The feet and ankles provide the most support to our body during any activity. If there is any pain or discomfort in your feet, it can have serious negative effects on the rest of your body and your ability to perform most actions. From walking to driving to exercising, foot pain caused by issues can make these activities nearly impossible.
Having flat feet is one of those foot conditions that can do chores and running errands exceedingly difficult. People with flat feet will need to make adjustments to prevent having difficulty walking or moving around. It may be necessary to attend physical therapy sessions, get an ankle brace, or even get reconstruction surgery after having your flat feet diagnosed.
Our expert podiatrists understand patients’ challenges with fallen arches at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute in Saratoga Springs, UT. We have great methods to treat flat feet and relieve pain so that you can do so and return to your daily life without discomfort.
What Are Flat Feet?
Those who have flat feet lack an arch at the bottoms of their feet or have a very small arch. That means that the arch bones of your feet are consistently very close to the ground when you are standing and walking. Factors such as genetics, poorly fitting shoes, and some activities may prevent some individuals from experiencing the tightening of the tissues and ligaments in their feet that create the arch during their childhoods.
For some people with flat feet, the condition does not affect them in any meaningful way. Other individuals, though, who have had flat feet develop, especially in their adult years (adult-acquired flatfoot), may be seriously affected by the condition. It needs a variety of different treatments, including:
- Physical therapy
- Strengthening exercises guided by a physical therapist
- Foot orthotics and shoe inserts
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Custom-designed arch supports
- Flatfoot reconstruction surgery
What Are Flexible Flat Feet?
Flexible flatfoot is a condition that is very common in children. Those who have the issue will appear to have an arch when the child is sitting, but the arch will disappear once the child stands. For the most part, children with flexible flatfoot are not bothered by it, and it does not affect the child’s ability to walk or participate in sports. There is usually no pain or discomfort either. It is not typically until the child is about five years old that they will develop a normal arch, but some kids never develop arches. They will then be adults with flat feet.
Medical Issues Associated with a Flat Foot Condition
Whether you were born with flat feet or developed in adulthood due to wear and tear, obesity, Rheumatoid arthritis, Diabetes, or an injury, developing flat feet can lead to pain, discomfort, issues with walking or mobility, foot deformity, and other complications.
Because the arches in your feet play such a critical role in the well-being of your feet and body, you may develop serious medical issues because of the flat feet. You may not be able to distribute weight throughout your legs and feet properly; you will likely feel every step since a fallen arch does not provide any cushion or shock absorption, and you may have a gait issue.
Some other medical conditions that may develop as a result of the symptoms of flat feet include:
- Tendonitis in the Achilles tendon
- Arthritis in the feet or ankles
- Overpronation (when your foot rolls inward)
- Shin splints
- Posterior tibial tendon issues
- Plantar fasciitis
These issues may all be causing pain and discomfort because of the flat feet issue. For some, a less invasive treatment plan may be the way to relieve the pain, but others may need something more dramatic. You will want to discuss your options with orthopedic surgeons to ensure that the chosen surgical procedure is the best option.
Is Surgery Necessary to Relieve Foot Pain Related to Flat Feet?
A few different surgical procedures may be chosen to correct your flat feet, depending on your specific condition. The chosen flat feet surgery will be based on the cause of your condition, the actual makeup of your ankles and feet, and which symptoms need to be treated in the affected foot.
In general, surgery is to be avoided if at all possible. Most physicians will try non-invasive treatment methods and at-home remedies before going extreme to treat flat feet with surgery. However, surgery may be the answer if other nonsurgical treatment methods have not worked and the patient is still in inconsistent pain to the point where they cannot function normally.
Risks and Benefits of Flat Foot Surgery
Like all surgeries, there are risks and benefits. As far as risks are concerned, the following are the most prominent:
- 6 to 8 weeks of painful recovery followed by physical therapy
- Quite a bit of time spent in a cast post-op
- High risk of blood clots and potential nerve damage
- If the incisions or bones do not heal properly, the condition could worsen
Fortunately, there are plenty of benefits to consider when surgery for flat feet. These include:
- Having a permanent solution to flat feet
- Relatively low risk compared to other surgeries
- No need for ongoing treatment or maintenance once healed
- Mobility restoration
- Ability to get back to your normal activities
With these benefits, it makes sense to discuss having flat feet surgery performed to find the pain relief you need.
Contact Our Saratoga Springs, UT, Podiatrists Today!
It is time to get some relief for those dealing with the pain and discomfort of flat feet. Contact Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute in Saratoga Springs, UT, for professional treatment to help you live comfortably again. Call us at 801-756-4200 to schedule your appointment today!