled over time instead of laying straight. It can resemble a "hammer," hence the name "hammertoe." This can affect just one or all of the toes.

The most common cause of hammertoes is tendon imbalance. People with abnormally long toes, flat feet, or high arches have a greater tendency to develop these. Arthritis is another major cause of discomfort and deformity. Hammertoes can also be aggravated by poorly fitting footwear or if a fractured toe heals in a poor position.

Hammertoes usually start off as flexible and mild. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and can require surgery. People with hammertoes may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. They may also feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes.

If you start to notice hammertoe developing , it is important to get your feet checked out and to start a treatment plan immediately. Call and schedule an appointment today!

By Dr. Diana Emini
September 02, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: bunions   shoes   Heels  


Are your favorite shoes ruining your feet? Nobody puts on a pair of shoes in hopes of getting bunions, but the reality is that many people(women in particular) are basically asking for foot problems with the shoes they’re wearing!

A bunion looks like large lump sticking out of the base of the big toe. It can be on one or both feet and can range from a tiny bump, to a severely disfigured foot. Bunions don’t start off looking too abnormal or serious, but if you don’t take care of them, they can start looking pretty terrible and have painful consequences.

Some bunions are simply hereditary and are present in several generations and others are caused by improper footwear. Shoes that are too tight as well as pointy shoes or heels can cause or worsen bunions. They can start to be very painful as they progress into more advanced stages and can cause your shoes not to fit, bones to shift, and have an unsightly appearance. The good news is that while bunions are permanent, there is treatment for them.

Treatments range from conservative, nonsurgical treatments for the beginning stages of bunions to surgical treatments for bunions in more severe conditions. At DM Foot & Ankle, we can assess your bunions and provide you with the proper treatment options to prevent further formation of the bunion and pain that it may be causing.  So next time you go to wear your favorite pair of pointy heels, be sure to remember the future effects that it may have on your feet!