Flat Feet Correction Surgery
What are Flat Feet?
Fallen arches or flat feet cause pain, discomfort, and swelling in your foot. The arch of the foot absorbs the pressure of your body weight as it hits the ground. It also allows the feet to adapt to different surfaces. Without the arch in your foot, the joints, ligaments, bones, and tendons in your feet feel the extra pressure. They are doing the extra work that your arch is not doing. This places stress on your feet and ligaments, which can tear and cause inflammation.
What Causes Flat Feet?
Flat feet can be a daily inconvenience. Finding out if you suffer from flat feet is essential for your health. This is because treatment is necessary to get as soon as possible. Several factors can cause flat feet. Common causes of flat feet include the following:
- Nerve issues
- Loose connections between joints
- Certain bone conditions (for example, two or more bones joining together)
- Dislocated or broken bones
- Torn or stretched tendons
- Health issues like arthritis, diabetes, and obesity
Flat Feet Symptoms
Those with flat feet will generally have painful symptoms. It may also impact their daily activities, which is a sign of a significant problem. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from flat feet.
- Leg and back pain;
- Difficulty moving your feet;
- Issues standing on your tippy-toes;
- Feet that get quickly tired;
- Aches and pains in your arches and heels;
- Swollen soles on the inside of your foot.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact a doctor to determine whether or not you have flat feet. They can also help with treatment options. The earlier the issue is detected and treated, the better. The condition will only worsen and become more painful as time passes. If you are a parent and notice that your child is having these issues, get them into their pediatrician for an appointment as soon as possible.
If you have contacted your doctor regarding your symptoms, they will be able to diagnose you reasonably quickly. During the appointment, your doctor will look at your feet to see if there are any signs from the outside that you have flat feet. Also, they will conduct various medical tests. You’ll be asked some questions regarding your symptoms and levels of pain and discomfort. The appointment may include an MRI or X-rays so the doctor can get an internal view of your feet. They will also need information about your medical history and any family history of flat feet. If the doctor needs additional information for your diagnosis, they may ask to look at your shoes, run tests on your tendons, and observe your natural movements.
Flat Feet Correction Surgery
Severe cases of flat feet will likely require surgery. This is because it can cause arthritis and weakened tendons, which need to be treated immediately. If your foot pain is affecting your quality of life, surgery is likely necessary. Home remedies cannot address the issue effectively if you are experiencing pain daily. If your doctor recommends surgery, this should be taken seriously and done as soon as possible.
The goal of surgery is to create an arch in your foot. It consists of a procedure that repairs the ligaments and tendons in your foot that support your arch. The surgery should also realign your center of gravity. It can also correct any deformities in your bones if necessary. You will be under general or regional anesthesia, depending on your doctor and the treatment you are getting.
Aftercare and Recovery
The surgery is usually done at an outpatient facility. This means that you can most likely go home the same day. Before you leave, but after surgery, your doctor will put on a cast or splint to protect your foot as it heals. This type of surgery has a long recovery time. For the first few weeks, you will need to keep your foot elevated. After the first few weeks, your stitches will be taken out. However, you cannot put any weight on your foot for at least two months. At that time, you’ll need to walk in a protective boot. When you get to around the ten- or twelve-week mark, you can then begin walking without the protective boot. You may need to use crutches or a cane as you begin putting pressure on it again. Your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist who will help you regain your strength and balance again. Treatment can last a few months, depending on your progress. You’ll need to attend multiple follow appointments with your doctor to ensure your foot is progressing properly.
Foot and Ankle Specialist in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Stein is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in foot and ankle orthopedics. Dr. Stein is focused on getting patients back to health and, most importantly, ensuring that they prevent the same or similar injury from occurring again. The investment in seeing a professional for support, recovery, and prevention is invaluable. Contact Dr. Benjamin Stein for an appointment.