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

6 Tips to Help Prevent Falls

As we get older, many factors increase the risk of falling including weakening of muscles, vision problems, peripheral nerve damage from diabetes, and poorly fitting shoes. Wearing properly-fitted shoes with custom orthotics can greatly improve balance. Certain medications can also impair balance and not getting enough minerals can interfere with proper muscle functioning. Some simple changes around the house can eliminate tripping hazards. Seeing your foot doctor regularly can help you keep your feet strong and stable.

6 tips to help reduce the risk of falling include the following:

  1. Remove small rugs—Small area rugs can be treacherous. You can easily slip and lose your balance, so throw out the throw rugs.
  2. Install grab bars in the bathroom—Have heavy grab bars installed in the shower and tub areas. Slip and fall injuries often happen in the bathroom, so this improvement is very important.
  3. Improve foot and ankle strength—Improve ankle stability with strength and flexibility exercises. These exercises will also improve your balance and help prevent falls.
  4. Properly secure handrails on stairs—Well-lit staircases and walkways are essential. Make sure handrails are properly secured.
  5. Reroute extension cords—Move wires out of the way of any walking areas.
  6. Have regular eye exams—Another major contributor to falls is having poor vision. Have your eyes checked regularly and get new glasses as needed.

If you have injured your foot in a fall, see your foot doctor 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

Treating a Torn Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon is the largest in your body and makes the connection from your calf muscle to your heel. The stress and pressure of sporting activities like basketball and tennis, where rapid stops and starts are common, can cause tendonitis, a tear, or even a complete break in this tendon. You may hear a snapping sound when this occurs and the pain is very severe. You will not be able to put any weight on your foot and should seek immediate treatment with your foot care professional.

Treating an Achilles tendon injury will depend upon the severity of the damage and includes the following:

  • Immobilize the foot—For an Achilles tendon that is only slightly torn, surgery can be avoided by wearing a rigid walking boot or cast to keep the foot from moving while the tendon heals. The boot will need to be worn whenever you put weight on your foot over a period of weeks and perhaps months.
  • Specially-made orthotic insertsThese devices will help to redistribute pressure away from the heel area to promote faster healing.
  • Surgery—In cases of a complete rupture or severe tear, minimally invasive surgery will be required to reattach the tendon, and the recovery period using the above methods will be much longer.

After the initial recovery period, you will need to slowly strengthen the foot and tendon with physical therapy exercises, being careful not to cause another injury. Lower-impact activities like swimming should be substituted until healing is more robust.

For proper care of an Achilles tendon rupture, be sure to see 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

How Aging Affects Your Feet and Ankles

Your feet and ankles absorb a lot of stress and pressure over the course of your lifetime. It’s to be expected that you will experience more problems as you get older including toe deformities, tendonitis, and injuries like ankle sprains.

Some of the many other effects of aging on the feet and ankles include the following:

  • Decreased balance and coordination—Peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage, primarily affects people diagnosed with diabetes and is characterized by decreased sense of feeling in the extremities especially in the feet and ankles. This can lead to poor balance and an increase in falls and injuries.
  • More frequent skin and toenail problems—Your skin tends to dry out more as you get older with a corresponding increase in calluses and corns. Developing heel calluses or splitting heel fissures can cause extreme pain and lead to infections. Fungal toenail and ingrown toenail problems are also more likely.
  • Arthritic conditions—Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types and often strikes the big toe, middle foot, and ankle joints causing severe stiffness and mobility issues. Gouty arthritis often affects the joints of the big toe when even just brushing a sheet over your toes can cause severe pain.

For all your foot and ankle problems, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Contact the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, who have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

3 Foot Care Essentials for Patients with Diabetes

The peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) caused by diabetes gradually decreases feeling in your feet and also impairs blood circulation. Not only do wounds take longer to heal, but also you may not even notice a cut unless you inspect your feet regularly. Proper diabetic foot care is essential for avoiding complications.

3 essential foot care tips to help decrease diabetes-related foot conditions include the following:

  1. Wear the right shoes—Always protect your feet with properly-fitted shoes. Specially-made shoes that provide extra support and cushioning are available for patients with diabetes.
  2. Daily foot inspections—Peripheral nerve damage causes numbness in your feet that makes it difficult to notice when an injury has occurred. Inspect your feet carefully every day and look for any cuts and scrapes. Treat injuries quickly to help avoid infections. An ulcerating wound can quickly worsen and even require amputation if not treated early and properly.
  3. Wash and dry your feet regularly—Keeping your feet clean and dry will help to avoid bacterial and fungal infections. After washing with a mild soap, dry your feet carefully, especially between the toes where infections can hide.

Properly managing your diabetes can be difficult, so it helps to have a foot care professional on your team. 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

3 Treatments for Foot Warts

Visible warts are not usually very painful, but they have the usual rough, scaly appearance that can be rather ugly. Warts on your feet are usually no larger than a pea, but they can grow up to an inch in diameter. Plantar warts grow on the bottom of the foot in the plantar fascia which is the wide tissue that forms your arch. They are usually hidden under thick skin with just a bump showing the location, so they can be hard to identify and treat.

All warts are caused by a virus, and unless they are totally removed they will often reappear. Embedded plantar warts are the most difficult to treat. It’s important to have them properly identified and removed with the help of your podiatrist to avoid excessive bleeding and other complications.

4 treatments for ugly and painful warts on your feet include the following:

  1. Acid therapy—An acid solution is carefully applied to the wart to remove it in layers.
  2. Liquid nitrogen freezing—This procedure uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart so that it can be easily broken up and removed.
  3. Laser therapy—A high-intensity laser is used to burn away the wart and cauterize the capillaries.
  4. Surgery—A specially made tool called a curette is used to cut away the warts. This is often used in conjunction with other methods.

If you need help treating warts on your feet, see 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

3 Tips To Avoid Getting Painful Blisters on Your Feet

Getting a blister on your foot can be a painful experience, but there are ways to minimize the conditions that can cause blister formation. Blisters are more common during the summer months due to the increased moisture and rubbing that can occur during physical activities like playing sports and exercising. However, these conditions can often be mitigated and prevented.

You can help avoid getting painful blisters on your feet with the following 3 tips:  

  1. Identify and protect hotspots—Cover skin areas that are getting red and irritated with tape, liquid bandage, or moleskin to reduce friction. This will help prevent blisters from forming in the first place.
  2. Always stay properly hydrated—When you aren’t consuming enough healthy fluids throughout the day, your feet can actually become swollen and increase the friction and rubbing from your shoes. Stay properly hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
  3. Wear properly fitted shoes—A major cause of blisters is shoes that are not properly sized and fitted. Always have your feet measured when buying shoes since shoes that are either too tight or too loose can cause rubbing and blistering.

If you develop a blister on your foot, you should try to avoid popping it. Gently squeeze out the fluid by making a small hole with a sterilized needle in the edge of the blister. The remaining skin will help protect the area while it heals. Apply antibiotic ointment and cover with a bandage.

If you have problems with recurring and painful blisters on your feet, see your foot doctor for the proper 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

3 Types of Arthritis That Affect Your Feet and Ankles

Arthritic conditions that cause stiffness, pain, and swelling in the joints tend to develop as you get older. These problems can be particularly debilitating when they strike the feet and ankles. Each of your feet contains over thirty joints, making them a major source of joint pain, discomfort, and mobility problems when arthritis strikes. Be sure to see your podiatrist for the proper diagnosis and treatment.

3 types of arthritis that can cause debilitating pain and stiffness in the feet and ankles include:

  1. Osteoarthritis—This is the type of arthritis that everyone encounters at some point since it comes with the wear and tear of aging on the feet. A lifetime of constant weight-bearing and pounding of the bones and joints in your feet and ankles eventually catches up with you and the cartilage between the joints just wears out.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—This unfortunate disease is caused when your own body attacks the lining of your joints. For some unknown reason, your immune system mistakes the cartilage for an alien invader and proceeds to attack. The eating-away of cartilage causes debilitating injury, stiffness, and pain often in the hands, feet, and toes.
  • Injury-induced arthritis—Joints of the feet and ankles that have suffered a previous traumatic injury, like from a severe sprain, are more likely to be affected by arthritis as you get older, even years after the initial injury.

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from foot arthritis see your foot doctor for the proper 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

3 Ways To Increase Ankle Strength and Flexibility

stretching

One of the possible causes of your legs and feet feeling extremely tired on a regular basis is that you have weak, unstable, and stiff ankles. A variety of physical therapy exercises — when performed regularly — will increase your ankle strength and help prevent falls and injuries. Orthotic inserts and ankle braces can also be used to increase ankle stability.

3 ways to improve your ankle strength and stability include the following:

  1. Calf exercises—The calf raise is an easy exercise that you can perform practically anywhere. All you have to do is just stand on your toes and flex your feet up and down. Do 10-15 reps at a time and pause between sets of three or more. Adding ankle weights will help increase strength faster.
  2. Heel walking—This is also an easy exercise that consists of raising the front of your foot off the ground and moving around using your heels. You can also do this practically anywhere around the house, yard or even workplace.
  3. Orthotic inserts and bracesAnkle braces and other stabilizing devices can help prevent falls and injury and are great treatments for ankle strains and sprains. Custom-made orthotic inserts will improve your walking gait and help build ankle strength.

If you are experiencing problems with weak ankles, 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

Causes of Swollen Feet and Ankles

swollen

Excessive fluid retention and swelling in the feet and ankles can happen from being on your feet all day. For many people, just taking off your shoes and resting with your feet up will allow the swelling to subside. Even sitting for long periods of time such as during bus or plane trips can contribute to fluid retention in the feet. Try to get up and move around periodically to help avoid this. If your feet are staying swollen, it could be a sign of a more serious condition that needs attention from your podiatrist.

Many issues can cause or contribute to swelling in the feet and ankles including the following:

  1. Being overweight—Being severely overweight puts excess pressure on your feet and ankles, making it more likely that they will swell.
  2. Side effects from medications—Blood pressure medications, steroids, and hormone replacement therapy can have the side effect of causing swelling in the feet and ankles.
  3. Poor circulation—Vein and artery problems can decrease the blood vessels’ ability to move fluid, with a resultant swelling of the feet and ankles.
  4. Ankle sprains and strains—Minor swelling often happens even after just a slight twist or sprain. A severe ankle sprain or sports injury can swell the foot considerably.
  5. Pregnancy—Some swelling of the feet is a normal part of being pregnant.
  6. Systemic diseases—of the kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs can increase swelling in the feet and ankles.

If your feet and ankles remain swollen constantly, you may have a serious condition, so be sure to see 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.

How to Treat an Ankle Sprain

Twisting your foot and causing an ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries treated by podiatrists. Just stepping absentmindedly on the curb crossing the street while staring at your phone can have you limping in pain in no time. Ankle sprains also frequently occur during sports and exercise. Treating an ankle sprain correctly is essential for proper healing to occur and to avoid additional injuries that can lead to chronic pain, stiffness, and instability.

Be sure to see your foot doctor if you have a severe ankle sprain for a proper physical exam. Imaging studies such as x-rays or MRI may be needed to check for soft tissue damage and to confirm if there are any broken bones.

Treatment for ankle sprains includes the following:

●      The RICE method: (rest, ice, compression, elevation)

●      Pain relievers like ibuprofen and Tylenol

●      Crutches may be necessary to take the weight and stress off the foot and ankle

●      A walking boot or cast may be required to immobilize the ankle joint while it heals

●      Physical therapy exercises are essential for restoring strength, flexibility, and stability

Preventing an ankle injury from occurring in the first place or preventing a reinjury involves some practical advice like warming up before exercise, and wearing properly fitted shoes that are appropriate for the activity. Custom orthotic inserts can be used to increase balance and prevent falls and injuries.

If you need help treating an ankle sprain, 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 that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM, and Robert J. Leon, DPM 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.