Healthy Connections - On your feet redefining foot and ankle care
February 12, 2021
“I was a runner all through high school and college,” recalled Gene Scales, of Kenosha. “I can’t run anymore, but thank God I can walk. I’m very grateful for that.” Scales, who has been diagnosed with diabetes, suffered an injury on his right foot that wouldn’t heal. His first specialist thought the problem was superficial, but Scales wasn’t sure. His primary physician suggested a second opinion from Dr. Antonio “Tony” Montemurro, a podiatrist with the Froedtert South Medical Group. After examining Gene's foot, Dr. Montemurro determined that it was infected. He worked with a team of colleagues at Froedtert Kenosha and Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospitals to restore blood flow to Gene’s foot. Then he performed surgery to remove the source of the infection. “I’m very grateful to Dr. Montemurro because he pursued it,” Gene said. “He would not let it go. He knew that it was not superficial, and he persisted until he found the problem.”
CARE YOU CAN TURN TO Branden Sellers, of Silver Lake, who has also been diagnosed with diabetes, feared he was about to lose all the toes on his left foot. “I was at the point where I didn’t know where else to turn,” he said. Branden turned to Dr. Montemurro, who prescribed a series of treatments until he found one that worked. “He took a more conservative approach,” recalled Branden. “I ended up losing one toe, but I could have lost them all. And, as a whole, I’m doing a lot better than before.” “Anybody who tells me that they have problems with their feet,” said Lori Hunt, of Bristol, “I tell them they need to go see my podiatrist. He’s awesome.” A manager for a global IT firm, mother of two, and grandmother of four, Lori has an active life, despite a series of foot and ankle problems – all of them successfully treated by Dr. Montemurro. "He is the doctor that, if I lived somewhere else, and my feet were hurting,” said Lori, “I would come back for him to fix my feet.” All three patients agreed on what sets Dr. Montemurro apart from some of the other physicians they’ve seen: he listens. THE ONLY PATIENT HE HAD “Dr. Montemurro took my case very personally,” said Gene. “He took his time. He was never in a rush. When I was there, it felt like I was the only patient he had.” “He listens to you, and he helps you understand what’s going on,” Lori agreed, “and he helps you resolve your issue.” Those words are music to Dr. Montemurro’s ears. "If there’s one thing that I want my patients saying about me,” said Dr. Montemurro, “it’s that I listened to them.”
PATIENTS AS PEOPLE A Kenosha native, Dr. Montemurro suffered a serious foot and ankle injury as a teen, and wasn’t satisfied with his specialist. “He made me feel like he was doing me a favor,” Dr. Montemurro said. That experience led to four years of pre-med, four years of medical school, then three years of residency, performing countless ankle and foot surgeries at one of Chicago’s busiest hospitals, before Dr. Montemurro returned home to Kenosha County as a podiatrist in the Froedtert South Medical Group. “I’m treating patients as individuals” said Dr. Montemurro. “When I go into a room, it’s a separate relationship. I use that word relationship intentionally. I don’t want them to think that I’m doctor, they’re patient. I make sure their questions are answered, and that I haven’t missed anything.” PATIENTS NOTICE "He’s able to relate,” said Lori. “He listens to patients, so he can understand where they’re coming from, then he explains what’s going on at a level they can understand.” “At times when I was discouraged,” recalled Gene, “Dr. Montemurro encouraged me to just have faith and trust that he was going to do all that he could do. And he did. He pursued it until he got to the bottom of it. I’m here today and I’m doing fine.” Patients say Dr. Montemurro’s sincere commitment to patients extends to his entire staff. “They are great people,” Lori said. “They are so understanding. They’re very easy to talk to. They don’t make you feel like a patient. They make you feel like a person.” “His staff is wonderful,” agreed Branden. “I’d recommend them to anyone who needs help resolving their problems.”
INVENTING SOLUTIONS Dr. Montemurro’s ability to listen to patients has given him special insights into what they need – insights that have helped him develop significant improvements in the care of ankle and foot problems nationwide. “I’ve come up with a portfolio of different inventions,” said Dr. Montemurro. “Foot and ankle products that are starting to be used by other physicians.” His first product is a unique plate that provides superior support for severely fractured ankles. “I’ve put in over 20 of them,” Dr. Montemurro said. “It just came out a few months ago, and it’s being used all over the country.” Dr. Montemurro has six other inventions in development. All his inventions undergo extensive testing and trials before receiving approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. “I love doing surgery,” said Dr. Montemurro, “but to see other people using something that I invented, is an absolute thrill. It really is.” LEADING EDGE CARE CLOSE TO HOME Dr. Montemurro said, “Patients are where I get the ideas. When I listen to someone, that’s when I’m learning.” And he believes his inventions say something about the leading edge care patients can get every day, close to home, right here in Kenosha County. “I don’t think people realize how many amazing physicians there are here,” Dr. Montemurro observed. “My inventions are being used by other people in my field. And that’s showing what Kenosha County can produce.” But Dr. Montemurro’s patients are already perfectly aware of what Kenosha County can produce. “When someone finds Dr. Montemurro,” said Gene, “they find a great doctor, a doctor who cares, a doctor who’s going to try to do everything he can to help his patients.”
Antonio Montemurro, D.P.M., is a podiatrist with the Froedtert South Medical Group, specializing in podiatry, diabetic foot care, and minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery. Dr. Montemurro practices at Prairie Ridge Clinic.