Flatfoot Repair: Arching Your Fallen Arches
It’s long been a staple of pop culture that having flat feet could debilitating and could keep you out of military service. It is something that is often misunderstood and can be seen as a strange condition that keeps you from living a normal life, and something that only a very few people have. In reality, up to 60 million Americans- nearly a quarter of the population!- suffers from some degree of flat feet. It’s ubiquity isn’t cause for celebration, though: while not debilitating, flat feet can be a cause of chronic foot pain.
Flat feet, are sometimes referred to as fallen arches. On most feet, there is a natural curve which prevents the entire foot from touching the ground. This isn’t the case for someone who has flatfoot. Up to the whole bottom of the foot is in contact with the ground. There are actually a few benefits to this, contrary to popular opinion, but they are often times outweighed by the negative effects.
For one thing, the alignment of your foot is off. The feet are very tough, but also surprisingly fragile and well-balanced appendages. Something slightly wrong leads to stresses and pressure in other areas (think of how you compensate when hurting an ankle, for example) and this can lead to long-term difficulties with your feet, ankles, knees, and legs- and even your back.
Flat fee are also definitely not all created equal. Flat foot deformities can be dominated by particular joints; the mid-foot joint may collapse down or point outwards, your heels may roll in (often called over pronation), etc. Also, you can have a flexible flatfoot that undergoes a lot of motion with a dramatic difference in arch height between sitting and weight bearing, or you can have a more rigid flatfoot, which is essentially flat all the time. These variations of flatfeet can have dramatically different effects of your foot and rest of the body, and need to be carefully evaluated.
Several options for flatfoot repair
Luckily, there are several options available for people with flat feet. They include:
- ● Custom Orthotics. Shoe inserts can help to correct some cases of flatfoot
- ● Braces in some kinds of flatfoot
- ● Physical therapy can sometimes help strengthen the foot and muscles acting on the foot
- ● Different kinds of shoe wear
- ● Surgery
Surgery is typically reserved for people who are experiencing chronic foot and ankle pain, and who have difficulty in daily activities. The surgical options vary depending on the type of deformity. They can be as simple as an implant into a particular join, or more complex involving the reconstruction of the bones in the foot. At the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports
Medicine, we make sure that we go through every option to find the flatfoot repair choice that works best for your specific situation.
If you are suffering from flat feet and looking at options for flatfoot repair, please come in and see the dedicated staff at the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Contact us to find out more!