The treatment option that’s recommended for your case of flat feet depends on the severity of the condition.
Feet come in many different shapes, the primary of which is a standard arch shape, which ensures that the rest of your leg receives the amount of support that it requires. While the arch is the most common foot shape, a couple of additional shapes include the high-arch and flat foot, both of which are considered to be deformities.
However, the flat foot shape doesn’t usually cause any overt issues. It’s possible, however, for the lack of an arch to lead to the development of pain and swelling around the middle area of the foot, which may require surgery to correct. If you’re considering all of your treatment options, one that should be at the top of your list is a surgical flat foot correction.
What Is a Flat Foot?
Flat foot is a common foot shape that occurs when the arch of a person’s foot collapses, which means that the entire underside of the foot is flat. Most individuals who are affected by the flat foot condition begin to suffer from it at birth. However, an injury or trauma can also cause the arch to collapse among older teenagers and adults. Most infants have flat feet at birth and develop arches throughout early childhood.
If you’ve been diagnosed with having flat feet, you may not even require treatment for the condition. It’s typically possible to find shoes that will accommodate the unique foot structure, which should heavily reduce the possibility that you experience any pain or swelling in the foot.
When a Surgical Flat Foot Correction Is Necessary
If the primary non-surgical treatments haven’t alleviated your pain or corrected the issues you’re experiencing, a surgical flat foot correction procedure may be necessary. When the pain that you’re experiencing leads to high amounts of discomfort whenever you exercise, walk, or stand, you should definitely schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to determine if surgery is right for you. It’s also important to understand that correcting these issues early on in your life can help with the prevention of hip, back, or knee pain later on in your life.
Types of Surgeries That Can Be Used for Flat Foot Correction
There are three different types of surgeries that you can be provided with, which include bone fusions, bone cuts, and soft tissue procedures. The goal of each of these surgical procedures is to correct the flat foot by introducing an arch shape to the foot. The exact procedure that’s right for you depends on your age, the severity of your condition, and how stiff the foot is. If you have flexible feet, the surgery will focus on keeping your current motion while properly recreating the arch of your foot. This surgery can involve the repairing of tendons in order to strengthen the main tendon that provides the lift that creates the arch. This procedure is regularly referred to as a foot lift.
If the collapse of your bone is severe, a bone procedure will focus on realigning the heel and rebuilding the arch, which is more extensive than a standard foot lift procedure. If your flat feet are more rigid, the focus of the surgery will be on eliminating motion within the foot in order to restore the proper foot shape. While these are the primary surgeries that are used for the correction of the flat feet condition, it’s also possible to correct the issue by having a metal implant inserted into the foot, which will help to provide support for the arch.
What to Expect When Recovering From Surgery
During the recovery, you’ll likely be required to wear a plaster cast for a few weeks immediately following the surgery. You will also be expected to elevate and rest your foot as much as possible. With most of these surgical flat foot correction procedures, you will wear some form of cast for up to six weeks before switching to a brace or insole for another six weeks. It’s only after three to four months that you will likely be able to wear your own pair of shoes. Your surgeon will provide you with comprehensive instructions on how to care for the surgical site following the procedure.