Whether present at birth or acquired as an adult, flat feet can cause you significant pain and can eventually affect your mobility. The medical team at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio in Mentor, Chardon, Westlake, Bedford and Garfield Heights, Ohio, are experienced at the surgical and nonsurgical correction of flat feet, using a variety of up-to-date methods. For a consultation about your flat feet, call or book an appointment online today.
Flat Feet Q & A
What is a flat-foot deformity?
A flat-foot deformity, or pes planus, is a condition of the foot where the arch is not sufficient to support the foot during walking. This condition affects about 20-30% of the population, and can be caused by a congenital defect or can be an adult-acquired flat-foot deformity (AAFD).
The arch of the foot is made up of a complex system of nerve, bone, ligament, tendon, and muscle. The arch’s support gives you the ability to walk and run effectively, with a strong base for balance, landing, and creating forward momentum.
When the integrity of these elements is changed, it can lead to a loss of arch support and flat-foot deformity. Usually, flat-foot is symptom-free, but over time the tension caused by lack of support can cause further damage and pain. Corrective treatment will be needed to preserve or restore mobility.
What causes flat feet?
The medical team at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio takes a thorough health history, performs a physical exam, and takes X-rays to determine the underlying cause of your flat-foot condition.
Causes of flat feet are:
- Congenital (or birth) defects
- Stretched or torn tendons
- Nerve damage or neuropathy
- Fractured or malformed bones
Conditions that contribute to or cause adult-acquired flat feet are pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and post-tibial tendon dysfunction.
What treatments are available for flat-foot deformity?
Your treatment plan will be determined by the underlying cause of your condition. The medical team utilizes nonsurgical methods initially, if appropriate.
- Orthotics or braces
- Physical therapy
If these treatments do not resolve or improve your symptoms, surgical intervention can be necessary. The goal of surgical correction is to repair ligaments, tendons, and muscles; and to fix bone deformities.
Subtalar joint implants are one possible method for flat-foot correction. This minimally invasive method can be used for either pediatric or adult-acquired foot deformity, to stabilize the joint and prevent progression of flat-foot deformity.
For a consultation about how Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio can surgically or nonsurgically correct your flat-foot deformity, call or book an appointment online today.