Dr. Nicole Freels, FACFAOM, is a Kentucky native and University of Kentucky alumnus. The granddaughter of Dr. Arthur O. Kelly, a Podiatrist in Portsmouth, Ohio, Dr. Freels grew up on a horse farm in South Portsmouth, Kentucky. She spent much of her time shadowing her grandfather and learning the building blocks of podiatry.
Upon graduating from Lewis County High School she attended the University of Kentucky. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology, she was accepted to her grandfather’s alma mater, the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.
She then completed a comprehensive three-year podiatric surgical residency. She began her training at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs in Mountain Home, Tennessee, and spent her final year with with world-renown podiatric surgeons and pioneers, Drs. Douglas H. Elleby and Alan Shaw and leading wound care specialist and podiatric surgeon Dr. Michael K. Bednarz in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Freels returned to Lexington in 2008 to open her own practice, incorporating the passion for helping others instilled by her grandfather, and experience and expertise she has acquired from training with premiere podiatric surgeons.
Although Dr. Nicole Freels has extensive training in both forefoot (bunions, hammertoes, neuromas) elective surgical procedures and rearfoot reconstruction, she has a special interest in exhausting all conservative treatments before considering surgical corrections.
Because many lower extremity problems stem from underlying biomechanical issues, Dr. Freels specializes in treating these issues through detailed biomechanical and gait analysis (when indicated) during your visit in hopes to prevent surgery.
She takes into account your personal needs, lifestyle, age, occupation and limitations when she designs a comprehensive treatment plan for you.
Dr. Freels has a particular fondness for her patients that have to stand on hard or concrete surfaces all day at work, such as at Toyota, Keeneland, Amazon, Schneider Electric, Tiffany’s, Baptist Health, University of Kentucky Hospital, Saint Joseph Hospital, UPS, USPS and FEDex team members. She loves to work with them because she gets to see such a change in their quality of life, both at work and at home.
They often come in frustrated and debilitated; to the point that the normal work routine has become difficult or taxing for them, let alone being able to enjoy their time outside of work with their families.
In fact, because of Dr. Freels extensive work and dedication to the Toyota team at the Georgetown plant, she has become the ‘go-to’ Podiatrist for their foot health needs.
— Nicole Freels
Residency: James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Foot & Leg Healthcare PMS: July 2005-June 2008
Professional: Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
Date of Graduation: May 2005
Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Biology
Date of Graduation: May 2000
High School: Lewis County High School, Vanceburg, Kentucky
Date of Graduation: May 1995
- Board Certified Fellow, American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine (2014)
- Board Certified, American Board of Podiatric Medicine (2013)
- Board Qualified in Foot Surgery (2008)
- State of Kentucky Licensure (2008)
- DPM: Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine Cleveland, OH (2005)
American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedists & Medicine – Fellow
American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons – Associate
American Podiatric Medical Association – Member
American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine – Member
iRemedy – Medical Advisory Board Member
Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development – Board Member
American College of Sports Medicine – Member
American College of Foot and Ankle Pediatrics – Member
Bartold Biomechanics – Member
Kentucky Podiatric Medical Association – Member
American Association for Women Podiatrists – Member
American Diabetes Association – Member
American Society of Podiatric Dermatology – Member
American Association Podiatric Practice Management – Member
Intra-osseous Ganglion, A Case Study, December 2005
Achilles Tendon Allograft for Lateral Ankle Stabilization, Tennessee Podiatric Medical Association, April 2007
- Chairman, #OperationSoleMate
- Chairman, Heart & Sole Blood Drive
- Lifetime Member, University of Kentucky Alumni Association
- Member, Lexington Celtic Association
- Member, Bluegrass Parrothead Club
- Member, Bluegrass Irish Society
She also works extensively to educate the local community about common foot problems through free foot screenings and educational seminars at area business, clubs, medical groups, schools, churches and charities.
In particular, working with youth through school screenings has been rewarding for Dr. Freels. She loves to be able to help kids and parents see an improvement that they didn’t know was possible through the free screening programs.
She works in conjunction with school nurses, administration, coaches and gym teachers to help identify children or teens that have foot issues, often inherited and un-diagnosed, which ends up having a big payoff for their future. Kids don’t always have pain in their feet while they are young, but the screenings help to identify which children are more likely to inherit their parent’s foot shape (and the pain associated with that).
Dr. Freels also collaborates with several running groups in the community and is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys finding ways to keep the active community ACTIVE.
Dr. Freels has been featured in several podiatry journals and contributed to multiple magazine articles as a leading expert in foot and ankle issues. She is also a frequent columnist for KYForward and Health 360, allowing her to share tips and advice with Kentuckians state-wide. Her passion for foot health education has led her to become a community and nationally recognized resource for the latest in advanced podiatry technology and treatments.
GET TO KNOW THE DOCTOR
Dr. Freels is married with two furry children, named Jenga and Izzy. Her husband, Rob, is a 2000 University of Kentucky Alumnus with a BA degree in Economics. During Dr. Freels tenure in Cleveland, Rob went on to obtain his MBA in Finance & Entrepeneurship from Case Western Reserve University. While Dr. Freels completed her residency, Rob graduated from Eastern Tennessee State University with a Masters in Accounting. He has worked as a Corporate Auditor for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and traveled abroad to the Philippines and Geneva as an Internal Auditor for Lexmark.
Rob is the not only the Lexington Podiatry Practice Administrator, he’s also the comic relief in the office. He takes both roles very seriously (that’s a joke – seriously? See what we did there?).
He and Nicole are always planning for new advancements for the clinic together. They are constantly plotting and scheming for new ways to tweak this or improve that. They spend their free time in their garden, at the farmer’s market, scuba diving, scouring the town for new restaurants, spending time with friends and family and traveling.
- Favorite Book: The Four Hour Work Week
- Favorite Food: Smashed Red Grapes. Just kidding, ask her! It changes daily!
- Favorite Quote: “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
- Favorite Travel Spot: Asheville, North Carolina — The Grove Park Inn!
Dr. Nicole Freels also has developed and brought to market her own line of boutique, all-natural skin care products to honor her grandfather and mentor, Dr. Arthur O. Kelly. The entire Doc Kelly’s Apothecary line is antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.