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

Foot Surgery

In most cases, foot surgery is often chosen as the last-available option for conditions that have otherwise been unsuccessfully treated. Surgery may be necessary for several reasons, including the removal of foot deformities (e.g. bone spurs or bunions), arthritis problems, reconstruction due to injury, and congenital malformations (e.g. club foot or flat feet). Regardless of one’s age, foot surgery may be the only successful option for treatment for certain conditions.

The type of surgery one undergoes depends on the type of foot condition the patient has. For the removal of a growth, such as a bunion, a bunionectomy is necessary. If the bones in the feet need to be realigned or fused together, a surgical fusion of the foot is needed. For pain or nerve issues, a patient may require surgery in which the tissues surrounding the painful nerve are removed. Initially, less invasive treatments are generally attempted; surgery is often the last measure taken if other treatments are unsuccessful.

While in many cases surgery is often deemed as the final resort, choosing surgery comes with certain benefits. The associated pain experienced in relation to the particular condition is often relieved with surgery, allowing patients to resume daily activities. The greatest benefit, however, is that surgery generally eliminates the problem immediately.

Podiatry history has shown that foot treatments continue to evolve over time. In the field of foot surgery, endoscopic surgery is just one of the many advancements. As technology vastly improves, so will the various techniques in foot surgery, which already require smaller and smaller incisions with the use of better and more efficient tools. Thanks to such innovations, surgery is no longer as invasive as it was in the past, allowing for much faster and easier recoveries.

The Stunning Truth about High Heels

corns2When Victoria Beckham chose to stop wearing high heels, it was because of the pain and discomfort wearing heels over long periods of time caused. High heels are harmful to the body in that “they make us contract our calves, balance on our toes, and stick out our backsides.” High heels force us into an unnatural gait, impacting the skeleton and the feet. Refrain from wearing high heels, especially as you age, as our footpads become less adept to handling unnatural poses in uncomfortable footwear.

High heels can create a myriad of foot and ankle problems. For assistance, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity.  Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

What parts 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. Also, 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; you can buy either full inserts or metatarsal pads.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about the effects of high heels.

Effect of High-Heels on the Feet

For hundreds of years, women have been wearing various kinds of high-heels for aesthetic reasons. Women who wear high-heels appear to be taller and have longer and thinner legs, and the wearer’s gait and posture changes. Though high-heels have had an association with femininity and have kept them popular over the years, there are definite health problems caused by wearing them too frequently.

The motion of the ankle joints is limited when heels are worn. The ankle joint is very important to the body when it comes to walking. Because of their location, these joints have a great deal of weight put on them. Thus, it is very important to keep them as healthy as possible. The Achilles tendon is the main tendon in the ankle. Wearing high-heels too often, studies have shown, can cause the calf muscle and Achilles tendon to shorten and stiffen. This can cause problems when shoes without heels are worn.

By putting a great deal of pressure on the ball of the foot and by forcing the toes into a small toe box, high-heels can cause or may worsen many foot problems. These include corns, hammertoe, bunions, Morton’s neuroma and plantar fasciitis.

Not only does wearing very high-heels regularly have negative effects on the feet, the rest of the body can suffer as well. The knees, one of the most important joints in the entire body, can be affected by wearing high-heels.  High-heels causes the knees to stay bent all the time. Also, it can cause them to bend slightly inward as well. Doctors believe that women can suffer from osteoarthritis later in life because of constantly walking like in high-heels. By limiting the natural motion of the foot during walking, high-heels also cause an increased in stress on the knees.

Similarly, high-heels can cause the back to go out of alignment. If high-heels are worn constantly, the spine’s ability to absorb shock can cause continued back pain. They can compress the vertebrae of the lower back, and can overuse the back muscles.

However, this is not to say that high-heels can never be worn. If worn occasionally and not often, they will not cause serious problems. They should not be worn every day. It’s important to wear them modestly to avoid the long-term physical health problems of the feet, knees, ankles, and back mentioned above.

Plantar Fasciitis Caused by the Irritation of the Plantar Fasciia

plantar-fasciitis6If you feel pain along the underside of your foot, it may be because you have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is characterized by pain that can occur anywhere along the plantar fasciia, the “thick band of fibrous tissue” running along the bottom of your foot. The plantar fasciia acts as support for the foot’s arch and absorbs shock as we do physical activity on our feet. Plantar fasciitis commonly flares up during the mornings and can be treated by taking a break from activity, resting the feet, changing footwear, taking anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy, wearing a night splint, surgery, or taking corticosteroid injections.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

 The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches across the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue becomes inflamed, causing heel pain and discomfort during physical activity. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start becoming effective.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by a number of everyday activities, so understanding the condition is important for managing and treating it. One of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is excessive running, especially with improper fitting or non-supportive shoes. Too much exercise can lead to the plantar fascia being overworked and overstretched, which can cause tears in the tissue. Along with improper fitting shoes, pronation, the rolling of the feet inward, is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. If not treated properly, the plantar fascia becomes overstretched and starts to tear, causing inflammation.

Despite the common causes of plantar fasciitis, there are many different treatment options. For less severe cases, conservative home remedies include taking anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain, applying ice packs to the bottom of your foot and heel, slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue, and using orthotic devices are all ways to help manage your plantar fasciitis.

For more severe cases, shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy can effectively break up the tissue on the bottom of your foot which facilitates healing and regeneration. This fights the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Even if this doesn’t work, surgery is always a final option. Surgery on the tissue itself can be done to permanently correct the issue and stop the inflammation and pain in your heels.

No matter what the case may be, consulting your podiatrist is the first and best step to recovery. Even the slightest amount of heel pain could be the first stage of plantar fasciitis. Untreated symptoms can lead to the tearing and overstretching of tissue. Because the tearing of tissue can be compounded if it remains ignored, it can evolve into a severe case. The solution is early detection and early treatment. Talk to your podiatrist about the possibilities of plantar fasciitis if you’re experiencing heel pain.

New Smart Socks Help Detect Diabetic Foot Ulcers

diabetic-foot-care4Thanks to research conducted by the Nottingham Trent University and Siren Care, new technology has been developed for the treatment of diabetic feet. The technology involves a pair of electronic smart socks which are able to prematurely detect and identify diabetic foot ulcers in diabetic patients. Electronic sensors in the socks are able to alert its user to the problem before it progresses. The socks were created to treat diabetic patients who suffer from neuropathy, the loss of sensation.

Diabetics must pay special attention to their feet to help prevent any complications. If you believe you are having problems with your diabetic feet, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including 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 because 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 Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetic Foot Care

Millions of people are affected by diabetes each year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in all parts of the body, especially the feet. The legs and feet may develop slow blood flow, which causes neuropathy, or nerve damage. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is important that the feet are well taken care of. Otherwise, the lower limbs may have to be amputated. This only happens in drastic cases, but it shows how seriously diabetic foot care should be taken.

It is very important to always wash and dry the feet thoroughly, especially in between the toes, if you’re a diabetic. Secondly, examining your feet and toes for redness or sores must be done, even if you do not feel pain.  You may also want to examine your feet from the bottom. Try to avoid wearing colored socks to prevent infections that may occur from the dye. Well-fitting socks are also highly recommended.

A diabetic’s physician should always monitor their blood levels to test how well blood sugars are being maintained. In addition to giving advice about everyday eating habits and foot care, a physician may prescribe medicine to help with the diabetic patient’s neuropathy. It is also advised to see a podiatrist if experiencing any feet conditions. Toenails may also need to be taken care of by a podiatrist. This prevents patients from cutting too deeply around their cuticles, which can lead to infection.

A person can take care of their feet at home by following the instructions of their physician. Using creams on one’s feet is also an effective way to heal dryness. Proceed with caution when using tools to remove calluses, as severe diabetics may not be able to feel pain on their feet. If any complications arise do not hesitate to contact a podiatrist.

On a daily basis, diabetic feet must be checked. If you are ever concerned about something, contact your health care professional. You never want to wait until a wound becomes too severe to treat. If left untreated, gangrene may develop. Gangrene is a serious infection that can lead to sepsis or amputation. It is also important for diabetics to be on the lookout for ulcers. Ulcers are sores that develop from tissue loss on the skin. They can be quite painful and require intensive treatment. Early treatment and everyday inspection are imperative to staying healthy.

Orthotics Offer Additional Benefits in Addition to Foot Support

orthotics5Orthotics offer many different benefits in addition to support for your flat foot. According to chiroeco.com, orthotics can also help straighten the back and alleviate back pain. Other benefits orthotics also offer include improving the “musculoskeletal efficiency and sports performance.” The custom biomechanics of orthotics allows for better absorption of force exerted onto the feet as we do physical activity. Orthotics does this by supporting the foot’s arches and pronation movements.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct over arched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you, or if you have a more severe foot issue, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and more severe heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses, and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist on the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain free.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Orthotics

Ankle Foot Orthotics For Athletes

Ankle and foot orthotics, known as AFOs, are custom-made inserts. They are shaped and contoured to fit inside a shoe and used to correct an irregular walking gait or provide cushioning. Orthotics come in a variety of different models and sizes, including over the counter and customizable variants. Customizable ones should be prescribed through a podiatrist who specializes in customized footwear and orthotics design and management.

AFOs are often used by athletes including track and field runners, cyclists, professional dancers, ice skaters, and even golfers. They benefit a lot from custom made AFOs by preventing injuries from occurring and providing cushioning to keep pain levels down to a minimum. Ankle foot orthotics allows for the correct positioning of the feet. Orthotics also acts as shock absorbers to help keep pressure and stress off the foot and ankle. They can also relieve back pain and hip pain while restoring balance and improving an athlete’s performance.

The way they help alleviate pain is by controlling the movement of both your feet and ankles. They are custom designed by a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist to help treat foot problems. These problems include flat feet, spurs, arthritis of the ankle or foot, ankle sprains, weakness, and drop foot, a condition in which the patient cannot raise their foot at the ankle joint.

With custom orthotics, a patient will go through a complete examination of the foot and ankle. This is followed by the ankle and foot being cast and fitted for the proper orthotic. Depending upon the final result of the tests, a stretching treatment is created with specific shoe fitting in mind. After a patient has been fitted to the shoes, adjustments can be made in order to get the perfect fit. Evaluations are then usually set up to monitor the patient in the coming weeks to see how they are adjusting.

AFOs are also available over the counter and are more common than custom fit ones. Athletes that have generally low aches and pains in the foot, ankle, or lower back area can use an over the counter version of these orthotics. Weight is distributed evenly throughout the bottom of the foot thanks to the arch support they give. However, when an injury or ailment occurs, it is usually not enough to try and remedy it with an over the counter version. In either case, a podiatrist will be able to offer the best advice and treatment when it comes to foot and ankle orthotics.

Barefoot Running As Possible Treatment for Flat Feet

flat-feet5For those who have flat feet, running barefoot may help strengthen muscles in your arch and ankles. Those who do a lot of physical activity or run often may experience their flat feet lacking pronation, when the arch compresses to help with shock absorption as force is exerted on the feet. The force is instead shifted to the ankle or up along the calf or knee. Treatment options for flat feet include custom orthotics, over-the-counter insoles, and motion-control running shoes to help correct your flat feet condition.

Having flat feet can create a myriad of foot and ankle problems. For assistance, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.

Symptoms:

Pain around the heel or arch area

Trouble standing on the tip toe.

Swelling around the inside of the ankle.

Flat look to one or both feet.

Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Flat Feet