Possible Foot Conditions That May Result From Wearing High Heels

10 Aug 2020 Blog

The potential dangers of frequently wearing high heels may outweigh the appeal of the attractiveness these types of shoes can possess. There are uncomfortable foot conditions that can develop as a  result of wearing high heels, consisting of bunions, hammertoes, and corns. Many of these ailments may be prevented by choosing shoes that fit correctly, and the feet may feel better when the toes are exposed. It is beneficial to treat existing blisters with a protective covering as high heels are worn, and it may help to wear flatter shoes as the healing process occurs. If you would like additional information about how wearing high heels can affect your feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Cycling & It’s Growth In Popularity Since COVID-19

6 Aug 2020 Blog

As the warmer weather hits and with the Covid-19 quarantine, the number of people out biking has significantly increased over the past couple of months. However, there are some things to take into consideration in order to decrease your risk for lower extremity injuries.

One important thing to do prior to starting to bike is to get your bike properly fitted. Whether or not you have had the bike for many years or just bought a new bike, a static and dynamic bike fit is critical to preventing injuries. Bike geometry can significantly impact the forces on your joints. For example, when your pedal foot is in the bottom (6 o’clock) position you should have 25-30 degrees of bend in your knee. If the saddle is too low or forward, it increases the amount of knee flexion while pedaling, which in turn increases the activity of the quadriceps muscles and increases the stress on the knee. If the saddle is too high then there is a decrease in knee flexion resulting in increased hamstring muscle strain. There are many other factors to take into consideration with a bike fitting such as saddle positioning, cleat or pedal alignment, bike size, handlebar position, and many more.  All of these factors should be evaluated by a professional bike fitter as they can vary from person to person as well as the pedal system being used and are essential to decreasing your risk for injury.

Another important component of injury prevention is the shoes or cleats you wear.  The AAPSM recommends recreational riders, who ride with shoes and do not have foot issues, wear more of a cross-training shoe. Regular shoes do not have the support, stability, and rigidity to the arch of the foot that a cross-trainer will have.  Without that support, the arch of the foot will collapse while pedaling, which can lead to pain, tendinitis, and burning in the foot. In addition, a cross-trainer will provide a heel lift that is similar to that of a cycling cleat.

Cycling cleats are designed much differently from regular shoes. They typically have a more rigid shank, which allows for more efficient transfers and helps decrease the stresses placed on the foot from pedaling.  However, the trade-off for the performance is increased pressure in the forefoot and decreased overall comfort. Often cycling cleats run very narrow since many of the companies are European based.  While tighter shoes offer a more efficient energy transfer, they can also cause foot problems. Shoes that are too narrow and/or not deep enough can cause foot pain, blisters, nail trauma, bunions, and neuromas in addition to restricting blood flow to the foot.  Some shoes that run wider or are available in a wide width are Sidi, Bont, Specialized, Shimano, Lake, and Giro. If you have a bunion or wider forefoot, you may want to consider Bont or Lake because the shape of their toe box is more shaped like a foot and less tapered than some of the other brands. When looking for new cycling shoes, it is important to be able to try them on in person and ride in them if possible. You also want to make sure that the insole of the shoe is removable so that you can add an orthotic if necessary.

When it comes to the lower extremity and injuries, the majority of the injuries are due to overuse. These types of injuries can result from a poorly fitting bike, muscle imbalances, and poor training. You should gradually build up your miles and slowly work-up your cadence. If you are getting some pain, focus on shifting to a lower gear with higher cadence. Some lower extremity injuries that can be seen with cycling include:

  • Shin Splints:
    • Potential Cause: Excessive pronation, riding in high gears, improper saddle height, crank is too long, excessive riding.
    • Solutions: Orthotics, stretching, adjust training.
  • Achilles Tendinitis/Plantar Fasciitis (Typically Seen in More Experienced Riders):
    • Potential cause: Over-training, seat height is too low, limb length discrepancy, improper pedaling, old or worn-out biking shoes, muscle stiffness (especially in triathletes who have to run right after the bike).
    • Solution: decreased ride time and intensity, higher cadence with low resistance, orthotics, shim between the shoe and cleat.
  • Metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot):
    • Potential cause: Tight shoes, lack of shock absorption, cleats with a focal pressure area on the foot, poor cleat positioning.
    • Solutions: shock attenuating insoles, proper-fitting shoes with adequate width and toe box size, adjust cleat position, orthotics, change the pedal-cleat interface.
  • Numbness:
    • Potential cause: poor cleat or pedal positioning, improper shoe size.
    • Solutions: Loosen the straps or try a wider shoe, move the cleat back on the shoe more, orthotics, change the pedal-cleat interface.

For more information please call 847.639.5800.

Dr. Bondi has hours at the following locations:

Monday – Hoffman Estates – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tuesday – Edison Park – 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday – Downers Grove – 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday – Hoffman Estates – 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday – Edison Park – 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Signs and Symptoms of Cuboid Syndrome

3 Aug 2020 Blog

The pain and discomfort that is located on the outside of the foot may be indicative of a condition that is known as cuboid syndrome. It can occur as a result of a partial dislocation of the cuboid bone, and may happen for a variety of reasons including a sprained ankle, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or running on uneven surfaces. A common symptom that patients experience from this ailment can consist of pain on the outer edge of the foot, and it is often worse while standing. Mild relief may be found when specific strengthening exercises are performed, and it may help to wear custom-made orthotics. If you have pain in this part of your foot, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who will be able to treat this condition effectively.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Proper Foot Care for Diabetic Patients

27 Jul 2020 Blog

Patients who have diabetes are generally aware of the importance of maintaining proper foot care. There are specific types of foot conditions that diabetic patients can be prone to. These can include neuropathy, foot deformities, and poor circulation. Neuropathy can cause the inability to feel sensations in the feet, or the feet may tingle. It may be difficult to feel a wound, cut, or bruise if this condition develops. Poor circulation can cause a slower healing response to existing infections and cuts. It is beneficial to ensure blood sugar levels are controlled, in addition to inspecting the feet on a daily basis. Applying a good moisturizer may help the feet to remain smooth, and this can possibly prevent cracked heels and calluses from developing. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you manage this condition.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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What is Athlete’s Foot?

20 Jul 2020 Blog

Tinea Pedis, also known as “Athlete’s Foot,” is a fungal infection of the feet. There are many types of fungus that can cause athlete's foot. These fungi live and thrive in moist environments. Consequently, the fungus is commonly spread in shower stalls, locker rooms, and damp footwear. Proper foot hygiene, particularly keeping the feet clean and dry, is one of the key steps to preventing athlete’s foot. The most repeated signs of athlete’s foot can include a rash, pain, itching, and burning feet typically between the toes. If you are experiencing these symptoms it is recommended to consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to provide proper treatment which may include a topical cream, spray, or powder. 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Who Is Prone to Developing Sever’s Disease?

13 Jul 2020 Blog

Children who frequently participate in running and jumping activities may complain about heel pain. It may be indicative of a condition that is referred to as Sever’s disease, which affects the growth plate in the heel. It may become irritated as a result of repetitive motions during specific sporting activities. Parents may notice that their child begins to walk with a limp, and the back of the heel may be swollen. It is beneficial to rest and elevate the affected foot, and it may help to relieve a portion of the pain when the calf muscles are stretched. If your active child complains of heel pain, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat Sever’s disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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What is a Heel Spur?

6 Jul 2020 Blog

There are patients that develop a bony growth on their heel, and this may be referred to as a heel spur. A common symptom that is generally associated with this ailment can include pain and discomfort after arising in the morning. Research has indicated it can form in patients who have plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. Mild relief may be felt when the affected foot is taped, as this may help to provide extra support. Additionally, it can help to rest the foot as often as possible, and to lose existing weight in obese patients. In severe cases, a heel spur can be surgically removed. If you have heel pain that may indicate a heel spur, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Does My Child Have an Ingrown Toenail?

29 Jun 2020 Blog

Common symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness and tenderness surrounding the edges of the nail. If your child complains of toenail pain, it may be indicative of an ingrown toenail. Additionally, there may be a discharge oozing if the nail has become infected, and it may cause severe pain and discomfort. This condition can be the result of trimming the toenails improperly, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. It may feel better when your child soaks the affected toe in warm water, as this may help to soften the skin. If you or your child has an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer the best treatment options.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Plantar Warts Are Caused by a Virus

22 Jun 2020 Blog

Plantar warts develop on the bottom of the feet. They grow into the sole of the foot as pressure is endured from walking during the day, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. They appear as small, hardened areas, and may have black dots in the center. These develop as a result of blood vessels that grow inside the wart. Plantar warts are caused by a virus that lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These types of places can include public swimming pools, shower room floors, and locker rooms. Patients who have a weakened immune system may be prone to getting plantar warts, in addition to people who have a history of developing this type of wart. It is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist if you have a plantar wart, who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Location of Pain Caused by Morton’s Neuroma

15 Jun 2020 Blog

A nerve tissue that has become thickened is referred to as a neuroma. If the tissue that is found between the toes near the ball of the foot becomes inflamed, it is a condition that is known as Morton’s neuroma. It can happen as a result of wearing shoes that are too narrow, or from participating in sporting activities where pressure is placed on the front of the foot. Additionally, it may develop from existing foot deformities that can include flat feet and bunions. A noticeable symptom that patients could have is a burning pain on the sole of the foot, which may travel to the toes. Mild relief may be found when orthotics are worn, and this may give the affected foot the support that is needed as the pressure is reduced. It can be beneficial to avoid wearing high heels, and choosing to wear shoes that are wider in the toe area may be more comfortable. If you have a sharp pain on the bottom of your foot, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat Morton’s neuroma.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Morton’s Neuroma

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