You Can Teach Your Feet

What You Should Know About Ankle Arthroplasty (Ankle Replacement)

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Should Know About Ankle Arthroplasty (Ankle Replacement)

Arthritis can affect any joint in your body, including the small joints in your foot and ankle. Since osteoarthritis—a degenerative condition—develops slowly over time, the joint pain and stiffness get worse. The pain and reduced range of motion associated with rheumatoid arthritis—an autoimmune disease—can be debilitating as well. Doctors normally recommend non-surgical treatments, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, losing weight if necessary, or wearing an ankle lacer or custom-fitted leather brace, to minimize pain and prevent or slow the progression of arthritis of the foot and ankle. But if the pain eventually becomes disabling and non-surgical treatments fail to reduce the symptoms, your doctor may recommend ankle arthroplasty (ankle replacement). When Doctors Recommend Ankle Arthroplasty Ankle replacement not only relieves arthritis pain, it also improves your mobility, allowing you to move more easily. Restoring mobility to an arthritic joint also puts less stress on adjacent joints, decreasing the risk of developing arthritis in those joints. Since the ankle joint is what allows you to move your foot up and down, your podiatrist may recommend ankle replacement if: Arthritis of the ankle has reached an advanced stage Osteoarthritis is so severe that bone rubs on bone and causes bone spurs to develop Arthritis pain cannot be managed and makes walking and carrying out normal activities of daily living difficult Wear and tear within the ankle joint damages the joint surfaces You are older and not as active as younger individuals who perform activities that put a lot of stress on the ankle joint Foot and ankle surgeons generally do not recommend ankle replacement surgery for obese individuals or those with peripheral artery disease (poor blood flow) or a structural deformity, such as a severe misalignment of the bones that form the ankle joint. What Ankle Arthroplasty Involves Ankle arthroplasty is an inpatient surgical procedure that involves removing the cartilage and bone damaged by arthritis. The surgeon will make an incision in the front of the ankle. He or she will then place a metal and plastic prosthesis into the joint surfaces at the end of the shin bone and top of the ankle bone to restore function to the arthritic joint. You will remain in the hospital for one or several nights following surgery. During your recovery, your foot and ankle will be immobilized in a cast or cast boot. You also must use crutches or a walker for several weeks. Things That Can Go Wrong While surgery isn’t a cure for arthritis, your doctor may recommend ankle arthroplasty to restore function to a diseased and damaged ankle joint. But like other surgeries, ankle replacement has risks that can lead to potential complications including: Infection, which may necessitate the removal of the artificial joint Post-operative blood clots Damage to nerves or blood vessels Tendon injury Bone fractures Bone that fails to heal to the implant Loosening of the implant’s parts Barring any complications, full recovery from foot and ankle surgery takes time—possibly up to 9 months, depending on how bad your arthritis was before the procedure. How long the replacement will last before you begin having complications depends on the type of prosthetic device the surgeon uses. Visit sites like http://www.yourfootdocs.com for more information about treating arthritis in your feet or...

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The Dos And Don’ts Of Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Dos And Don’ts Of Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Anybody who has ever experienced an ingrown toenail knows just how painful these can be. Specifically, an ingrown toenail refers to an infection caused when part of the nail (usually the side) grows into the skin. Some people are more prone to ingrown toenails as a result of genetics, but there are always steps you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing this painful podiatry predicament. DO Ensure Proper Shoe Fit Wearing shoes, or even socks, that are too snug can lead to an ingrown toenail. That’s because the added pressure squeezes the toes together, making it more likely for a nail to grow into the skin and cause an infection. Make sure the shoes you wear most often are the proper fit (if you have wide feet, shop for wide-toed shoes) and are made of breathable material to reduce infection risk. DON’T Trim Your Cuticles Going into your favorite nail salon for a pedicure is a great way to pamper yourself. Just make sure your nail tech knows what he or she is doing. Cutting cuticles back too short can make your nail bed more prone to infection. Gently pushing the cuticles back after a soak in water is harmless enough, but trimming your cuticles really isn’t necessary–nor is it good for your nail health. DO Cut Nails Straight Across When trimming your nails at home, the best way to do it is to trim straight across rather than in a rounded shape. This will help reduce your chances of experiencing an ingrown nail. Furthermore, be careful not to trim your nails too short, as this will increase the chances of your nail growing into the nail bed and leading to a painful infection. It’s better to trim your nails a small amount a couple times per week than it is to cut them extremely short less often. DON’T Ignore Early Signs Finally, be aware of the early signs of an ingrown toenail, such as pain, inflammation, and redness around the nail. If you experience early signs, try soaking your affected toenail in an Epsom salt bath for a few minutes each day. This can help reduce inflammation while also encouraging the nail to grow out normally. If the pain and swelling doesn’t reside, however, you’ll want to visit a podiatrist, like one at Accurate Foot & Diabetic Care, sooner rather than later. He or she will be able to numb the toe and remove the affected area of the...

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Juvenile Hallux Valgus: Bunions In Children

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Juvenile Hallux Valgus: Bunions In Children

Adults, particularly elderly individuals, aren’t the only people who get bunions. Kids can get them too. In fact, genes often are to blame. If bunions run in your family, your child is at increased risk of developing juvenile hallux valgus. A bump at your child’s big toe joint can be a sign of a bunion. While your child may experience no other symptoms to start, having the condition properly diagnosed allows you to take steps to slow the progression and help delay or prevent the need for surgery. What is a bunion? What looks like extra bone is a misalignment of the joint of the big toe that makes the toe point inward toward or over the smaller toes. Many times, a bunion is the result of a structural defect that your child is born with. Bunions can range in severity from mild to disfiguring. Some bunions are small; other bunions are quite large. While not all bunions get bigger over time, some do. What causes a bunion? Your child may have been born with a structural deformity that causes the big toe to push against the smaller toes. When your child shifts his or her weight while running, jumping, or riding a bicycle, an uneven distribution of weight on the joints in the feet puts increased pressure on the big toe joint. Wearing shoes that are too tight, too narrow, or with pointed toes can contribute to bunions as well. How does a doctor diagnose a bunion that develops during childhood? A podiatrist, like one at Aboite Podiatry Associates PC, may ask your child to move his or her big toe up and down during the examination to determine if range of motion in the toe is limited. If tenderness, redness, and swelling are present, the doctor may order an x-ray to see if the bones are growing properly. An x-ray also shows how severe a bunion is. How are juvenile bunion deformities treated? Non-surgical treatments to help relieve pressure and pain include: Wearing shoes with a wide toe box that doesn’t cramp the toes Taping the foot in a normal position Getting custom-molded orthotics Distributing pressure evenly over the feet is key to preventing a bunion from getting worse. Wearing shoes that offer good arch support is important as well. While wearing over-the-counter shoe inserts may offer some relief from discomfort, prescription orthotics made specifically for your child’s foot help reduce the motion in the joints that is causing excessive pressure. When does bunion surgery become necessary for a child? A bunion doesn’t always hurt, but it won’t go away unless a foot and ankle specialist performs surgery to realign the natural position of the toe. While non-surgical treatment options may be enough at first, if your child starts to experience frequent pain that limits his or her activity, surgery may become necessary. Also, if a bunion grows so large that it’s difficult to find shoes that fit your child comfortably, he or she may need to have surgery to remove the bump and reposition the big toe. Doctors don’t normally offer bunion surgery as a treatment option for a child or adolescent unless the problem continues to get worse and the bunion causes severe pain. Even then, a surgeon may recommend trying to wait until after the...

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4 Common Foot Injuries In Runners

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Common Foot Injuries In Runners

Running is generally considered one of the best things you can do for your body. Not only can it increase your muscle mass, but it can serve to help you lose weight, improve your circulation and increase your endurance. However, as many runners can tell you, you also run the risk of injury. There are a number of common foot injuries that runners suffer from, that you might find afflicting you when you start running often. Plantar Fasciitis The plantar fascia is a tendon that runs lengthwise from the bottom of the foot. Most runners are familiar with this tendon as it can be the site of a great deal of pain. Plantar fasciitis occurs when you have a sharp, shooting pain down the bottom of your foot. It is an issue related to tendonitis and can cause an incredible deal of pain. Plantar fasciitis is an issue related to over- and misuse of the plantar fasciaa muscle. If you are having issues related to plantar fasciitis, it is recommended that you stay off your feet for some time and also consider changing your running shoes to something that is more amenable to the health of your plantar fascia. Stress Fracture A stress fracture is a fracture that can occur anywhere on the foot due to overuse, but is most commonly seen on the metatarsals. Stress fractures usually occur over a long period of time, and then rear their ugly head after the pain manifests itself as sharp and stabbing; this pain can be difficult to distinguish between forms of tendonitis, such as plantar fasciitis. If you are regularly experiencing this pain, it is recommended that you see a physician, who will then make plans for you to see a radiologist in order to determine if the bone is broken. Stress fractures generally take 6 weeks to heal, during which time you should stay off your foot as often as possible – this means no running!  Extensor Tendonitis The extensor tendons run over the top of the foot and are attached to the shins. Overuse of these tendons can cause extreme, sharp pain along the top of the foot. You can generally differentiate the pain associated with extensor tendonitis with a stress fracture by attempting to raise your toes. If doing so isolates the pain in your toes and the top of your foot, chances are, you are suffering from extensor tendonitis. Tendonitis is a form of inflammation, and this pain can be ameliorated by using a shoe more amenable to your tendons, icing the inflamed muscle, or, if prescribed by your physician, using pain killers in order to alleviate the pain. Adductor and Abductor Hallucis The adductor is a muscle that runs over the course of the top of your foot, while the abductor runs along the bottom side of your foot and meets with the medial. Again, the pain associated with suffering from hallucis of either of these muscles is similar to the issues described above, although a runner can usually tell if the issue is related to the adductor and abductor, as it is isolated to inside of the arch of the foot itself. Rectifying an issue with arch support can usually help with this issue, and the pain associated with it can be alleviated through...

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Helping Your Elderly Loved One With Diabetes Care For Their Feet

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Helping Your Elderly Loved One With Diabetes Care For Their Feet

When you are trying to support and care for an elderly loved one in your life who also suffers from diabetes, there are many health concerns that you need to consider. However, if you yourself do not have diabetes, it can be difficult for you to understand the importance of foot care and podiatry services as they relate to this health disorder. If you want to be sure that you are providing your loved one with the best possible care, get to know some of the steps in proper foot care that you should take. Then, you can be sure you are doing everything you can to prevent foot-related diabetic complications. Be Sure Their Toenails Are Regularly Trimmed And Maintained If a person has diabetes, even trimming their toenails properly is important. Untrimmed or improperly trimmed toenails can lead to ingrown toenails, bleeding, infections, and the like. There are a few choices for your elderly loved one with diabetes as far as maintaining and regularly trimming their toenails. One of the options is for you to do it for them. You need to be careful not to cause any foot injuries or bleeding while trimming the nails. You also want to ensure that you cut the nails straight across if possible. If you are not comfortable trimming and maintaining their nails yourself, you can take them to a podiatrist or possibly even their primary care provider’s office for regular trimming and foot checks. This will help you to be sure that your loved one’s toenails are not a risk. Take Them In To The Doctor For Any Cut Or Sore The feet are so vulnerable for diabetics partially because the disorder affects a person’s circulation. The low circulation to the feet means that virtually any cut or sore, no matter how small can lead to a serious infection in a short amount of time. So, if and when you are helping your loved one put on their socks and shoes or helping them bathe, be on the lookout for any sores or scratches on their feet. Take them to the podiatrist immediately if there are any noticeable injuries to their feet so that they can be checked out and treated to prevent infection. Their doctor may even prescribe antibiotics at any signs of pink skin or blistering on or around the sore to prevent infections and complications that could easily spiral out of control. Now that you know a few of the ways that you can help your elderly loved one with diabetes care for their feet, you can be sure that you are taking the steps necessary to provide them with the care and support they need. To learn more, speak with someone like Aiken Maurice W, DPM...

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Common Foot Problems That Can Give Seniors A Hard Time

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Foot Problems That Can Give Seniors A Hard Time

Seniors must be more mindful of issues with their feet as they age. The sensations in the foot become more dull, and minor problems can become serious health issues before the senior feels much pain in the area. Daily inspection of the feet is needed for any signs of redness, swelling or sores. Should any of the following issues be spotted, a trip to the podiatrist is in order to prevent further complications from the problem. Bunions This is caused by abnormal bone growth at the base of the large toe. The bone pushes out from the side of the foot and forces the big toe to be pushed against the other toes. The lump caused by the bone growth rubs against shoes, causing pain and swelling in the area. It may be difficult finding shoes that are comfortable and don’t put pressure on that area. A foot doctor can treat this by stretching the shoes and using padding to make the shoe more comfortable. When this fails to give enough relief, the excess bone must be shaved away to reduce the size of the lump at the base of the toe. Hammer Toes This is caused by the contraction of the tendons in the toes. This draws the toes toward the foot, bending them at the joint. The tops of the bent toes rub against the shoe, causing pain and swelling. As with bunions, it can hard to find shoes that are comfortable. Shoe inserts can support the foot and relieve pressure on the toes. When this isn’t enough, the doctor can surgically release the tense tendons, allowing the toes to relax back into their normal positions. Plantar Corns When a shoe rubs over a bony place on the foot for a long time, the skin forms a rough callus. It can become hard and painful. Pads can be used to relieve pressure against the skin in that area. Over-the-counter-medicine is available to dissolve the hard tissue. Surgical removal of the corn can be done if these remedies don’t give enough relief. Neuromas Continuous rubbing in some areas of the foot, especially between the toes, can irritate the nerves there. The tissue covering the nerve can become painful and inflamed. It can become so sensitive that just brushing a sock across the area is painful. The podiatrist can surgically remove the irritated tissue to reduce the pain and swelling. Ingrown Toenails Redness, swelling and pain at the edge of the toenail can indicate an ingrown toenail. If not treated, an infection can occur in the area, requiring antibiotics and draining of fluid collecting under the toenail. A severely ingrown toenail untreated can result in the loss of the toenail. Seniors who have reduced pain sensation in their feet can develop a serious ingrown toenail without being aware of it. For more information, contact Camden County Foot & Ankle Center or a similar...

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Getting Those Dang Work Boots To Feel Right

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Those Dang Work Boots To Feel Right

So you’ve bought a new pair of work boots, but are worried that they’ll give you blisters like your last pair. You need to listen to your podiatrist and only buy boots that fit properly! Thankfully, the following tips will help you get boots that are comfortable and which won’t give you blisters. Take Time To Properly Fit Them Don’t just buy the first pair of work boots that are your size. The exact fit of an individual boot will vary wildly depending on the brand and the type of boot you buy. That’s why you need to carefully fit your feet into the right boot before buying. Start by always trying it on your biggest foot (usually the right) to ensure it’s comfortable. It’s surprising how many people don’t understand this basic process. Start by putting on a boot you’re interested in buying, lace them up, and stand with your toes spread widely. Do you feel any pinches? Immediately take the boot off and try a larger size. A properly fitting boot should give you enough room to wiggle your toes and enough room at your heel so you can move your foot forward and backward slightly. But if your toe is more than an inch away from the tip of the boot, it’s much too large. Remember: you’ll be wearing that for eight-plus hours on site at work, so you need to keep trying until you get it right. Break Them In…But Take A Break After you’ve brought your boots home, it’s important to break them in properly. The first step is to wear them around the house for about 10 minutes a day. Make sure to take a break or else your feet might develop blisters in your new boots. You can also take them to work and wear them on the job site during breaks, to ensure your feet get used to how they feel in the boots while on site. Slowly increase the amount of time you spend in your boots until you can handle them for an hour at a time. At that point, they are likely broken in and ready to get heavy-duty time at work. Just make sure to avoid putting them in water or exposing them to heat: these old wives tale remedies don’t help! What To Do If They Still Bring Blisters What happens if you’ve properly fit your work boots, worn them in, and you still suffer from blisters? There are a few options. The most obvious is taking them to a shoe shop and getting them adjusted. If that doesn’t help, you could always just replace the boot with a larger size. But what if you don’t have money to buy a new pair? Invest in anti-blister gear. Runners often utilize anti-blister socks to help eliminate wear and tear on their feet. This may be adaptable for your boots. Other anti-blister items, such as foot sheaths, may also help you avoid investing in new boots. However, if you’re still having trouble with your boots, make sure to contact your podiatrist right away. They can help measure your feet and find out why your boots are giving you so much problem. You may have a high instep, fallen arches, or another problem that makes it harder for your...

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Don’t Let This Painful Foot Condition Keep You Off The Jogging Trail

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Let This Painful Foot Condition Keep You Off The Jogging Trail

You pride yourself on being in good shape, and you get out nearly every day and jog to maintain your health. There is one painful foot condition that can affect anyone. Plantar fasciitis can be the result of your exercise efforts, and the pain can be so severe that you can’t get out of bed. Here is how to keep this foot problem from spoiling your daily run. The Plantar Fascia A small length of tissue, called the plantar fascia, connects your heel to the base of your toes on the bottom of your foot. This tissue provides stability to your foot and helps to hold the arch in place. If the plantar fascia becomes irritated, it will become swollen and painful. You may have one or all of the following symptoms: a burning feeling along the bottom of your foot a sharp pain when pressing on your heel or at the base of your toes severe pain when stepping down on your foot weakness in the foot that makes it collapse under you if you try to walk on it The pain often occurs in the morning and can be so intense that you can’t put weight on your foot when getting out of bed. What Causes Plantar Fasciitis This condition can be caused by a number of running-related issues: poor warmup of the foot muscles before running stressing the foot by overworking it during exercise athletic shoes that rub against the bottom of your foot Other causes include: weakened foot muscles due to an illness or injury weight gain which puts additional stress on the foot Treating Plantar Fasciitis Treatment focuses on reducing the inflammation. When the swelling goes down, so does the pain. To treat an acute attack of this foot condition: hold an ice pack against the bottom of your foot for several minutes take an anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as ibuprofen If you have frequent bouts of this painful condition, visit a podiatrist for more long term treatment recommendations, such as: physical therapy sessions to strengthen the muscles in the foot and protect the plantar fascia from irritation custom shoe inserts to support the bottom of your foot and relieve stress from the plantar fascia Preventing Plantar Fasciitis There are a few things you can do to prevent this painful condition from appearing. do stretching exercises with your feet to warm up the muscles before you run if the weather is cold, warm up your feet before stretching with a heating pad wear shoes that fit snug around your foot and don’t rub against the bottom use an insert in your running shoe to support the bottom of your foot For more information, contact ETL Podiatry or a similar...

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Avoiding Or Dealing With Plantar Fasciitis As A Runner

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Avoiding Or Dealing With Plantar Fasciitis As A Runner

If you are a runner then you will be at an added risk of many types of strains and injuries. One of the things you will need to be careful of is developing plantar fasciitis. This is a painful condition that will keep you off of your feet for a while if you are affected by it. As a runner, you know that being off your feet for an extended period of time can make it that much harder for you to get back up to your pre-injury speed. Read this article for information on plantar fasciitis so you know how to avoid it, spot it and get relief from it. What causes plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis occurs when your plantar fascia, the tendon that goes along the bottom of your foot, gets injured. The injury can be a tear, a strain, irritation or inflammation. The condition is often caused by excessive weight, long periods of being on your feet, ill-fitted shoes, shoes without proper support and too much stress being put on your feet. As a runner, yours will more than likely be caused by not wearing the right running shoes or by pushing yourself without taking long enough breaks between runs. Also, running on very hard surfaces can play a role in the development of the condition. What are the symptoms to watch for?   Plantar fasciitis will cause the bottom portion of your foot to hurt. If you experience pain in the top part of your foot, then the problem will be something else. Most often the condition will cause a pain right near the heel of your foot, but that pain can radiate to nearby places as well. The pain is usually a stinging or burning pain, but some people feel it as more of a throbbing. Although the pain can come at any time of the day, it usually feels the worst after you have been off of your feet for a while, such as when you wake up or after you have been sitting for a good length of time. How is plantar fasciitis treated? If you are unfortunate enough to develop plantar fasciitis, then the chosen treatment will depend on the severity of your condition. Some treatments include night splints, shoe inserts, walking casts, physical therapy and in some cases even surgery. If you have just developed the condition, then you may be advised to rest your feet, take anti-inflammatories and give yourself time to see if it will heal on its own. For the pain, you can get some relief by massaging your feet, especially before you get out of bed in the morning. You can also roll a frozen plastic bottle under your foot to numb the area and help stretch out the tendon. For more information, contact a doctor, such as Dr. Lisa M....

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3 Ways To Manage Hammer Toe And Claw Toe Deformities

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Manage Hammer Toe And Claw Toe Deformities

Hammer toe and claw toe deformities are often attributed to wearing shoes that force your toes into unnatural positions. However, deformities can be caused by injuries and ongoing inflammation due to arthritis. There are conservative approaches to reduce the pain and limitations caused by toe deformities. Buy The Right Footwear Orthotics are your first line of defense to alleviate pressure points on your feet and make walking more comfortable. You may need cushioned inserts to reduce pressure on the balls of your feet. In claw toe deformity, the toes bend upward where they connect to the feet. This causes you to apply more pressure to the ball of your feet for traction, especially if you have deformities in most of your toes. Both claw toe and hammer toe can cause pressure points on the knuckles and tips of the toes. The knuckles of your toes may rub against the top of your shoes, causing significant pressure to occur at the tip of your toes since they point downward. Orthotics designed to cushion the tips of your toes can alleviate pressure, reduce skin irritation and slow the formation of calluses. Shoes with a deeper toe box can prevent the knuckles of your toes from hitting and rubbing against the top of your shoes. If you require orthotics, you may need to buy shoes with a deeper toe box to comfortably accommodate the modifications you need. Consider Exercises Although toe exercises will not alleviate the deformities, exercises may help stretch out shortened tendons that have created the deformity and reduce the feeling of cramping as the deformity progresses. A simple exercise is using your toes to transfer marbles from one location to another. Fill a wide, shallow container with marbles and place the container on the floor. Place an empty container next to the first container, approximately a foot away. You should perform the exercises while seated to maintain your balance. Use your toes to pick up the marbles and drop them into the empty container. You should spend a few minutes each day exercising your toes. Make sure you attempt to use all your toes as much as possible to transfer the marbles. Try Physical Therapy A more rigorous form of toe exercises can be performed by a physical therapist. Depending on the type of deformity you have, your physical therapist will manipulate your toes to help stretch the tendons in your feet. The goal is to elongate tendons that are keeping your toe joints bent, while simultaneously strengthening other supporting structures in your foot. The results of your physical therapy sessions will depend on how long the deformities have been present and the underlying cause of your deformities. In general, if your toes cannot be temporarily straightened with manual manipulation or toe straighteners, the deformity is likely permanent. If the deformities were caused by conditions that affect the nerves in your feet or chronic inflammatory processes, it is unlikely physical therapy alone will have permanent benefits. Both hammer toe and claw toe deformities can cause significant pain and make walking difficult. When conservative treatments do not alleviate the problem, there are surgical options to help straighten your toes and improve your physical function. For more information, contact Affiliated Ankle & Foot Care Center or a similar...

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