ETL Podiatry

Experienced Podiatric Care in Queens and Melville, NY

Melville Office: (631) 549-8637

801 Walt Whitman Rd. Melville, NY 11747

Briarwood Office: (718) 657-8921

84-75 Main St. Briarwood, NY 11435

Arthritis and Other Age-Related Foot and Ankle Problems

The average person will walk the equivalent of four times around the planet during a lifetime, so you need to take good care of your feet as you age to provide the best foundation for an active retirement. While arthritis is one of the most common conditions that affects the feet and ankles as we age, there are a variety of other problems that can be mitigated or prevented with proactive foot care.

Some common foot and ankle issues that often occur with aging include the following:

  • Arthritis—There are several types of arthritis that affect the feet and ankles, with the most common being osteoarthritis. This condition is caused by the wear and tear on your joints and results in joint inflammation, pain, and immobility, especially in the ankle and big toe joints.
  • Balance and coordination issues—Nerve disorders such as peripheral neuropathy from diabetes can cause a lack of feeling in the feet that can interfere with balance and coordination.
  • Skin problems—Skin dryness that accompanies the aging process can lead to cracked heels, corns and calluses. Abnormal looking skin lesions may be a sign of skin cancer and should be evaluated immediately.
  • Toenail fungus and ingrown toenailsThicker and more brittle nails can become common as you age, and may be the sign of an underlying fungal nail infection. Thickened nails become more difficult to trim properly, and that can lead to an ingrown toenail problem.
  • Loosening of tendons and ligaments—The loss of strength and flexibility in the connecting tissues of the feet and ankles often causes tendonitis and fallen arches.
  • Fluid retention—Cardiovascular disease and hormonal changes can contribute to swelling of the feet and ankles.

If you are experiencing foot and ankle arthritis or other age-related foot and ankle problems, consult with your board certified podiatrist for the best care. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (718-657-8921).

Prevent Falls To Avoid Ankle Sprains

It’s important to raise awareness of the risk of ankle sprains and other severe injuries or even death that can occur from falls, especially in older adults.

Falls are a major cause of injury in individuals over 65 years old, so knowing how to prevent falls is very beneficial to staying healthy, to say the least. Many older individuals also suffer from the bone loss of osteoporosis. This condition affects over 60 million people in the US alone. It causes a weakening of the bones and makes them more likely to break in a fall, often resulting in injuries including sprained ankles or other severe problems such as those occurring with compound fractures.

How to prevent falls

To minimize bone loss and help reduce the risk of falling and permanent injury, there are a variety of steps you can take that will help. Some of these include the following:

  • Consume a high calcium diet. Yogurt and broccoli are excellent sources.
  • Adequate vitamin D in the diet and through sunlight and/or supplements is also essential to preventing bone loss.
  • Do daily exercise to strengthen the muscles, tissues and tendons surrounding your foot and ankle bones. Exercise also helps improve flexibility and balance.
  • Install railings, floor lighting, and remove any tripping hazards such as extension cords to make your home safer.
  • Smoking cessation is essential for the optimum good health of your bones and the rest of your body.
  • Avoid alcohol because it causes dehydration and instability that may lead to a severe fall.
  • Consult with your foot doctor about any balance problems and consider using custom orthotic insertsand specially-designed shoes that can help improve ankle stability and overall foot comfort.

If you need help determining ways to increase the strength of your feet and ankles to avoid falls and ankle sprains, schedule an appointment with the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY. They have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Severe Hammertoes Often Need Surgery

While there are many non-invasive options available for treating the complications created by hammertoes, often a toe that is particularly badly bent out of the normal position will require a surgical procedure to straighten it when conservative measures prove to be ineffective.

Hammertoes are categorized as either flexible or rigid. The type of affliction determines what type of surgery will be required. Your foot surgeon will realign the toe joints to decrease abnormal contractions. This will also allow the toes to remain straight when standing and walking.

The two most common types of hammertoe surgery include:

  • Fusion surgery—As the name suggests, with this type of surgery the joint that is bent in the wrong position is actually modified or removed and the bones are fused together with hardware and screws. The ligaments and tendons around the toe are also modified or repaired to achieve the desired result. With flexible hammertoes, the severing and reattaching of a tendon from the top of the toe to the bottom can help achieve the alignment objectives.
  • Resection of joints—This type of surgery is used mostly for inflexible hammertoes and involves removing the end of the joint and using hardware to reattach it in the correct position.

What to expect after hammertoe surgery

Hammertoe surgery is quite often performed on an outpatient basis, which means that you will be able to return home on the same day. As with any surgery, the healing process can take six weeks or longer and involves a physical therapy and exercise program to ensure the best recovery outcomes.

If you are suffering from hammertoes that may need surgery, make an appointment with your foot doctor. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Prevention & Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

When the edge of your toenail grows into the soft, tender skin on the side of your toe, it can be extremely painful and may possibly lead to a serious infection that can spread. One of the primary causes of ingrown toenails is cutting the nails too short and rounded. Instead, it is always best to cut straight across and to leave the nail a little on the long side. Wearing shoes that are too tight (like high heeled pumps) can cause a poorly-trimmed nail to push harder into the skin and lead to an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail will include pain, redness, swelling where the edge of the nail penetrates the skin, tenderness to touch, and a yellow, smelly discharge that may be the sign of a fungal infection.

Preventing ingrown toenails

Preventing this condition starts with always cutting your toenails straight across, and not rounded on the sides. Wear shoes that are supportive but not too tight, and ensure that there is plenty of room in the toe area for your feet to move without rubbing. Your shoes should always be appropriate for the activity you are doing to help prevent injuries.

Treating ingrown toenails

Warm water foot soaks and elevation to take the pressure off the toe can help relieve swelling and pain. You can carefully lift up the edge of the nail and insert a small piece of cotton to help redirect the nail growth. If you notice any signs of pus or redness accompanied by increasing pain, it should be treated promptly to avoid spreading the infection to the underlying tissue and bone. In some severe cases, your foot doctor may need to remove the infected nail completely so that a new one can grow. This can usually be performed in the office with a local anesthetic, and the recovery period is quite fast.

If you are experiencing the pain and discomfort of an ingrown toenail, see your foot care specialist for the best care. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).