Welcome to Our Practice

Our physicians provide foot and ankle care in the Tri-County area including: Berkley, Southfield, Royal Oak, Oak Park, and Ferndale.

Drs. Hoffman, B. Kissel, C. Kissel, Schey, Ungar, and Weitzman provide quality, comprehensive foot and ankle care to patients in Berkley and the surrounding communities. Combined, they have over 100 years of experience in podiatry and a genuine concern for patients. In adddition, the NorthPointe Foot & Ankle staff is dedicated to promptly attending to your comfort and care.

This web site provides you with an overview of our practice and the field of podiatry. As you navigate the site, you'll find information about our practice philosophy, physicians, office location, insurance policies, and appointment scheduling procedures. Please browse the site at your convenience and contact us with any questions. You can also schedule an appointment by clicking here.

Should your care require surgical intervention, we are on staff at many area hospitals including:

Surgical Foot Correction - Visit our Educational Video Section


Feet and Frostbite
Take care during the winter months to avoid frostbite. It takes only minutes for exposed skin to become frostbitten if the temperature is below 20 ºF and the wind is blowing at 20 mph or more.
 
Body tissues actually freeze when they are frostbitten. Ice crystals form in the cell, causing physical damage and permanent changes in cell chemistry. When the ice thaws, additional changes occur and may result in cell death. If just the skin surface is affected, it's known as superficial frostbite; deep frostbite affects underlying tissues.
 
Avoiding Frostbite 
It is easier to prevent frostbite than to treat it. If you must go out in bitter cold, be prepared. Here are five common sense precautions to ensure that your winter outings end safely:
  • Dress appropriately. Light, loose, layered clothing provides both ventilation and insulation. Top your outfit with a water-repellent (not waterproof) fabric.
  • Protect your head, hands and feet. Substantial heat loss occurs through the scalp, so head coverings are vital. Mittens are warmer than gloves, and two pair of socks (wool over lightweight cotton) will help keep your feet warm.
  • Don't drink or smoke before going out into the cold. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine leave the skin more prone to thermal injury.
  • If you get wet, get inside! Remove wet clothing as quickly as possible.
  • Check yourself every half-hour or so for signs of frostbite. If your toes, fingers, ears or other body parts feel numb, get inside.
Treatment
Frostbite can be a very serious cold injury. Seek medical care promptly if you suspect frostbite has occurred. If medical care is not readily available, follow these "do's and don'ts" for first aid for frostbite:
 
Do’s
  • DO get the person into a warm room as soon as possible.
  • Call for medical assistance. You can also give the person warm drinks, such as broth or tea.
  • DO rest the injured areas
  • Avoid walking on frostbitten feet, for example, and elevate them slightly.
  • DO take off any wet or restrictive clothing.
  • DO warm the area
  • Immerse the area in warm water (NOT HOT water) for at least 30 to 45 minutes, or until the affected part feels warm and sensation returns.

Do NOT
  • DO NOT do anything that will further injure the tissue.
  • Leave blisters intact, and cover them with a sterile or clean cloth.
  • DO NOT rub the area with your hands, with snow, or with anything else.
  • DO NOT start to warm the affected area if there is any chance that it will be exposed to the cold again.
  • DO NOT use dry heat, such as from a heating pad, sunlamp, fire, or radiator, to try to warm the area. Because the skin is numb and will not feel the heat, it can easily be burned by dry heat.
Frostbite is a very serious injury that can involve significant damage to the feet. Therefore, prompt diagnosis and proper treatment by a podiatric physician is essential.

High Heel Stress
Holiday and New Year’s celebrations are occasions where we wear our finest fashions.  However, the desire to look good sometimes comes with the aches caused by high heeled shoes.
 
Many high heeled shoes for women have pointed toe boxes. The narrow toe box squeezes the toes and the heel height causes a shift in the body column that must be compensated for by the foot.  These issues generally cause aches and soreness of the feet and back, and can often result in sprains or other complications.
 
The doctors of NorthPointe Foot & Ankle have a few suggestions to share with anyone wearing high heels for special occasions:
  • Minimize the amount of time in the shoes.  Wear boots or other comfortable shoes on your way to the event and return to those comfortable shoes as you depart.
  • Place shoe pads in the inside of the shoes for added support and comfort for the ball of your foot.
  • Consider bringing “purse slippers” – or compact slippers – that are designed to fit in a small purse.  Slip those on as aches begin.
  •  A heel height of ¾ inch to ½ inch is usually well tolerated.
  • Consider shoes with an ankle strap or other ankle support to avoid sprains.
Standing barefoot, the falling line of body weight normally forms a perpendicular angle with floor. The body weight is distributed 50-50 between the heel and the forefoot. The moment any heel elevation is applied to the shoe, the normal 90 degree perpendicular of body weight is altered. The higher the heel the greater the body column change.
 
The muscles, ligaments and various body joints associated with the body column and foot system must make compensatory changes with the elevated heel. If these compensatory changes were not made by the body then the elevated heel would cause our body to fall forward. The toll on the body can lead to leg, back and foot aches.
 
With heels, increased bowing of the arch on the bottom of the foot can lead to a contraction or shortening of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the ligament that helps support the arch of the foot. Overtime the fascia can become vulnerable to strain or tearing when lower heels are worn or with aggressive walking or running. High heeled shoes may look very fashionable, but prolonged and extensive wear can lead to many disabling deformities ranging from low back pain to foot pain.

Boot Buying Tips

It’s time to check last year’s boots for proper fit and examine their condition.  Chances are, it is time for a new pair.  When shopping for any footwear, keep in mind protection, support, and comfort, in addition to the style. The podiatrists of Northwest Podiatry have this boot selection advice to share:

  • Be sure boots are insulated and waterproof. Even if the boot maker says the boots are waterproof, still treat the pair with a waterproofing product. The body has to work harder to compensate for moisture, so try to minimize as much foot moisture as possible.
  • Select natural material, like leather, that allows proper airflow and keep feet dry.
  • Although rubber boots will keep you dry, rubber does not breathe.  Make sure that any rubber boots purchased are fully lined to help absorb foot moisture.
  • Boots with rigid shaped soles limit natural foot movement and provide little, if any, arch support.  Cushioned insoles and arch supports could be added.
  • The best traction is received from boots with a rubber sole and deep grooves.
  • Styles with narrow toes and high heels often cause pain and numbness.  Select a lower heel or stacked style for additional support.  Choose a style with plenty of toe room, a firm heel counter and traction to ensure stability.
  • To provide warmth, ski sock liners are a way to keep feet warmer without adding bulk.  Liners are worn under regular socks.
  • Above all – listen to your feet.  If a boot is not comfortable, the footwear selected is not the best.

Shopping tips:

  • Try boots on later in the day as feet tend to swell throughout the day.
  • Try the style on with the thickness of socks you expect to be wearing with the boot.
  • Most individuals have two different size feet.  Buy for the larger sized foot.
  • Boots should feel comfortable as you try them on.  No “breaking in” period should be necessary.