Monday, September 30, 2013

Soles 4 Souls

Children are the ultimate voices of reason sometimes.  My oldest two daughters have been that for me over the last ten years. They have a giving nature which we have tried to nurture. I recently had a bad experience in business in helping others and over extending myself to a fault.  I did not help these people because I wanted a thank you, I helped them because I wanted to see them improve and thrive.  What I learned from this experience is that you really can't help people that could help themselves but choose not to.

But who are the people that need help? That is a great question.  Domestically and around the world there are people who truly are less fortunate.  Life was not a series of just bad decisions that got them to the point where they are looking for a handout.  These people have been either born into such economic inequality or have been a victim of a tragedy that I could never imagine.  Right in your back yard you can find such individuals that need help.  They are not standing with their hand out, they are too busy trying to make the best of what they have. 

My oldest daughter overheard me say that I want to be able to help make a change in the world, that I want to make a difference but wasn't sure how.  My daughter then said, "Can't you do something to help people's feet, maybe donate shoes or something?" Pretty wise for a 9 year old.  I immediately remember seeing an organization online 3 years ago that was responsible for collecting shoes for people all over the world. People domestically and abroad that have seen natural disasters that I hope to never see.  People who are born into the poorest of economic conditions.  These are the people I want to help.  There is a Tracy Chapman song and a line says something like, "Those whose soul misfortune is having mountains of nothing at birth".

Don't get me wrong, I'm just a tough girl from Jersey, from parents that tried their best, but we did not have a lot of money.  I wore hand me down everything and even have a picture on Santa's lap wearing a skate board shirt from a brother and an old pair of shoes that were definitely not on their first tour on a McGowan pair of feet:) But they were shoes, they protected my feet.  They helped me walk to school everyday to get my education.  And over the years I wore many old pairs of shoes passed down from siblings.  I didn't complain I was happy to have anything. 

I want to bring smiles to those who are just happy somebody cared enough to put shoes on their feet that brings a smile to their face.  We are now going to participate in a "Soles 4 Souls" shoe drive.  This is an amazing organization that takes gently used shoes and new shoe donations from organizations all of the US and distributes to the areas most in need. 

Founded in 2004, Soles4Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing.

Soles4Souls receives millions of articles of used shoes and clothing that have been collected by individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners.  After sorting items in its national warehouse system, Soles4Souls typically sells the used shoes and clothing, as well as some new items allocated by manufacturers, to carefully selected micro-enterprise organizations. These both private and non-profit companies are contracted to provide shipping, financing, inventory, training and other support to ultra-small businesses in countries like Haiti where there are virtually no jobs to generate personal income.

Through the collection and sale of used (and new) clothing and shoes, Soles4Souls helps create self-sustaining jobs that generate desperately needed revenues throughout those communities. The sale of footwear and apparel to support micro-jobs also provides the majority of funding to sustain Soles4Souls operations and further expand its donations of new shoes and clothing.

I am pleased to have the Center for Ankle and Foot Care(my own little micro-enterprise) help build businesses and contribute to stopping a perpetual cycle of poverty.  We will have drop off locations in all three of our offices for gently used and new shoes. The shoe drive will begin November 1st, 2013 and will continue until December 31st, 2013. Click on either one of these happy kids, just happy to have shoes on their feet to learn more:)
Help our office, that takes such great pride in helping people's feet each day, fight poverty one pair of shoes at a time.  It is easy and you don't have to spend a dime.  Dr. Henne and myself, Dr. McGowan, will take care of the shipping of the shoes.  You just need to go through your closet and your kids closet and come to our office to drop off your shoes.  Thank you in advance for any help you can give.  Share this information with friends and family.   Again please click here to see our drop off locations and times!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

LeBron James' Toes A Nightmare??

It has been all over the internet lately over the controversy of LeBron James' toes. What's wrong with them you say? Here is a picture:

First of all, it is fixable by a Podiatrist (yes, it can be fixed) through surgery. But what is it that caused the foot, toes specifically, to look like that? The cause of these deformities can be contributed to multiple factors. From the picture we can clearly see that there are overlapping digits. The 5th digit is going on top of the 4th and the 2nd digit is propped upwards by the big toe and 3rd digit. The most probable cause is due to a small toe box, not giving the toes enough room in the shoe, such deformity is also commonly seen in wearers of high heels (see our previous blog post). You can also see that there are callus on the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIPJ) and this is because the digits are pushed upward they will rub against the shoes. He also seems to have digital contractions that look like hammertoes from this picture and he may have some biomechanical abnormalities. On his big toe he has a hallux abducto valgus (HAV) which is the fancy word for the infamous bunion. Usually if the bunion does not bother with normal daily activities it is left alone but it can be bothersome and progress to pain. If you are concerned with how your feet looks make an appointment to see your podiatrist before it progresses to something unfixable! Visit our Webpage at to learn more or to request an appointment online :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Football season is a GO! and so are injuries

With the football season starting up again and everyone talking about creating their fantasy football teams, injuries are also of interest. We always hear of them having concussion but there are definitely injuries of the lower limb that can keep players out of the season. Dustin Keller for the Miami Dolphins recently injured his right knee against the Houston Texans. He had torn ACL, PCL, and MCL, which was no surprise that led to a dislocated knee. So what do those acronyms stand for and why do they cause such serious injuries?
Here’s a quick explanation:

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL): It is one of the four ligaments that attaches the front of the tibia to the femur and it is located inside the knee. It prevents the lower leg from sliding out in front of the upper leg. Tears of the ligament often result from frontal impact on knee or thigh when the foot is fixed. A test used to determine if your ACL is torn is called anterior drawer sign because the leg will slide forward like opening a drawer.

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL): This is like the stronger brother of the ACL that helps hold the upper and lower leg together. This ligament prevents the lower leg from sliding out behind the upper leg. Injury usually happens by overextending the knee, such as a direct blow to the flexed knee or motor vehicle accidents (“dashboard injury”).

Medial collateral ligament (MCL): It is located on the inner surface of the knee connecting femur and tibia. Part of the ligament Stabilize the knee, promote locking of joint, and prevents the knee from bending inward. Tackling is a common cause of injury to this ligament.

As you can see with the picture to the right that the ACL and PCL cross each other inside the knee joint and that is  why they are called the cruciate ligaments. I hope that this helps some people understand each of these injuries and since he tore 3 of the 4 ligaments that help hold his knee together it is no wonder he was left with a dislocated knee.