Did you know that the arch is one of the strongest and most supportive types of architectural structures, able to span large areas and carry heavy loads without intermediate supports? Humans have been using arches in building design for more than 3,000 years, and you still see them all the time in bridges, buildings, public art, and more.
Of course, your feet have arches, too. Unfortunately, they may not hold up as well as ancient stone bridges or renaissance cathedrals. After a lifetime of hard living, arches can gradually flatten and collapse, leading to a condition known as adult-acquired flatfoot. Often the problem is over-stretching or acute injury to the posterior tibial tendon, but other causes are possible, too.
When a patient comes in with pain from a collapsed arch, we often start by recommending a mix of conservative therapies, such as orthotics, physical therapy, or bracing. Sometimes, these methods are more than enough to get you up and moving again, making surgery unnecessary. However, often times a collapsed arch ultimately must be repaired surgically to provide lasting relief.
A reconstructive surgery for flatfoot seeks to restore proper biomechanical support structures through rebuilding the arch. This will give you the best chance to relieve your pain and discomfort and return to a more active, more mobile lifestyle.
Specific procedures vary depending on the nature of your deformity. Some of the more common ones include lengthening and/or transferring tendons, making precision cuts in bones so that they can be realigned (osteotomy), use of metal hardware or implants, and fusing certain bones together if joint motion has become painful (arthrodesis). Your surgeon will carefully develop a plan that will give you the best chance at a successful outcome, and the majority of patients are very happy with the results after the recovery period.
If your arches are starting to sag, give Family Foot & Ankle Center a call. Our six offices throughout Greater Cincinnati stand ready to serve you with the highest level of care and treatment for adult flatfoot. You can reach us at 888-689-3317, or request an appointment online by completing a contact form.