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Flexible Flatfeet

Foot Ankle Surgery

What is flat feet & how to cure flat feet?

What Is Flatfeet?

Flatfeet is often a complex disorder, with diverse symptoms and varying degrees of deformity and disability. There are several types of flatfeet, all of which have one characteristic in common: partial or total collapse (loss) of the arch.

Other characteristics shared by most types of flatfeet include: "Toe drift", in which the toes and front part of the feet point outward The heel tilts toward the outside and the ankle appears to turn in A tight Achilles tendon, which causes the heel to lift off the ground earlier when walking and may make the problem worse Bunions and hammertoes may develop as a result of a flatfeet.

Flexible Flatfeet:

Flexible flatfeet is one of the most common types of flatfeet. It typically begins in childhood or adolescence and continues into adulthood. It usually occurs in both feet and progresses in severity throughout the adult years. As the deformity worsens, the soft tissues (tendons and ligaments) of the arch may stretch or tear and can become inflamed.
The term "flexible" means that while the feet is flat when standing (weight-bearing), the arch returns when not standing.

Symptoms:

Symptoms, which may occur in some persons with flexible flatfeet, include:

  • Pain in the heel, arch, ankle, or along the outside of the feet "Rolled-in" ankle (over-pronation)
  • Pain along the shin bone (shin splint) General aching or fatigue in the feet or leg Low back, hip or knee pain.

Diagnosis:

In diagnosing flatfeet, the feet and ankle surgeon examines the feet and observes how it looks when you stand and sit. X-rays are usually taken to determine the severity of the disorder. If you are diagnosed with flexible flatfeet but you don't have any symptoms, your surgeon will explain what you might expect in the future.

Non-surgical Treatment:

If you experience symptoms with flexible flatfeet, the surgeon may recommend non-surgical treatment options, including:

  • Activity modifications: Cut down on activities that bring you pain and avoid prolonged walking and standing to give your arches a rest.
  • Weight loss: If you are overweight, try to lose weight. Putting too much weight on your arches may aggravate your symptoms.
  • Orthotic devices: Your feet and ankle surgeon can provide you with custom orthotic devices for your shoes to give more support to the arches.
  • Immobilization: In some cases, it may be necessary to use a walking cast or to completely avoid weight-bearing.
  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy: Ultrasound therapy or other physical therapy modalities may be used to provide temporary relief.
  • Shoe modifications: Wearing shoes that support the arches is important for anyone who has flatfeet.

When is Surgery Necessary?

In some patients whose pain is not adequately relieved by other treatments, surgery may be considered. A variety of surgical techniques is available to correct flexible flatfeet, and one or a combination of procedures may be required to relieve the symptoms and improve feet function.
In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the feet and ankle surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the x-ray findings, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.