Flat feet can be one of the most on-again, off-again worries when it comes to your feet. It can be visible when you’re a child, but odds are you will grow out of it. Even if you don’t, there’s a good chance that it will never cause you any discomfort or problems. The chance always remains, however, that flatfoot can become a painful or troublesome condition. When that happens, we first try conservative measures such as orthotics and physical therapy to find relief. If they don’t work, though, or if the case is just too severe, then corrective surgery becomes an option.
The goal of flatfoot surgery is to realign the foot to increase its stability and function. It is reserved mainly for patients who face pain and difficulty doing normal activities after other attempts at treatment have been unsuccessful. The patient’s age, activity level, and other conditions must also be considered. Those with diabetes or poor circulation, for example, might face complications if they undergo a procedure.
There are different types of corrective procedures for flat feet, but they can mostly be separated into two groups: those that concentrate on correcting the bones and those that concentrate on correcting tendons and ligaments. Examples include cutting into the heel bone to shift it or replacing the posterior tibial tendon with a tendon from the toes.
Recovery times will vary depending upon the procedure but usually require the use of crutches for up to 12 weeks. If your work doesn’t require a lot of standing and walking, you can often return to it in about 2 weeks.
Surgery is a serious consideration, and one we will take great care in discussing with you. If your low arches have been causing you pain and you want to learn all your options for comfort, contact Carolina Podiatry Group at (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster and (803) 548-FEET (3338) for our Fort Mill location.