What Are Flat Feet?
A flat foot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is not a rounded shape. In childhood, the tendons and ligaments should tighten and support the bones in an arch shape. Improper development in childhood or weakening of the tendons and ligaments can result in flat feet. If you develop flat feet later in life it may also be a result of diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are the Complications of Flat Feet?
Not all patients have symptoms of flat feet, but for some the condition is painful. It can lead to ankle, knee, hip, or even back problems, especially if your gait is negatively impacted. If you are experiencing these symptoms and find your daily life affected, reach out to our knowledgeable staff at Best Foot Doctor NY for a consultation.
What Non-Surgical Options Are Available?
Before considering surgery, your doctor may recommend non-invasive treatments. These include symptomatic treatments such as wearing appropriate shoes, getting custom-made orthotic inserts or foot braces, beginning physical therapy exercises, resting your feet, and taking over-the-counter pain medication.
What Should I Expect in a Flat Feet Surgery?
If these conservative treatments do not reduce your pain and strengthen the ligaments in your feet, you may be a candidate for flat feet surgery. This surgery is somewhat involved, depending on the cause and severity of your condition.
In most cases, the doctor will do at least one of the following:
- move tendons or ligaments and connect them in new places for stronger support
- restore damaged tendons or ligaments
- fuse joints together to prevent shifting
- cut and re-fuse bones
- insert metal screws to hold bones in a new place
These procedures are highly successful and carry very little risk. After surgery, you can expect to stay in the hospital overnight and continue on pain medication for several days or weeks.
You will need to keep your foot immobilized for the first several weeks to ensure the bones grow together appropriately.
Physical therapy will help to encourage the healing process as well as strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments involved. Be sure to closely follow the physical therapy regimen recommended by your physician.
Is Flat Feet Surgery Successful?
Most patients have very successful outcomes, with a noticeable reduction of pain. Rarely, if ever, do flat feet return after surgery.
Will Flat Feet Surgery Change My Height?
Having flat feet does not cause a dramatic difference in your height (a fraction of an inch if at all), so a flat feet surgery does not make you noticeably taller. Depending on the severity and cause of your flat feet, you may notice that you stand up straighter after surgery. That can give you the appearance of being taller.
How Can I Learn More?
For more information contact us at Best Foot Doctor NY. With convenient locations in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, our friendly and competent staff will provide you with the care you need and help you find the treatment option that is right for you!