Posts for tag: DM Foot & Ankle

By Dr. Michelle Kim
December 10, 2014
Category: Uncategorized



A question kids may be asked in school is “Which objects can float?”  Immediately coming to mind may be answers such as a balloon, a boat, or a rubber ducky.  What has never probably crossed one’s mind would be aTOE!



However in the podiatry world, we have seen numerous patients with a second toe that floats” up and won’t lie flat.  Causes of this floating toe are usually due to biomechanical and structural issues that have worsened over time.  Bunions, Hammertoes, and improper foot structure can cause the joint to dislocate over time.  This dislocation can cause weakening of the tissue under the joint known as the plantar plate.  Previously, this condition was extremely difficult to treat.  There was no consistent way to get this floating toe to stay flat and fix the plantar plate adequately.  The main reason was due to difficulty accessing the small joint space and lack of proper tools to do so.

In the last few years, different methods have been performed to repair this hard-to-reach plantar plate.  However, just a few months ago, Smith and Nephew released a trio of instrumentation dubbed their “Hat Trick” systems.  One of these techniques provides a way to fix this plantar plate consistently with stellar results.


Dr.Diana Emini and I had the privilege of being the first physicians in the Chicagoland area to use this new surgery technique!  We were excited to give this new surgery a try, and we were extremely happy with the results.  For the first time, we feel as though there is a true long-term solution to correct this problem.  If you suffer from this condition, also referred to as subluxation of the 2nd MTP joint or ruptured plantar plate, then there is an answer for you.  And the answer to “Which objects can float?” should not be a toe.


BY: Michelle Kim

By Diana Emini
December 03, 2014
Category: bunions

Whether it’s because of those cute, unsupportive ballet flats or those 3 inch stilettos, you may become a victim to bunions! It is estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries. Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding them. Many people who have bunions may suffer unnecessary pain for years before seeking any kind of treatment. Bunions progressively get worse over time and eventually may need surgery, which is why at DM Foot & Ankle, Dr. Kim and I believe in educating our patients to be proactive about bunions so they can be halted in the early stages.


What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe. Bunions form when the toe moves out of place.


How do you recognize a bunion?

The big toe joint appears enlarged and may stick out from the edge of the foot. It can be sensitive to shoes which may result in pain. The big toe usually leans in, and points towards your other toes, instead of pointing straight. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities such as hammertoes.


What causes bunions?

Bunions can be caused by several different factors. Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions. Another cause is faulty foot structure, which tends to run in families. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to bunion formation as well.


How are bunions treated?

First, the pressure and pain from irritations must be relieved. Second, any progressive growth of the bunion must be stopped. Here are some common ways to treat bunions- keep in mind, these treatments may alleviate the pain, but will not correct the existing bunion:


  • Protective padding to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
  • Changing to footwear that is designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
  • Orthotics—to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in a more optimal position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
  • Toe Splints to help the toes and joint align properly while you sleep.
  • Surgery – removing the bunion surgically, aka a bunionectomy; this is the only way to correct an existing bunion.


At DM Foot & Ankle, we offer comprehensive and effective treatment for bunions. Dr. Kim and I find that many people wait too long to see a doctor about their bunions and end up having permanent damage by the time they get it checked out. We advise our patients to start treatment as soon as possible to avoid further enlargement and pain. If you or someone you know may have a bunion, Dr. Kim and I encourage you to stop by DM Foot & Ankle to see if we can start a treatment process that best suits your needs!


BY: Diana Emini

By Dr. Kim
November 26, 2014
Category: Running


If you’re looking for a great way to run off that turkey dinner tomorrow, search no further! It has become a tradition for many cities around the United States to host marathons or “turkey trots” around Thanksgiving. At DM Foot & Ankle, we are big fans of these marathons, as well as our marathon runners!  We advise all runners to take precautionary measures to ensure a good run and to avoid injury!


A few of the most common problems that we see with runners at DM Foot & Ankle are things such as Athlete's Foot, which is the most common fungal infection in the world. We also see Corns and Calluses, which are the thickening of skin in areas on your feet as a result of pressure. Another common problem is Achilles Tendinitis, when the tendon that connects the back of your leg to your heel becomes swollen and painful near the bottom of the foot.Those who run for long periods of time on hard surfaces, such as concrete, sometimes have Shin Splints, which is pain in the shin and lower leg. We also see people with pain in the heel and arch that is called Plantar Fasciitis, that is caused by inflammation along the ligament on the bottom of the foot.

Most of the problems above can be avoided by proper foot care, hygiene, and by wearing the right running shoes. Proper shoe gear can help to ease the discomfort or avoid the problem altogether. So, here are a few tips on shoe gear from Dr. Emini and I!

Tips for Running Shoes

        - Buy two pairs of running shoes and rotate them on a daily basis

        - Replace your shoes every 400 miles or 1 to 2 times a year

        - Buy shoes designed for your foot structure & activity type

        - Make sure to use clean socks & keep your feet dry

        - A stability running shoe works for most foot types

        - Custom orthotics can help those with the above pains

Dr. Emini and I, along with the staff here at DM Foot & Ankle, want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving with lots of laughs and turkey!  We also want to wish good luck to all of the marathon runners! If you want more information about running and your feet, be sure to check out our Pinterest - Running Board for shoe tips, motivation and more!


                         Some marathons happening this weekend around the Chicagoland area:


                                              Grant Park Turkey Trot 5k                             Edison Park Turkey Trot

                                              Annual Turkey Day Run Chicago                  Orland Park Turkey Trot

                                              North Shore Turkey Trot 5k & 10k                 Rotary Run 3.14 Pie

                                              Bonfield Express 5k                                        Evanston Flying Turkey 5k




Here at DM Foot & Ankle, Dr. Kim and I believe in more than just healthy feet, we believe in maintaining a well balanced and healthy lifestyle. We understand that it is essential to form habits that are going to bring about positive effects on your life and promote healthy living. Practicing regular exercise, maintaining a nutritious diet, and managing stress are important in achieving this positive lifestyle. We support these types of practices, but we also acknowledge that there are habits that are detrimental to our health and the health of those around us. For this reason, we support The Great American Smokeout.

The Great American Smokeout
Every year on the third Thursday of November, American smokers are encouraged to become quitters. It is a day that marks a new beginning for some and the start of a long journey to the end of addiction for others. The American Cancer Society developed this event to challenge smokers and help them to become aware of the resources available to them during this process.

Smoking and Your Feet
At DM Foot & Ankle, we see the harmful effects that smoking can have on feet. Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD, is a fatty plaque buildup in the arteries, causing narrowing of blood vessels and reduced blood flow to limbs. The effect of PAD is often worse in the arteries leading to the feet. Pain, cramping, and numbness while walking or with activities are some common symptoms. In severe cases, PAD can cause poor wound healing and ultimately lead to gangrene and amputation. Smoking is the main risk factor for PAD, with smokers being four times more likely to develop the condition.

How to Quit
If you have made the decision to quit – we applaud you. Here is a list, provided by the American Cancer Society
(, to help you along during your process: 

  •   Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
  •   Stop-Smoking groups
  •   Counseling
  •   Nicotine Replacement Products
  •   Prescription Medicine to lessen cravings
  •   Guide books
  •   Encouragement and support from family and friends

If you or someone you know struggles with a smoking addiction, be sure to check out or pass on this information. By doing so you are taking steps towards a healthy, happy lifestyle. At DM Foot & Ankle, Dr. Kim and I are here to help keep you on your feet along the way!


By: Diana Emini