Correcting Flatfoot: Restoring a Pain-free Gait

Flat foot can often be a painless condition, but any structural abnormality can potentially cause issues for some patients. This is rare, but in severe cases and conservative care doesn’t work, there may be a need for flat foot correction. When this is the case, Advanced Foot and Ankle is ready to provide the treatment you need.

Flat Feet Problems

flat foot correctionMany cases of flat feet do not cause problems, which means you do not require any treatment and should simply monitor the condition to ensure that problems do not arise. When there are problems, they can often be attributed to overpronation, which is an excessive inwards rolling motion that feet go through with every step. The primary symptoms are heel and arch pain, swelling, and even pain in all the joints leading up to—and including—the lower back.

Other Forms of Flat Foot Treatment

Before we consider surgery as a way to treat a case of flat feet, we will attempt conservative options to provide relief from painful symptoms. These include:

  • Orthotic devices – Depending on your unique foot structure, we will either recommend over-the-counter arch supports or prescribe a pair of custom orthotic devices. With custom orthotics, the devices are crafted to work specifically with your feet. Over-the-counter arch supports do not offer the same level of customization, but might be enough to reduce symptoms.
  • Supportive shoes – If you are active, particularly if you run, you may benefit from a pair of motion-control shoes. This type of footwear is specifically engineered to reduce the overpronation that leads to issues.
  • Stretching exercises – It is common for someone who has flat feet to also have shortened Achilles tendons, so exercises that stretch the tendon can help.
  • Physical therapy – Some flat foot issues are attributed to overuse. A gait analysis can potentially be useful for improving form and technique.

Flat Foot Correction

Once we have concluded that nonsurgical methods are ineffective at relieving painful symptoms and enabling you to resume normal activity, it is time to consider flat foot surgery.

There are several specific techniques we may use, and they can be separated into those that are used to repair tendons and ligaments and those that correct bone deformities. Depending on the case, we may elect to use a combination of both types of procedures. Regardless which specific procedures are being performed, anesthesia (either general or regional) will be used.

Some specific procedures include:

  • Medializing Calcaneal Osteotomy – This technique corrects the placement of a heel bone that has slipped out of position.
  • Lateral Column Lengthening – A bone wedge is used to rotate the foot into a correct position, while also “lengthening” the heel bone.
  • First Tarsal-Metatarsal Fusion – To keep the big toe bone in proper position, the bone may be pushed down and fused into place.
  • Tendon and Ligament Procedures – These can entail removing, transferring, and/or repairing connective tissues.
  • Double or Triple Arthrodesis – When arthritis is present, we may need to fuse one or more of the joints in the foot.

Foot Surgery Recovery

It is definitely important to know what to expect from the procedure itself, but also to understand what will be entailed with the recovery process.

Once the surgery is completed, we will schedule follow-up visits and provide specific instructions to be performed at home. These may include keeping the leg elevated and avoiding placing weight on the corrected foot for certain periods of time. Our office will provide a full schedule for your progression leading up to normal activities.

Flat Foot Correction Procedures in Twin Falls, ID

As previously noted, you might not need any treatment for flat feet, and if you do, conservative care is effective for most patients. If surgery becomes your best option for finding relief from painful symptoms, Advanced Foot and Ankle is ready to help. We offer the right personnel, equipment, and environment for successful flat foot surgery procedures. Feel free to contact us for additional information by calling (208) 731-6321 to reach our Twin Falls, ID office or (208) 312-4646 to reach our Burley office. You can also schedule an appointment at either location online today.