Did you know that over 60 million American adults suffer from some form of adult-acquired flatfoot? Unlike genetically inherited flatfoot, which is present at birth, the adult-acquired version is usually caused by years of wear and tear or disease on the posterior tibial tendon, which supports your arch. Over time, the arch slowly begins to collapse, and pain may migrate from the inside to outside of the ankle and then throughout the joints of the foot.
Flatfoot reconstruction is one of Dr. McSpadden’s key interest areas and specialties, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll go straight to recommending reconstructive surgery. A thorough evaluation, careful weighing of pros and cons, and a frank discussion of your personal goals and needs will be critical to determine whether flatfoot correction surgery is right for you.
As with any deformity, there are two broad choices: conservative therapies, which manage the symptoms and pain but otherwise do not correct the problem, or surgical correction. You may think this obviously means surgery is the best choice (and a majority of patients ultimately do choose it), but it may not be in certain cases. Non-operative strategies such as custom orthotics, bracing, physical therapy, and others may stop the pain and allow you to regain your desired level of activity.
Factors that may influence your decision on surgery may include the severity of the deformity, whether or not arthritis is present, whether or not conservative therapies have been attempted, as well as what your desired activity level or lifestyle is after treatment. Younger and more active patients, for example, will frequently opt for surgery, since it usually provides maximum benefit and may spare them the need for a lifetime of bracing or orthoses. Although full recovery will take time, the payoff—decades of significantly improved function, activity level, and pain relief—is more than worth it for most.
The surgical procedure performed will be customized to address the particulars of your case, allowing complete correction to be performed in a single appointment. Most of the time no hospitalization is required—you can go home the same day.
If one or two flat feet are causing you pain and distress, don’t try to trudge through your days until the discomfort becomes unbearable. It won’t get better until you take action, so call Dr. Keith McSpadden of North Austin Foot & Ankle for a thorough evaluation today. You can reach our offices in Round Rock or Cedar Park, TX by dialing (512) 593-2949.