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

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.

Skin Growths on Your Feet Could Be Cancerous

Skin cancer is often associated with sun exposure. However, cancer can even affect areas of the body that don’t usually suffer from the effects of excess ultraviolet light, like the feet and ankles. Growths on the skin can be cancerous, and since they can look a lot like other skin conditions, you should have your suspicious looking moles, warts, blisters, etc. properly inspected.

Some of the skin cancers that can affect your feet include the following:

  • Potentially deadly melanoma—Melanoma growths begin on the top layer of the skin and then proceed inward. But, since they don’t spread very far on the surface, their malignancy can go unnoticed until the cancer has reached your circulatory and lymphatic systems. At this point, the cancer can spread throughout your body and become quite deadly. These cancers can also grow under your toenails where they look like toenail fungus, so be sure to see your foot doctor for proper identification.
  • Squamous cell cancer—The painless but sometimes itchy bumps that are characterized by this type of skin cancer can have a very similar appearance to warts. Always have an evaluation done by your foot doctor.
  • Basal cell growths—This is one of the least aggressive types of cancer since it tends to stay in the surface area without spreading very far inward. However, if left untreated, it can cause disfigurement and nerve cell and muscle injury. This cancer can also mimic psoriasis and eczema, so get it checked out.

Always see your foot doctor for any growths on your feet to help prevent cancer. The foot doctors 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.

Why Does My Heel Hurt?

Heel pain has many causes. Heel pain can even make you alter the way you walk, causing gait abnormalities that can radiate pain and other problems to your knees, hips, and back. While some causes of heel pain (such as heel spurs) can be alleviated by changing to different footwear, you should always see your podiatrist for pain and discomfort that lasts more than several days.

Some common causes of heel pain include the following:

  • Achilles tendon injuryThis tendon is the largest in your body and it connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. Debilitating pain and swelling in this tendon from excessive exercise and sporting activities are very common and need to be promptly treated by your foot doctor to avoid a possible severe tear or rupture.
  • Plantar fasciitisThe wide band of tissue that forms the bottom of your arch is called the plantar fascia. When this tissue becomes stretched or even torn due to excess stress and pressure, the result is severe discomfort. The pain is felt in the arch and can also be felt in the heel where the plantar fascia inserts into the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis often first exhibits as morning pain in the heel that decreases when you put weight on your foot. This condition can quickly worsen without prompt attention.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome—A large nerve that travels behind your heel in an area called the tarsal tunnel can become injured or diseased, causing a painful burning and tingling feeling. This condition can have similarities to other causes of heel pain, so be sure to see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment.

If you are experiencing heel pain, 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.

2 Common Misconceptions Regarding Broken Toes

Many people have potentially damaging misconceptions on what one should do about broken toes. It’s very difficult to determine the true severity of a toe injury without the help of your foot doctor. For example, a poorly treated broken toe with a break or stress fracture can heal improperly, requiring more aggressive treatment at a later stage.

2 misconceptions about broken toes include the following:

  1. If you can walk on your foot, then your toe isn’t broken— A common toe injury is a stress fracture that often causes only intermittent pain. Continuing to walk on a foot with a broken toe can make the injury progressively worse, and you may not notice what is happening until considerable damage has been done. This is especially true for patients with diabetes who often have trouble feeling pain in their feet and ankles.
  2. A broken toe will heal all by itself, so there’s nothing to worry about—This misconception is unfortunately all too common. Whenever you suffer an injury to your foot, you should always take the time to have the situation properly evaluated to avoid causing further problems. Rest the foot and let any swelling subside so you can get a better idea of the damage. If you continue to experience swelling and pain into the second day, you need to see your podiatrist for a proper exam and treatment. For severely bent or fractured toes, surgery may be needed.

If you need help treating a broken toe, 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 Prevent Ingrown Toenails

The rather common condition of ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and debilitating. Because the sharp edge of the toenail often cuts into the skin, you can develop fungal toenail and bacterial infections. In many cases, an ingrown toenail could have been avoided by practicing some simple, proactive measures.

You can help prevent ingrown toenails with the following 3 methods:

  1. Proper cutting technique—The primary cause of ingrown toenails is improper cutting technique. Always strive to trim the nails straight across and a little on the long side so the nail edge is beyond the tender skin of your toes. Use the correct clippers when cutting toenails to help avoid injuries and nail splitting.
  1. Foot protection—Stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on your foot can contribute to ingrown toenail formation. You can avoid these injuries by wearing protective shoes with steel toes. Properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box will also allow your toes to stretch so they are not pushed together as they are with pumps.
  1. Wear supportive shoes with proper arch support—Overpronation occurs when your arch is not properly supported. The excess pressure from the abnormal foot movement can push the toenails into the edge of your toe. Be sure to have any gait or arch problems evaluated by your foot doctor and use custom orthotic inserts to direct pressure away from the toes and nails.

For the pain and discomfort of ingrown toenails, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and care. The specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Dr. Geoffrey Epstein, Dr. Matthew Tavroff, Dr. Stuart Leon and Dr. Robert Leon are 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 Methods for Treating Bunions

Bunions are a very common foot problem but since they tend to progress so slowly many people ignore them until the big toe is severely bent with a large bump protruding on the side or top.

The tendency to develop bunions is largely inherited but wearing improperly sized or tight fitting shoes like high heels can increase bunion formation.

3 excellent treatments for bunions include the following:

  1. Stretching and strengthening therapy—Physical therapy exercises will increase the flexibility of the tendons and strengthen the toe muscles. Towel scrunching exercises are an excellent method that involves simply standing on a small towel and scrunching your toes back and forth fifteen or twenty times for each foot.
  2. Wear properly sized and fitted shoes—To keep bunions from rubbing on your shoes, wear properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box to accommodate the bunion bumps. Having enough room around the bunion will also help to prevent painful corns from developing on the bunion.
  3. Use custom made orthotic inserts and braces—Orthotic shoe inserts and specially made braces will spread the toes apart to promote straightening and to prevent rubbing and blistering. Larger straightening braces can be worn at night and will help to pull the big toe into the proper position.

Treat bunions early since they become more rigid and painful over time. Surgery may eventually be needed to straighten out the big toe and reduce the size of the bunion bump.

If you need help treating bunions, 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 of Geoffrey C. Epstein, D.P.M. Matthew J. Tavroff, D.P.M. Stuart B. Leon, D.P.M. Robert J. Leon, D.P.M. 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 Common Causes of Ingrown Toenails

toes

Ingrown toenails are a common problem that causes swelling, redness, oozing, and intense pain where the edge of the toenail pushes into your tender skin.  It’s common for a bacterial or fungal toenail infection to form, causing yellowing and fluid discharge that frequently has an unpleasant odor. When a toenail has gotten particularly out of control, it’s always best to seek treatment from your podiatrist for the proper care.

3 of the most common causes of ingrown toenails are:

  1. Improper toenail cutting technique—This is probably the predominant cause of an ingrown toenail. Cutting the nails too short and too close to the toes can allow the edge of the nail to start growing into the skin.
  2. Toe injury—Dropping something heavy like a laptop computer on your toe or accidentally stubbing your toe can cause an injury that can damage the nail and cause it to grow into the soft, tender skin.
  3. Wearing shoes that are too tight—Tightly-fitting shoes like high heels push your toes together and press on the toenails, increasing the chances of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment for ingrown toenails may consist of the following:

  • Edge lifting—Try to lift up the edge of the toenail where it is hitting your skin and insert a small piece of cotton to hold it up and away from the skin. This will direct the nail to grow out over the skin instead of directly into it, but it will take a couple of weeks.
  • Nail removal—For severe ingrown toenails, your podiatrist will have to cut away the nail to stop the continuing damage and pain.

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from ingrown toenails, see your podiatrist for the proper treatment. 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.

How To Treat a Painful Foot Callus

Experiencing the rough skin on your feet that is caused by a callus can be uncomfortable and unsightly and can make it difficult to walk without extreme pain and discomfort. Small calluses can often be treated by shaving the hardened skin with a pumice stone or file. This will also allow moisturizers to penetrate more deeply.

Since safely removing the dead skin of large calluses on your feet can be hard to do without causing an injury, see your podiatrist to properly remove this cracked and hardened skin.

Treatments for calluses on your feet include the following:

  • Custom orthotic shoe insertsCustom made inserts can be created to fit to your precise foot shape to direct pressure away from the heel and ball area where calluses are frequently a problem.
  • Shaving the skin (debridement)—Your podiatrist will carefully remove the dead skin using a special tool without causing any unnecessary bleeding.
  • Acid peeling chemicals—Prescription formula salicylic acid solution can be used to soften the skin and make it easier to remove the callus. These stronger acids are much more effective than the kind available at retail establishments. Your foot specialist can combine this treatment with the debriding procedure for more complete removal of the calluses.
  • Surgery—For severe cases such as in situations where an underlying toe abnormality like a bunion is causing the callus, your foot surgeon may need to correct the toe abnormality first. Large calluses or heel fissures may also require a surgical procedure to provide relief from pain and discomfort.

If you need help treating calluses 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 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.