Dear Riverview Office,
I am a 75 year old diabetic and have been a patient of Dr. Michael Fleeter at the Ankle + Foot Center of Tampa Bay in Riverview, Florida since 1995. Since 1995 I have also visited at least 13 other doctors as a patient.
My visits to Dr. Fleeter’s office are quite a comparison to my visits with other doctors. Beginning with the telephone- I can actually talk to a person! There is never a problem with parking. I am greeted by an office staff that is well groomed, efficient, pleasant, personable, compassionate and respectful. I’ve never had to wait unnecessarily passed my appointed time to see the doctor. It appears that the office staff has changed very little in 16 years. All of these things indicate to me that there is good management and respect for a good doctor.
Dr. Fleeter has always cautioned me to take care of my feet. This caution was remembered in January 2011 when I developed a blister on my left big toe. I called Dr. Fleeter’s office and was immediately given an appointment. Dr. Fleeter has worked diligently since to get that stubborn big toe well and it is finally well, as I knew it would be.
Dr. Fleeter has always treated me with respect as a whole person, not just a “Big Toe”. He has explained the treatment he was pursuing, listened to my complaints (even they were not of my feet.) and my “smart remarks”. I respect him as a person and as a doctor and have complete confidence in him.
Posted by: Juanita W.
During September, I began to experience pain in both my heels with the left hurting more than the right. I was using aerobic exercise- 20-to-30 minute sessions five days a week- as a tool to manage stress from my full-time job, and as a defense against osteoporosis as well as a family history of cardiovascular disease for almost 30 years. On weekends, I golfed with my husband. I also enjoyed hiking, walking, dancing, biking and kick boxing. Because of constant, unrelenting heel and foot pain of varying intensity along with muscle spasms and cramping in my legs ( even when my feet and legs were at rest), I was forced to suspend most of my aerobic activities. Finally, the pain became so severe, I sought medical help.
During the following twelve months, under medical advice, I tried generic orthotics, cortisone injections, pain medication, strapping and, finally custom orthotics. On my own, I used daily stretching exercises, alternated my shoes, and applied ice compresses. Although the right foot pain stopped, nothing worked to relieve my chronic left heel pain! To stand or perform domestic duties (cleaning, cooking, gardening etc.) for 30-60 minutes would cause so much pain that it would force me off my feet. I felt like I was walking on broken glass all the time with hot, sharp stabs of pain shooting up through the heel of my left foot and around the sides of my left foot up into my leg. In addition, pain from the pressure of my left heel lying on a mattress or a foot rest would cause me to lay my left foot on its side to relieve some of the pain. Finally, the pain became so severe, coupled with the muscle spasms in my left foot and leg at night, I could not sleep and the quality of my life was profoundly impacted.
I didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, Dr. Rivera did! He explained ESW (Extracorporeal Shock Wave) to me—a procedure which uses very strong sound energy waves to enter the affected area and shock it to generate healing using an Ossatron device.
Since this procedure is painful, I was anesthesized prior to the ESW treatment with the Ossatron at a local out-patient surgery center. It took about 30 min for the procedure. I was told to expect the pain in my left heel to continue for some time after the treatment but that it would gradually go away. (After all, we had tried so many other conservative treatments for almost a year). Imagine my joy and surprise to be completely pain-free within two weeks of the procedure!
That was eight years ago! To this date, June of 2011, I have never experienced one iota of pain in my left heel and foot. This is a truly remarkable procedure for any patient suffering from intense, chronic, heel pain without success from trying other conservative treatments for relief. I unhesitatingly recommend consideration of this treatment with Dr. Juan Rivera as I consider this procedure to be a miracle worker!
Posted by: Dee S.
Dr. Auger and Office Staff,
You were such a great help. Even the girls upfront make you feel like family. They are so caring and helpful. As for Dr. Auger, he is an excellent doctor. I came in with so much pain and I am now not having much at all. When they performed the x-ray the lady was very gentle. Everyone was so professional. It was a great experience.
Thank you so much.
Posted by: Carol B
Dr. Blustein and Plant City Staff,
My husband and I love to hike, particularly moderately strenuous trails in the National Parks. Because of severe arthritis in my big toes, I was forced to limp, in severe pain, during our last hiking trip to Glacier Park in Montana. After barely being able to make it back down the mountain trails, even with the hiking poles and excellent boots, I was told by my husband (lovingly, of course) that if I didn’t make an appointment to see a podiatrist, the Glacier trip would have to be our last hiking venture. Not willing to give up that activity which I so enjoy or the daily fitness walks on the trails throughout our community, I scheduled an appointment to see Dr. Steven Blustein at the Ankle + Foot Center of Tampa Bay in Plant City. The x-rays showed severe deterioration of the big toe joint on my right foot, with not quite as severe damage on the left foot. Dr. Blustein explained that my options were an artificial joint replacement or a fusion of the joint, but that he would not be able to determine the best option for me until he operated and could visually and precisely assess the damage to the joint. He explained the pros and cons of each surgical option, stressing that with the fusion; I would not ever be able to bend the toe joint which would make putting on a hiking boot, and hiking steep trails difficult at best. Being an avid hiker himself, Dr. Blustein understood why I would prefer the artificial joint replacement which would allow bending of the toe, but he made no promises ahead of the surgery…only stressing that he would do what was best once he could actually view the damaged joint. Suffice it to say, due entirely to Dr. Blusteins’s professionalism, his concern for my overall well being, and his superior ability as a surgeon to focus on intricate details; I was able to exit surgery with a wonderful, new bendable toe joint! His follow-up care is at least as good, if not better than his surgical ability. Dr. Blustein called me three times between the surgery on Friday and my appointment with him the following Monday in his office to make certain I was doing OK. Bottom line…my husband and I have a hiking trip scheduled to Vail, Colorado, less than three months after my surgery, and I have already increased my fitness walking speed to 3.6mph. I plan on having Dr. Blustein operate on my left toe early next year and would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Blustein, his friendly staff and capable nursing staff, and Ankle + Foot Center of Tampa Bay to anyone who asked.
Posted by: Christine G.
My experience at the Ankle + Foot Center of Tampa Bay was extremely pleasant, from my first visit to my most recent one. Michelle, the Office Manager, was always very courteous. Knowing how busy I was, she went above and beyond to assist me with insurance questions, and called multiple times to remind me about different things I had to take care of before my foot surgery—from paperwork to blood work. I don’t have enough room here to list all the positive ways in which Dr. Stacie Fessette made correcting my bunion such an awesome experience. From the start, her enthusiasm was unfailing and contagious. My husband and I had so many questions about what the surgery and recovery would be like. Although this was a procedure she had done countless times before, and although there are far more extensive surgeries one could have, she made us feel as though every question deserved the right amount of attention, and that she genuinely cared. Her “bedside manner” was above reproach from beginning to end. I definitely consider Stacie Fessette a “diamond in the rough’ in the medical field. I’d recommend her to anyone looking for a “foot doctor”.
Posted by: Kristen
Dear Dr. LaBohn and Staff,
I want to thank you for all the wonderful treatment and kindness I’ve received over the past many years. I’ll miss you all and I’ll be thinking of you often. I hope I find a doctor in North Carolina as great as you.
Posted by: Fay
My feet were in dire shape…bunions and hammer toes on both. I was honored to have the knowing, expert hands of Dr. Blustein work his magic. From beginning to end he made me feel special by thoroughly explaining procedures, recuperation period and other issues that could arise.
During the procedures, he made sure to keep my husband informed as to what was taking place. After the procedures, he called my home numerous times to check on my progress and to find out if I had any questions.
By listening and following his explicit directions I am on the way to my new and improved “feet Dr. Blustein”. He has the bedside manners that all doctors should learn from and use.
I have recommended Dr. Blustein to friends, family and acquaints. He is A #1.