At New Tampa Foot & Ankle, patients of all ages can be treated for injuries to their lower extremities, often with same-day appointments.
Long-time New Tampa resident Stephen Levin, D.P.M., opened New Tampa Foot & Ankle in 2002, moving the practice to its current location off of S.R. 56 in Wesley Chapel (near I-75 in the Cypress Ridge Professional Center) in 2007.
With 20 years of experience in private practice in the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area, Dr. Levin says that what makes New Tampa Foot & Ankle great are the people — both the staff he works with and the patients. “We treat everyone — children through the geriatric population,” he says. “It’s fun and interesting.”
Dr. Levin earned his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland in College Park in 1992. He then obtained his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) degree from the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia in 1996. He completed a two-year medical and surgical residency at Montgomery Hospital Medical Center in Norristown, PA, in 1998, and then moved to Tampa, when he began working in private practice. He is the past president of both the Florida Podiatric Medical Association and the Hillsborough County Podiatric Medical Association.
Brendan Barrett, D.P.M., joined the practice in 2016. Now with two full-time doctors on staff, patients have more flexibility to schedule appointments when it’s most convenient for them. When one doctor is in surgery, the other is in the office.
“Also, from a surgical standpoint,” Dr. Levin says, “We tackle tough cases together.”
Dr. Barrett graduated from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, in 2008, with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology. He earned his D.P.M. degree from the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, OH, in 2013. He then completed a three-year medical and surgical residency at Bay Pines VA Hospital in St. Petersburg and at the James A. Haley VA hospital in Tampa.
Dr. Levin is Board-certified in foot surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Dr. Barrett is Board-qualified, meaning that he has passed the board exams and is in the process of becoming Board-certified.
The office accepts many forms of insurance and also offers in-house financing options.
Everything For Your Feet
Dr. Levin and Dr. Barrett care for people with all kinds of foot, heel and ankle pain. They treat issues such as ingrown toenails, fungal infections, Achilles tendon problems, ankle instability, flat feet, walking deformities, diabetic foot care, arthritic foot and ankle care, geriatric foot care, bunions, corns and warts.
Dr. Barrett explains that it’s rewarding to help people in this way.
“A lot of times, you can give people relief right away,” he says. “For example, with ingrown toenails, it’s a lot of pain, but we can take care of it so a patient is completely pain-free, often within a couple of days.”
The doctors commonly see teenagers with sports injuries, and overuse injuries in teenagers and even children.
The office is completely state-of-the-art, with on-site, digital X-rays, ultrasound and laser technology.
“We’ve upgraded to scanning the foot for orthotics, too,” explains Dr. Levin. “It’s much higher tech than plaster molding.”
Among the many services offered is a non-invasive screening tool for people who are concerned they might have poor circulation in their feet, especially for people who have diabetes or a history of smoking. The doctors use a device called PADnet to compare the blood pressure in the arm to the blood pressure in the upper leg, lower leg and ankle, to determine if circulation is good, bad or severely bad.
New Tampa Foot & Ankle also offers Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT), a method of treating heel pain. In lieu of traditional treatments, such as anti-inflammatory injections or physical therapy, EPAT uses acoustic shock waves to signal the body to increase circulation. Dr. Levin says this allows the area to heal itself more quickly and effectively.
“The technology has been around for one or two decades, but it has become more amenable to an office setting,” he says. “There’s no downtime, no medications and no infections.”
Another major concern for many patients is toenail fungus. “It’s unsightly; it’s embarrassing,” Dr. Levin says, adding that the fungus can be caused by trauma and even by pedicures in unsanitary conditions.
For anyone who wants to be sure their pedicure is clean and sterile, New Tampa Foot & Ankle also has a partnership with an aesthetician who provides medical-grade pedicures in the office.
“Women come in because they’ve had a poorly done pedicure and have gotten a bacterial or fungal infection,” explains Dr. Levin. “We can do their manicure and pedicure here, where everything is sterile and clean and the conditions are controlled, so our patients know what they’re getting.”
Diabetic Foot Treatments
New Tampa Foot & Ankle treats many diabetic patients, who often have poor circulation and nerve damage, need special care for blisters or sores, and need special shoes with more room and protection.
Annette Knecht is a patient who says she has been seeing Dr. Levin regularly for her foot issues related to diabetes since she was diagnosed in 2012.
“I like going there because everyone is very friendly, kind and supportive,” she says. “Dr. Levin is always smiling and gentle. I feel at ease when I’m there.”
Annette says she appreciates Dr. Levin’s approach, where he’ll try the most conservative options first. “For my diabetic nerve pain, he started me on a vitamin regimen,” Annette explains. “It worked, and I didn’t have to go on any more medication.”
Finding You Shoes, Too
Dr. Levin says that some foot problems actually can be solved by wearing the right kind of shoes, so New Tampa Foot & Ankle also carries a full line of Vionic shoes. Men and women can buy everything from dress shoes to sneakers, sandals and even flip-flops, right at the office.
“These are shoes that have an orthotic built into the shoe,” explains Dr. Levin. “They work well for people who have flat- or high-arched feet, or those who experience heel pain. Especially for women, dress shoes don’t typically have great support, but these do, so you can wear a high heel or wedge shoe, and get that built-in support.”
Annette says she does buy her shoes at New Tampa Foot & Ankle. “They seem to work really well with my feet,” she says.
She adds that her “summer shoes” the last couple of months were a pair of Vionic orthopedic flip-flops.
“They’re waterproof and I even wear them at the beach,” she says. “They’re very supportive for my ankles. If I didn’t have them, I’d be barefoot and in pain.”
Dr. Levin says Vionic shoes are sold at other places, but his office offers a better variety. They are currently working to set up a full display in the lobby, where anyone can stop and shop for Vionic shoes. For now, they are sold to the practice’s patients,, so he recommends anyone who thinks they would benefit from the shoes to make an appointment for a consultation.
New Tampa Foot & Ankle is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and is located at 26827 Foggy Creek Rd., Suite 104. For more information, call (813) 973-3535, visit NewTampaFootandAnkle.com or see the ad on page 20 of this issue.