What Is A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine?
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) is the medical specialist for the foot and ankle. Podiatrists are licensed to diagnose and treat conditions of and relating to the foot and ankle. Treatment can be medical, surgical, or biomechanical. (Biomechanics is the study of how the foot and leg function when the foot contacts the ground.) The podiatrists’ extensive knowledge of biomechanics allows them to alleviate many conditions with conservative therapy rather than surgery. However, when necessary surgically trained podiatrists have the capability to fix the most complex foot and ankle conditions. For more information on our local Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY, please continue reading this informational page.
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Candidates for admission to Podiatric Medical Schools are expected to complete baccalaureate degrees before admission. As with institutions granting MD (medical doctor) and DO (doctor of osteopathy) degrees, the colleges will consider candidates who show unusual promise and have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours at accredited undergraduate colleges or universities. About 95 percent of all first-year students entering the colleges of podiatric medicine possess baccalaureate degrees, and about 10 percent have master’s degrees.
Applicants for admission are required to complete the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as a prerequisite. The course of instruction leading to the DPM degree is four years in length. The first two years are devoted largely to classroom instruction and laboratory work in the basic medical sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and pathology. During the third and fourth years, students concentrate on courses in the clinical sciences, gaining experience in college clinics, community clinics, and accredited hospitals. Clinical courses include general diagnosis (history taking, physical examination, clinical laboratory procedures, gait analysis, biomechanics, and diagnostic radiology), therapeutics (pharmacology, physical medicine, orthotics, shoes, and prosthetics, surgery, anesthesia, and operative podiatric medicine.
After completing the four-year course and receiving the DPM degree, the graduate is required to complete postdoctoral work before state licensure.
Postdoctoral and Continuing Education
As they near graduation, prospective podiatric physicians seek postdoctoral residency programs. These programs, designed to strengthen and refine the practitioner’s medical, surgical, biomechanical and /or orthopedic skills, are based in hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). These programs are at usually two or three years in length and may extend to four years.
Following residency, the podiatric physician may enter practice or continue their education through Fellowships in specialized areas of study.
Podiatric Physicians are licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to treat the foot and its related or governing structures by medical, surgical, mechanical, or other means. In addition to private practices, they serve on the staffs of hospitals and long-term care facilities, the faculties of schools of medicine and nursing, as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces and US Public Health Service, in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and in municipal health departments. Many podiatrists today are also part of group medical practices.
Special Areas of Practice
In its continuing efforts to protect and improve public health and welfare, APMA has recognized and approved two specialty boards that certify in three areas: podiatric orthopedics, podiatric surgery, and primary podiatric medicine. These boards confer certification on a podiatric practitioner who has satisfactorily passed written and oral examinations and has demonstrated knowledge and experience in his or her chosen specialty.
Those boards are the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine and the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.
Our staff and Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY at Great Neck Family Foot Care maintain a high level of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of the following foot and ankle conditions. If you are currently experiencing pain in your feet or ankles, please do not hesitate to contact our offices at (516) 482-5999 to schedule an appointment. The best path to a full recovery is early diagnosis and treatment.
Recent Blog Posts From Our Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY
6 Reasons Your Feet Smell Bad
Foot odor, or bromodosis as it is known in the medical field, is an embarrassing problem and one that patients come to us for at Great Neck Family Foot Care, a Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY. Stinky feet generally have to do with perspiration. Sweat is odorless but when it mixes with bacteria it creates a foul smell. With over 250,000 sweat glands in your feet there is plenty of opportunity for sweat and bacteria to meet. There are a number of reasons why this happens:
- Hygiene—if you don’t clean your feet daily or you re-use your socks without laundering them you greatly increase the chance of smelly feet.
- Hyperhidrosis—with this condition, your feet sweat excessively and the sweat gets trapped in the glands (rather than quickly evaporating) where it has a greater likelihood of mixing with bacteria and causing stinky feet.
- Hormones—during times of hormonal change, such as puberty or pregnancy, you are more prone to foot odor
- Lifestyle—believe it or not, stress can cause foot odor as can the use of alcohol or drugs
- Medication—certain medications are linked to body odor.
- Bacterial or fungal infection—athlete’s foot and other infections can cause foot odor.
What You Can Do
If foot odor is an ongoing problem, consult one of our board certified Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY, Dr. Alec Hochstein or Dr. Diana Gagliano. If there is a medical reason for your bromodosis it will be necessary to treat the source of the problem. There are also some steps you can take on your own. Make sure that you wash your feet daily and dry completely. You can try spraying feet and shoes with a foot spray or even a regular underarm deodorant. Wear cotton socks and change them more than once a day if your feet are prone to excessive sweating. You can also try soaking your feet in tea or Espsom salts and water to help dry feet and eliminate bacteria.
Contact Our Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY
For more information on how to care for your feet, contact our Great Neck office. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from getting to our office, ask about a home visit.
Runners Beware: Common Foot Complaints
Running is definitely a great way to get and stay in shape, but at Great Neck Family Foot Care, our Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY sees many runners for a variety of complaints. Some foot disorders associated with running can be prevented by wearing well-fitted shoes specifically designed for running. Other foot problems just come with the territory. Among the ones we see more often are:
Ingrown Toenail—this may surprise you but toenail problems occur frequently for runners because of the constant pounding of the toes, particularly the big toe, against the front of the shoe. Discolored nails are common and usually harmless but an ingrown nail can quickly sideline you. When a nail starts to grow into the skin, it will be painful and look red and swollen. Once the nail punctures the skin, an infection can develop. If you notice these symptoms, you can try soaking the affected foot in warm water and gently massaging the nail. If this doesn’t work or you notice any kind of pus or drainage (a sign of infection), call a podiatrist at once.
Plantar Fasciitis—an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the long band of tissue that stretches along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes, can happen from overuse or if you have flatfeet or another mechanical issue that puts pressure on the plantar fascia. Our board certified Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY, Dr. Alec Hochstein and Dr. Diana Gagliano will evaluate the pain in your arch and heel and then prescribe the appropriate treatment. In some cases, a little rest and icing will take care of the pain but long term solutions may include orthotic inserts for your shoes and stretching exercises as part of your warm up.
Achilles Tendonitis—this condition most often happens if you increase your running speed or distance too quickly or if you spend an excessive amount of time running hills or stairs. Achilles tendonitis can cause pain, swelling, aching and stiffness in the calf and back of the lower leg. You may need to switch to a low-impact sport for a while to give your tendon a chance to heal. Braces and orthotics may be suggested to prevent Achilles tendonitis in the future.
Blisters—a seemingly minor concern but blisters can be painful and also become infected if not treated properly. If a blister forms on your foot, cover it with a bandage. Don’t pop it but if it pops on its own, apply an anti-bacterial ointment and cover with a bandage until it is healed. Avoid blisters by replacing running shoes when they are worn out and wearing socks that don’t bunch up inside your shoes. If a blister develops that appears to be filled with pus or blood, call the foot doctor.
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10 Ways to Protect Your Feet from Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease that makes your bones weak and more likely to break due to loss of calcium. With 26 bones in each of your feet, this is a disease that our Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY at Great Neck Family Foot Care believe is important to educate our patients about. In fact, unexplained stress fractures in the feet can be a sign of osteoporosis.
The pain of a stress fracture may not be severe and can be constant or come and go depending on activity. That’s why it’s important to bring any pain in your foot to the attention of one of our podiatrists, Dr. Alec Hochstein or Dr. Diana Gagliano either in our office or through a home visit. Our foot doctors will be able to diagnose your pain and prescribe the correct treatment.
Fortunately, there is much that you can do to help prevent osteoporosis before any breaks occur. Here are 10 simple ways recommended by the National Osteoporosis Foundation to help protect your bones:
- Get more calcium in your diet: milk, yogurt, cheese and certain green vegetables such as bok choy and kale are all good sources.
- Consider a calcium supplement if your diet doesn’t provide an adequate amount (your doctor can tell you what your daily intake should be).
- Make sure you are also getting enough vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.
- Choose juices, cereals and other products that are fortified with calcium and Vitamin D.
- Walk, dance, hike or do other weight-bearing exercises.
- Find out from your doctor if you should have a bone density test.
- Eat a well-balanced diet, which include 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day—obesity can increase the risk of bone fractures from osteoporosis.
- Add muscle-strengthening or resistance exercises to your fitness routine.
- Don’t smoke.
- Limit alcohol to no more than 3 drinks per day.
Contact Our Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY
If you have questions about the health of your bones or other ways to be proactive about your podiatric health, contact our Great Neck office by calling: 516-482-5999.
Treating Stress Fractures
Stress fractures in the feet, tiny surface cracks in the bone, can be a puzzling ailment to patients. They may feel pain in the front of their foot, somewhere between the toes and middle of the foot, but it comes and goes. As time goes on, the connection is made that the pain is worse when standing or walking or doing any athletic activities and better with rest. There may some swelling or bruising on either the top or the bottom of the foot.
Who Gets Stress Fractures?
At Great Neck Family Foot Care, our Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY often see stress fractures in athletes. Suddenly increasing the length or speed of a workout routine, changing playing surfaces, or having poor training techniques or improper footwear are all possible causes of stress fractures. However, non-athletic patients get stress fractures too, particularly those who have osteoporosis or another disease that weakens the bones. Sometimes even changing your favorite pair of shoes may mean less shock absorption in the forefoot and can result in a stress fracture.
It usually takes 6-8 months for a stress fracture to completely heal. Our board certified Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY, Dr. Alec Hochstein and Dr. Diana Gagliano will determine the best plan for treating your fracture. There are a number of non-surgical methods of treatment including:
- Casting—depending on the location and severity of the fracture, a foot cast may be necessary to ensure that your bones stay in the correct position to heal.
- Changing footwear—shoes designed with a fracture brace, wooded-soled sandals or other stiff-soled shoes may be recommended to limit stress to the foot.
- Modifying activities—during the healing period you will not be able to participate in activities that put pressure on your foot. You can ask the podiatrist about alternative activities such as swimming, but don’t resume any exercise activities, even low-impact ones, without your foot doctor’s approval.
In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.
Contact Our Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY
Stress fractures do not have to be a major medical issue if treated early and allowed to heal completely and properly. If you are concerned that you may have a stress fracture in your foot, contact our Great Neck office today for an appointment or, if you are unable to get to us, our Podiatrist in Roslyn, NY will come to you—ask about a house visit.