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Achilles Foot Care – Advanced Treatment Options for Foot and Ankle Problems
By Kevin Brown

Dr. Patrick D. RobertoAccording to a national foot ailment study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, nearly 76 percent of Americans experienced at least one foot ailment in a year’s time. For more than a third of those Americans, the pain from their ailment was enough to inhibit daily activities.

Feet often receive little attention when it comes to our overall health, but having a painful foot problem can cause serious disruption in our lives.

That’s why Dr. Patrick D. Roberto of Achilles Foot Care is dedicated to offering advanced treatment options for a variety of foot and ankle problems. Board-certified by the American Board of Lower Extremity Surgery, Dr. Roberto has been a practicing podiatrist for more than 25 years with offices in Delmont and Monroeville. He received his doctor of podiatric medicine from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine.

Dr. Roberto uses the latest techniques in treating common and uncommon problems including bunions, flat feet, hammertoe, heel spurs and fungal infections of the toenails, along with other foot and ankle conditions.

New Bunion Procedure
If you’ve ever had a bunion, you know the discomfort it can cause. Pain, swelling, numbness and tingling are just some of the symptoms. Dr. Roberto offers a new surgical procedure called Lapiplasty from Treace Medical Concepts, Inc., to correct bunions

“Lapiplasty is our new bunion procedure. I won’t do any other bunion procedure,” says Dr. Roberto. “It gives a perfect result every single time and allows the patient to immediately weight-bear in a CAM walker or boot. We still keep them in that boot for four to six weeks, but at least at this point we don’t have to keep them non-weight bearing for six weeks. Now they can walk immediately and in four to six weeks they’re in a tennis shoe with some mild exercises.”

Correcting Flat Feet
Flexible flatfoot deformity, otherwise known as flat feet, is a painful foot condition that can lead to more problems down the road. Dr. Roberto uses another new technique, HyProCure, to help correct flat feet. HyProCure is a soft tissue implant that prevents the foot from going flat.

”A lot of people suffer from flexible flatfoot deformity. It can cause heel pain, arch pain and early arthritis in their lifetimes. If we can capture those patients who have this deformity early on and utilize this procedure, we can maintain some flexibility to their foot and limit the arthritic changes. They may need something later on down the line, but they can get by with this device for many years,” explains Dr. Roberto.

Treating Nail Fungus
The most common foot problem that Dr. Roberto sees is onychomycosis, or toenail fungus. While the condition is most often unsightly, it is highly contagious and can cause pain and deformity of the nails. Over-the-counter preparations are quite common, but may take months to show any effect. In long-standing fungal infections, these preparations may have little or no effect on the fungus.

Dr. Roberto is at the forefront of advanced podiatry by offering fungal infection treatments with the newly approved Lunula Laser by Erchonia. It has been available in Europe for some years and the Food and Drug Administration just cleared it in 2016 for use in the United States.

“The Lunula Laser treatment involves four, 12-minute sessions per foot. You just keep your foot in the machine for 12 minutes and it focuses two wavelengths of light on your toenails. The light penetrates the nail fungus and creates two different types of reactive species that combine to create one chemical within the mitochondria of the fungus that kills it,” explains Dr. Roberto.

“There are four sessions and they have to be one week apart from each other so we want to make sure that patients are able to come in within that time frame. We usually start with a photograph to see how they progress over time,” he says.

“I’ve seen much quicker results with the Lunula Laser than any other treatment plan I’ve used for 25 years,” notes Dr. Roberto. Erchonia boasts an 89 percent clearance rate of fungal infections.

Relieving Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is another painful foot condition that Dr. Roberto has had success in treating.  Neuropathy is an inflammation of the nerves in the feet and is common among those with diabetes. Symptoms include sharp nerve pain, numbness, and tingling. Oftentimes, it may feel as if one is “walking on gravel in bare feet” even though wearing shoes.

“We maintain a health program where we see patients who have diabetic neuropathy about four times a year to take care of their feet,” says Dr. Roberto. ”We don’t like them to cut their own toe nails, so we cut their nails. We evaluate them regularly and we put them in diabetic shoe gear to protect their feet.”

“In some cases where a patient has very bad neuropathic pain, there are two medications that I prescribe, he says. “They are dietary supplements. One is a new medication called NeuRemedy, which we dispense through the office. It has been very successful in helping those patients. We also prescribe Metanx, which works well with Metformin, a diabetic medication.”

Custom Orthotics
Another major service that Dr. Roberto offers at Achilles Foot Care is custom orthotics, which are wearable supports that help correct foot problems.

“An orthotic is essentially an arch support that goes inside the shoe under the foot. It is more than just an arch support. These are custom-made. We scan a 3D image of your feet and the orthotic is made based on that 3D image. You get a much better fit that way. It covers all the deformities for people who have arch pain, heel pain, arthritis pain in the ankle, and mid-foot pain. For some people who have a bunion, it will slow the progression of the bunion,” Dr. Roberto says.

Other common foot and ankle problems that Dr. Roberto sees include ingrown toenails, warts, heel spurs and arthritis along with providing general geriatric foot care.

“At Achilles Foot Care, we are dedicated to offering individualized care that’s based on each patient’s unique needs for long-term relief of pain and other symptoms, improved mobility, and a better quality of life,” Dr. Roberto adds.

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For more information about Achilles Foot Care, visit www.achillesfootcare.com or call 724-468-5368 in the Delmont area or 412-372-7100 in the Monroeville area.

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