Submitted by Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois
Most coaches will tell you the most important part of a player’s body is their heart. Most podiatrists, on the other hand, will tell you it’s their feet and ankles. Foot and ankle injuries can have devastating effects on athletic performance. Many colleges, NFL, NBA, and MLB teams have board-certified podiatrists handle the foot and ankle care of their players to prevent and treat injuries.
To meet this demand in Central Illinois, The Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois will be offering a specialized athletic foot and ankle medical program for local athletes, weekend warriors, and exercise enthusiasts this year.
“We are extremely excited about rolling out this new program. Our goal with this initiative is two-fold. First, we want to raise awareness and provide injury prevention information to athletes, parents, coaches, and trainers. Secondly, we want to offer the same level of care and services that are available to professional athletes so that athletes can return to the activities they love doing and live pain-free lives,” said the clinic’s founder, Dr. John Sigle, DPM, FACFAS.
As a recognized foot and ankle surgeon and leader in laser technology, many athletes have come to his clinic for his expertise and advanced treatment.
“I first learned about the laser treatments from my former teammates, Larry Austin and Xavier Bishop, who got great results,” said Yaakema Rose, a former Lanphier Lions all-state basketball player.”
“My final season of Lanphier basketball was hard on my feet and ankles. To be honest with you, I was a total wreck during the season... every week I was getting a different injury, so the laser treatments were never the same,” said Rose.
“Thanks to Dr. Sigle and Dr. Kennedy, I was always game ready! Everyone at the clinic is awesome! I know I would not have made it through the season if it wasn’t for their help,” Rose said.
After the season, Rose had laser treatments to get rid of his toenail fungus and custom orthotics made for his shoes.
“I guess you could say I had a tune-up for college ball,” Rose said, who has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Ranger College in Texas next year.
“This ‘tune up’ can be used by male and female athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages across the region,” Dr. Sigle explained.
According to a study published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine looking at 15 different sports, Lower Extremity Injuries (LEI) are the most prevalent injuries for high school athletes, and the risk of injury increases when athletes specialize in a single sport year-round.
“Most athletes, coaches, and trainers pay very little attention to the condition of their players’ feet and ankles until there is a problem. If left untreated, foot and ankle problems often add to other leg, knee, hip, shoulder, and spine problems. By examining athletes on an annual basis, we will be able to identify possible problems that can be addressed with conservative treatments before they develop into a serious injury,” Dr. Sigle said.
Dr. Grant Gonzalez, DPM, Dr. Sigle’s associate foot and ankle surgeon at the Foot and Ankle Center, will also be helping with the program.
“We treat a lot of athletes for foot and ankle injuries, which are the most common injuries for most contact sports, especially those that require weight bearing moves, lateral shifts, multiple starts and stops, jumping up and down, and at contact with opponents,” said Dr. Gonzalez.
The doctors also see a wide variety of participants from other non-contact, highly-physical activities such as dance, cheerleading, cycling, tennis, golf, walking, and running.
“We have digital imaging in the clinic, so we can make an immediate diagnosis to guide our treatment protocol. If the injury is more severe, we also have an extremity MRI in the clinic. Injured athletes can schedule same-day service. Radiology reports are usually available within 24 to 48 hours,” Dr. Gonzalez said.
Both podiatrists are advanced foot and ankle surgeons able to treat common sports injuries as Achilles tendon ruptures, lateral ankle ligament repair/reconstruction, ankle fractures, calcaneus (heel bone) fractures, Lisfranc (midfoot) injury, Jones fractures, talus fractures, toe and forefoot fractures, hammer toe, in-grown toenails, and plantar fasciitis and bone spurs.
According to Dr. Sigle, “We are approaching parents, athletic teams, coaches, trainers, and fitness groups to counsel them on proper foot and ankle care for athletes, and to offer our medical services, cutting-edge technology, and specialized products.”
The new program provides treatment for athletes’ foot, toenail fungus, and foot infections. Many of the athletes are exposed to toenail fungus and bacteria commonly found in locker rooms. These conditions can be a lingering problem if they are not addressed quickly. Laser treatment provides the highest efficacy rates for treating toenail fungus. A special shoe sanitizer and deodorizer may be used as an added measure of protection to kill fungus and germs.
The Foot & Ankle Depot is an auxiliary service offered within the clinic as an added convenience to patients where they can purchase specialty, doctor-approved foot and ankle products, custom-molded braces, and orthotics in a comfortable medical setting.
Over-the-counter shoe inserts and custom orthotics are available for every sport activity and to satisfy a client’s biomechanical needs. A wide variety of shoe gear is sold that includes special ortho-heel technology inserts and shoes designed for running and fitness activities. The store also stocks bunion guards, heel lifts, hammertoe crests, toe separators, pads, lotions, deodorant sprays, and cold therapy sprays. Elastic bandages, straps, braces, compression wraps, heel cushions, pads, and toe spacers.
Cold therapy devices and assistive walking devices are available for purchase or rental. The Foot & Ankle Depot is the only certified fitter for the I-Walk hands-free crutch in Springfield.
The Foot and Ankle Center of Illinois also houses the Illinois Laser Center, directed by Dr. Jared Kennedy, DC. The laser center offers the state-of-the-art laser technology for toenail fungus and pain therapy. Both lasers are widely recognized as best in class by medical practitioners around the country.
“Our Cutting Edge MLS Laser, used by many professional sports teams, is known as our ‘secret weapon’ for athletic injuries,” said Kennedy.
The laser is used to manage pain and treat injuries in tendons, ligaments, joints, chronic wounds, and bruised, strained, or torn muscles and more. It is also used for pre and post-surgical treatment and a number of specific neurological conditions. The laser has two components: a robotized multi-target device that is able to cover large areas of the body, and a hand-held laser wand that is used to treat trigger points for maximum results.
This technology has a patented multi-wave locked system (MLS) that provides dual wavelengths. One wavelength provides a continuous emission to produce anti-inflammatory and anti-edemic effects. The other wavelength provides pulsed emissions to produce analgesic effects.
“We’ve had great success with keeping athletes healthy. Typically, athletes come to us after their games and we provide two to three treatments during the week. We consult with the parents as the week progresses and give them a condition report. Most are able to return to the sport by game time. Quite frankly, the MLS Laser improves outcomes!” said Dr. Kennedy.
The new Athletic Foot and Ankle Program is tailored to each individual patient but will offer the following services:
- Comprehensive podiatric foot and ankle exam including a functional biomechanics assessment
- Digital imaging, extremity MRI and diagnostic ultrasound
- Shoe fitting prescriptions
- Custom orthotics and shoe inserts
- Toenail fungus screening and laser treatment
- KeryFlex nail restoration treatment
- MLS laser therapy
- Treatment for athlete’s foot, corns, calluses, and blisters
- Best of class physician approved foot and ankle products
- Amniotic stem cell treatment for connective tissue repair
- Other non-operative and operative services
“We are launching this program because we believe there is an unmet need that is not being addressed in a holistic way. Combining state-of-the-art technology with advanced foot and ankle care will prove to be of immense benefit to the athletic community,” said Dr. Sigle.
“By helping younger athletes now, they may be able to avoid long-term problems down the road and keep their mobility during their senior years. They will certainly depend on their feet to carry them up for a long journey ahead. You know what they say… ”Athletes never die!” said Dr. Sigle.
If you are interested in preventing possible foot and ankle injuries associated with your sport or would like to learn more about this specialized program, call 217-787-2700. Don’t forget to register for a free informational meeting that will be scheduled this coming fall.
The Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois is conveniently located in Springfield, Decatur, Taylorville, Monticello, Sullivan, Shelbyville, and Carlinville. Services offered may vary at each location.
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