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Orthopedic surgeon, Orlando Foot and Ankle Clinic
Posted by Orlando Medical News on August 8th
Andres Perez has known since he was in high school in Bogota, Columbia, that he wanted to become a physician. He always had a desire to study medicine, he said, and his parents impressed upon him their desire to have at least one physician in the family.
Perez followed through, graduating from medical school at Xavier University in Bogota. And the fact that his younger brother became a dentist was a bonus milestone in the Perez household, where dad Leonidas was an accountant and mom Elvira Gomez was a homemaker.
But it was not until after he completed residencies in orthopedic, sports and trauma medicine in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Bogota that Perez decided to put his best foot forward, so to speak, pursuing his current specialty in Miami as a podiatrist and reconstructive foot and ankle surgeon.
“After almost 10 years in practice in Colombia, we decided to move to the USA and get back in school again,” said Perez, 47. The “we” he referred to is his wife, Martha Melendez-Perez, an ear, nose and throat physician. He concluded his required extra training for 6 years in the Miami area, while his wife was “dedicated to the growth of my family,” he said. The couple have three children, two girls and a boy, now aged 17, 15 and 10, respectively. “Little by little,” Perez said, “we got back to the level we had before,” referencing his medical practice in South America.
Although Perez had family in Miami, in 2006 he accepted a position at the Orlando Foot and Ankle Clinic. “I was looking for a city that was more quiet. I loved visiting (Orlando) and it was great to see how people who work here live. I have met many interesting people,” he said, including the partners at the clinic who “liked my experience. They wanted someone with maturity and experience, and I was looking for something similar,” he said.
Perez does many of his surgeries at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando. “I like that hospital. It’s a good feel for me and my patients,” he said, “because the outcomes are good” and the hospital administration and staff have given him the support and resources he needs to do his best work.
Perez’ work at Orlando is varied and includes ankle and foot reconstructions both from trauma and disease cases. “We see a lot of diabetic patients who have circulation and sensitivity loss,” he said. I work very closely with vascular surgeons to increase circulation so we can save limbs” from amputation, he said.
Perez also enjoys the sports medicine aspect of his practice because many of the patients are young. “I love helping the kids,” said the physician who played team volleyball when he was in high school.
Perez, an active member of the First Baptist Church of Orlando, said he also “loves the opportunity to serve on medical missions to bring hope to communities that need the help I can give them.” He traveled to the Dominican Republic in November, near the Haitian border. There were many orthopedic deformity and trauma cases, he said, and many patients had come from Haiti. He is going back to the Dominican Republic later this year, he said, to oversee a triage in preparation for a trip in February when he will perform more pro bono surgeries.
Perez said he and his wife, who is developing a home healthcare business, are very involved in their children’s activities, which include sports. But the watchful parents also are encouraging the youngsters’ interest in the healthcare industry. The two oldest are considering medical school, he said, and the youngest has his sights set on being a specialized businessman. “He tells me ‘I will take care of all your business,’” Perez laughed. Regardless of what profession his children aspire, Perez said, the important thing is that they “try to be excellent in anything they want to do.”
His responsibilities at work and at home consume much of his free time, but when he can, Perez said he likes to play golf, take his family to the beach, “or a getaway with my wife.”
Asked if he has a goal or idea that he has not had time to pursue, Perez said he would welcome “the opportunity to create a new surgical technique or device” that would “improve results and improve the quality of life” for his patients.
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I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am a Mobile Foot Care services podiatrist with almost 25 years of experience in both nursing homes and assisted living centers. I am Board Certified in Primary Care Podiatric Medicine and Prevention and Treatment of Diabetic Foot Wounds and in Diabetic Footwear. My practice specializes in providing some of the highest-level gentle and caring foot-care to geriatric residents in need. I get great satisfaction and joy treating older patients. Since I am not in a doctor’s office environment I am able to devote dedicated time to establish a pleasant and warm doctor-patient relationship. I am very willing to accommodate the needs of the residents by providing foot-care at a central location within the facility or in their rooms.
Is arthritic pain in your feet and ankles affecting your ability to live life fully? Studies have shown that heightened activity levels are associated with reduced arthritic pain. Seeing a dedicated osteoarthritic foot and ankle specialist could help you regain your mobility. our Clinic Specializes in treating foot and ankle conditions that can cause pain and affect your active life.
The STAR™ Ankle is used world-wide for more ankle replacements than any other device. It has a long clinical history - the current design has been in use for over 20 years, and prior generations of the STAR were approved for use as early as 1978. The STAR is the only 3-piece mobile bearing total ankle available in the United States, as approval for such a device in the US requires a rigorous FDA PMA process that is very expensive and time-consuming. The process to get the STAR approved took nearly 10 years, and was approved in 2009.
The STAR has been well documented and analyzed in papers. 85% of papers analyzing commonly used total ankle devices in the United States focus on the STAR. One of the best ways to understand the effectiveness of joint replacements is to consider a statistic called the ‘survivability’ of the implant – which is the likelihood that a device will remain implanted for a particular number of years. The STAR has been shown in clinical papers to have a 90% likelihood to remain implanted for 10 years. No other total ankle replacement approved for use in the US has published any survivability information for their implants.
There have been over 18,000 implants of the STAR worldwide over the last 20 years. The system was approved by the FDA in May 2009, and since then, numerous studies have illustrated safety, efficacy, and long term results.
Contact our office for more information 407-423-1234
Diabetic Foot care: Top Ten Ways to Help Your Feet
By: Doctor Douglas M. Childs
Many foot problems are related to Diabetes. In fact, the complications of Diabetes often lead to wounds, infections, and even amputations. Here are a few helpful suggestions to help keep your feet healthy:
1. Don’t use pumice stones, medicated pads or files on your feet. Diabetes can cause a loss of sensation or numbness in the feet called neuropathy. The incorrect use of these tools and pads often leads to infections and even amputations. Call your podiatrist if you notice something on your feet that requires attention.
2. Wear Proper Shoes: Shoes and socks that fit properly can prevent foot problems. They can also keep existing problems from getting worse. When buying shoes, make sure that the toe box is roomy enough to allow you to wiggle your toes. Avoid open-toed or open-heeled shoes. Choose soft, padded socks with seams that don’t pinch or irritate your feet. Before putting on shoes or socks, inspect them for anything that could rub against your feet. In some cases, Diabetic shoes may be needed. Ask your podiatrist if you qualify for shoes through Medicare.
3. Check your feet daily: Inspect your feet and toes every day for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, calluses, or other problems. Use a mirror (laying a mirror on the floor works well). Notify your health care provider of any problems.
4. Check for Swelling: It may be a sign of poor blood flow or infection. Swelling may also be arthritis or even related to heart disease.
5. Get Your Circulation checked. You should get your circulation checked at least once a year. Non-Invasive tests can be done in the office to check for problems. Symptoms of poor circulation or PAD may include dull or cramping pain in your calf muscle or legs when walking, cold feet, loss of hair to the toes, or shiny skin.
6. Get Your Vitamins: Thiamine, Folic Acid, B6 and B12 all help to fight neuropathy. These vitamins are important in preventing numbness in the feet, but can become deficient due to some diabetic medications as well as with increased age.
7. Get rid of that dry skin: Dry, cracked skin leads to fissures and even wounds. Apply lotion daily, but not between your toes.
8. Quit Smoking: Diabetes is related to reduced blood flow to the skin and feet. If you smoke, you dramatically increase your risk of gangrene or Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).
9. Exercise: Exercising daily can help the blood flow into and out of your feet, as well as your flexibility. Special exercises for feet, as well as walking, swimming, and biking are good types of exercise. Call your doctor if exercising is uncomfortable, or if you notice warning signs such as redness, burning, or tenderness during or after exercise.
10. Control Your Diabetes: A good foot care program includes controlling your diabetes. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, monitor your blood sugar levels, take prescribed medications, and exercise daily. Regular checkups by your health care team can also help to control your diabetes. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to keep your blood sugars as closely controlled as possible, get regular exercise and keep your weight under control.
Diabetes doesn’t have to lead to serious foot problems. Your health care team can work with you to keep your feet healthy and treat any problems that occur. But remember: keeping your feet fit takes effort and commitment from the most important team member-you.
Routine Diabetic Foot Care Examinations performed by a Podiatrist are an important part of your health. Preventing problems is much easier that dealing with the problem later. An annual visit is recommended for all diabetics, but more frequent check-ups are often needed based on whether or not you have major risk factors, such as poor circulation, foot deformities (like bunions or hammertoes), or loss of sensation. If you are due for an exam, give Orlando Foot & Ankle Clinic a call at 407-423-1234.