Flat Feet Solutions

What To Do About Flat Feet Pain – The No Surgery Approach

Are you having flat feet pains?

Are you looking for ways to go about this?

For practical answers to these questions and others, you will do well to continue reading. We will show you some methods to apply as regards flat feet pain. However, let us explain a little about flat feet. 

what are the best insoles for flat feet
Photo Credit: Esther Max, flickr.com

To resolve flat feet pain without surgery- Engage in regular exercises. Adequate rest is also needed. Wear appropriate shoes and not tight-fitting shoes that irritate the feet. Make use of homemade treatments and massage with oils. – “what to do about flat feet pain”

What to Do About Flat Feet Pain—Meaning and Causes

Flat feet is a condition that describes when the arch on the surface of a foot is flat, less visible, or absent. It is a state that is characterized by the soles of the feet being plain on the floor in contrast to the norm. 

The feet are parts of the body that form the outer layer of the legs which touch the ground. They are used for walking, running, and leaping. They consist of muscles, joints, bones, soft tissues, bones, and so on. 

Furthermore, they are divided into the hindfoot, midfoot, and forefoot. The foot is usually raised up slightly beneath the inner part when an individual stands, walks, or sits.

In some cases, the feet may be plain on the floor and this is usually referred to as Flat feet or fallen arches. 

Flat feet can be experienced in various ways. For instance, when weight is placed on it, that is, when an individual stands or walks it becomes flat. On the other hand, it remains flat when no weight is placed on it.

what to do about flat feet
Photo Credits: Daniel Max, Flickr.com

Most times, flat feet are painless if they are developed at childhood. However, it could be painful if it is developed through an injury or accident, obesity, arthritis, among others. Often, it affects the alignment of the knees, ankles, and legs.

Some causes of this type of feet could be hereditary, aging, pregnancy, cerebral palsy, muscular disorder, and so on. Flat feet lead to distress, movement imbalance, pain, and imperfect posture thereby affecting the overall wellbeing of an individual.

What to Do About Flat Feet Pain– Basic Symptoms

Flat feet pain most times is characterized by the following:

  • swelling 
  • discomfort in the legs
  • difficulty in walking, running, and jumping
  • pain in ankle, knee, arch
  • lower back,
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Uneven weight distribution
  • Difficulty in wearing shoes and so on.

As stated earlier, this article is given to solving the problem of this type of feet pain. Considering this, here are some remedies to flat feet pain.

What to Do About Flat Feet Pain– Remedies

Flat feet pain can be relieved without surgery by:

Regular exercises like stretching the heels, calf raises, or rolling the feet on a golf ball

Rest

Use of appropriate shoes

Homemade treatment.

To start with, you should know that there is no one remedy or treatment for flat feet pain. This is because of the peculiarities and differences inherent in humans. The cause of these feet pain varies also with various degrees and complications.

You are to, therefore, go through the remedies below and find out what works best to achieve the desired result.

Two or more of the remedies can be combined. What is majorly important is that you choose the remedy that suits you without creating any side effects.

Here are some of the remedies:

Regular Exercises

Some of these recommended exercises include:

  • Stretching the Heels
  • Rolling the feet on a golf ball or tennis ball
  • Raising the arches as in form of tiptoeing
  • Towel curls
  • Calf raises and so on

This plays a very crucial part in easing flat feet pain. Most people with flat feet pain are advised to carry out exercises regularly to increase the flexibility of the muscles in the feet. 

This can also help to reduce the body weight on the feet. Stiffness of the feet which causes flat feet pain can be treated using this method. 

Exercises generally tone the muscles and help to make the body healthier. However, for flat feet pain-specific exercises help to reduce to flat feet pain.

Below is a video on some flat feet exercises.

Video: 7 Best Flat Feet Treatments – Ask Doctor Jo 

You must try as much as possible to avoid high impact activities like jumping or running as this can aggravate the situation. In severe cases, long walks should be avoided to prevent complications. 

The services of physiotherapists can also be employed to help in facilitating these exercises as this would serve as an added advantage. 

However, you should be careful of the type of exercises you carry out so as not to make things worse. It should be carried out slowly and consistently. If you cannot carry out intense workouts, you should be consistent in the little bits you do as this will still yield results.

Rest 

Aside from exercises, rest is also an effective remedy for flat feet pain. Rest creates an opportunity for the tissues, muscles, bones, and nerves in the feet to relax. Sometimes flat feet pain is characterized by pain on the ankles, hips, and legs and this can be treated with sufficient rest.

Rest can serve as an effective therapy as it enables you to sleep; you cease from doing any activity that can cause stress and anxiety. Through lying down or sitting in an upright position with the feet placed above the ground, the tension or weight on the leg is eased. By and large, rest helps a lot in getting rid of this type of foot pain.

Use of Appropriate Shoes

Flat feet pain can be caused sometimes by wearing tight shoes and shoes that cause discomfort to the feet. 

You should always try to wear appropriate shoes or foot inserts that will make the feet less irritated. Rather than buying just any shoe, there are some healthy shoes for flat feet.  These include plantar fascutis, brooks, cobb hill, dansko, and Arcopedico among others. 

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Some of the factors to look out for when choosing shoes are the reels, crowding of the toes, softness, and comfortability. 

Homemade Treatment

You can try using homemade treatments like ice packs to prevent swelling or inflammation. You can also massage with oils like coconut oil, shea butter, and over the counter pain relief drugs like ibuprofen. Warm water can also be used to bathe the flat feet to reduce soreness.

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This treatment is effective in relieving flat feet pain quickly and easily.

Conclusion

If you experience severe pains for a long time, surgical treatment is advisable. You need to see a doctor to re-align the tendon to the arch and straighten the foot. Surgery is the last resort if flat feet pain is aggravated and can as well be avoided if it is treated early.

Finally, flat feet pain can become complicated if not treated with seriousness on time. You should, therefore, take note of changes in your feet. Eat a healthy diet as this can help to reduce the weight on the flat feet and take time out to go for medical check-ups.

What to do About Flat Feet Pain — Related FAQS

What’s Good for Flat Feet?

The following are good for flat feet: 

  1. Use orthotic devices and insoles
  2. Wear appropriate shoes
  3. Rest 
  4. Avoid high impact activities to reduce pain
  5. Avoid weight gain. This will help to reduce pressure on the feet
  6. Physical therapy
  7. Over the counter drugs like Ibuprofen can relieve flat feet pain
  8. Massage with oils like coconut oil, shea butter, etc.

Flat feet have their own peculiarity. Hence, the points stated above will help you live a healthy and pain free life with your flat feet.

How do You Massage Flat Feet?

Flat feet can be massaged by following these methods:

Method 1- Use a Golf ball

  • Get a golf ball or tennis ball
  • Place it on the floor
  • Put your foot on it 
  • Roll it with your foot 

This method requires that you exert a bit of pressure as you roll your foot on the ball. This will help to massage the arches and other parts of the foot.

Method 2- Heel Stretching

You can massage your flat feet by stretching the heels.  This involves the following steps:

  • Place the heel on a flat surface
  • In repeated turns, stretch it backward and forward
  • Bend the soles of your feet as you stretch to form a C- shape

You can repeat the process again. It helps the flat feet to be flexible and helps the arches to take its shape.

Method 3: Towel Curls

This method involves using a towel.

  • Place a towel on the floor
  • Put your feet on the towel
  • Using your feet, try folding the towel to form straight curls

It is a simple method. If done properly, it can help the arches regain its flexibility and repair the tendon tissues. 

Do Flat Feet Grow Worse Over Time?

Flat feet could grow worse over time when it is not treated. This is because it causes pain and weakens the tendons around the foot arches. It can also worsen the alignment of the ligament and lead to a permanent disability if it is treated with levity.  

You should therefore see a doctor for advice on what to do about flat feet so as not to incur complications and untold expenses. If it is discovered on time, treatment should begin as early as possible.

How Does Flat Feet Affect the Body?

Flat feet can affect the alignment of the body. It affects the general body posture while walking, sitting, standing, squirting, bending, running etc.

It is obvious as an individual carries out his daily activities. This is because the feet are an important part of the body. It can also affect the ankles, hips, thighs, and legs which can lead to pain, fatigue, distress, and bone dislocation.

It can also affect the body by causing swelling, irritation, and inflammations which might sometimes be painful.

How Do I Get an Arch Support for Flat Feet?

You can get home-made or readymade arch support for flat feet. They provide support for your arches. To make one you need:

  1. Scissors
  2. Quarter edge easy felt
  3. Shoe insoles

The steps involved in making an arch support for flat feet include:

  • Remove the insoles from your shoes
  • Measure the arch part which is usually at the center of the insole
  • Cut out a semi-circle of 3- inches from the easy felt
  • Place on the insoles to check if it fits
  • Trim the sides of the easy felt and attach it to the insole 
  • Make sure it sticks properly to the insole
  • Cut out a smaller semi- circle
  • Place on the top of the first semi- circle made from insoles
  • Put your insole back into the shoe and check if it fits.

Arch supports help to provide an alignment to flat feet. Repeat the same process for the other insole.

Do Ankle Braces Help Flat Feet?

Ankle braces can be used to provide support for flat feet. It realigns the talocrural, subtalar, and the inferior tibiofibular joints in the ankle.

Ankle braces help people with flat feet to gain stability as they walk, run, stand, or sit. It is also ideal for flat feet because it helps the arches to take shape. It relieves excess pressure on the arches of the feet.

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Also, it helps to position the arches rightly. This reduces the pain and discomfort that accompanies flat feet.

Flat Feet Solutions

shoes for flat feet
Photo Credit: Elaine Smith, flickr.com

Flat feet (also known as fallen arches or pes planus) is a physiological disorder that occurs when the arch that is present in the foot flattens or collapses and is partially or completely touching the floor.

It might be present at birth or can be developed over time. Flat feet can be detected by visual tests, by x-ray and CT imaging.

If the pain is felt on the feet after long periods of standing, flat feet might be the cause. Sometimes it can be accompanied by back, knee and hip aches.

Watch a video on this topic below:

Flat feet in children are caused by abnormal joint formations and baby fat that is stuck between the bones.

They are usually flexible because they appear normal until the child stands and the feet bears weight. This flexible flat foot can become normal and becomes rigid as the child grows.

Adult flat feet are usually rigid and permanent and are caused by illnesses, injuries, accidents, high heel shoes, and autoimmune diseases.

Most times, flat feet do not cause pain or any symptoms, therefore it does not require treatment. If pain exists, some of these treatment options can be used:

  1. Supportive shoes
  2. Physical exercises and therapy
  3. Arch support orthotics and insoles
  4. Surgery

Supportive Shoes for Flat Feet

There are three categories of shoes for flat feet. They are:

Stability shoes

They are suitable for people that their body weight is shifting towards the inner part of the foot and those whose foot arches are collapsing.

Cushioned shoes

They are suitable for feet that have a high arch or that are rigid. If the foot shifts the bodyweight towards the outer ankle during physical activities (supination), then this shoe is most suitable.

Motion-control shoes

They are suitable for people that experience severe pains due to their flat feet after physical activities like walking and running.

Best Walking Shoes and Sandals For Flat Feet

Rockport Men’s Eureka Shoe

This shoe offers great comfort, cushioning, heel stability, removable footbed, and a wide toe box to enable forefoot flexibility.

The sole is made from rubber that provides superb cushioning, and the footbed is made from latex foam. It has a full-grained leather upper, with a moisture-absorbing mesh lining that makes the shoe breathable.

The interior is fully padded, and the EVA midsole provides great shock absorption and durability.

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CLARKS Women’s Sillian Bella Mary Jane Flat

It is made from 100% synthetic material and possesses and orthotic footbed that provides maximum support for overpronated and supinated feet. It is slim, soft, lightweight and is perfect for walking long distances.

The fabrics used in the design of this shoe is stretchy to enable easy and fast movements. It also possesses a flexible and breathable EVA sole and a removable orthotic insole for total comfort and support for achy feet.

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Best Running Shoes and Sandals for Flat Feet

ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 6 Running-Shoes

This shoe is made with the forefoot and rearfoot GEL design that reduces the shock impact phase and helps the foot to revert to midstance.

The sock liner is removable to allow the insertion of an orthotic insole or arch support inserts.

It is designed to suit different types of terrain and to help make uphill and downhill movements less painful to the arches and ankles.

The sole is produced with the reputable ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) for great durability, feet stability, comfort and cushioning.

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ASICS Men’s Gel-Contend 5 Running Shoes

It is designed to help people that have flat feet walk and run for longer distances. It offers superb stability and cushioning due to its unique design and premium materials used in its construction.

Its rearfoot GEL technology and the midsole made with AMPLIFOAM provides the needed cushioning and comfort needed to go the extra miles.

The breathable mesh liner, removable orthotic insole, and a solid abrasive rubber sole make the shoe durable, feel natural on the foot and has a great cooling effect.

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Best Work Shoes for Flat Feet

Skechers for Work Men’s Cottonwood Elks Slip Resistant Shoe

Designed to reduce pains experienced in flat feet when standing or moving for a long time. This leather shoe is slip-, oil- and chemical resistant.

It possesses a wide toe box to support forefoot flexibility and a well-detailed side and heel leather design to provide heel stability.

It has a padded collar and tongue and Memory Foam for great cushioning while standing. It also has a removable sole to allow the insertion of prescribed insoles.

It has a midsole with the great shock-absorbing ability and a slip-resistant nitrile rubber outsole.

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Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet

JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes

This shoe is designed to provide support and comfort during climbing and running on rough terrains.

It is most suited for lateral climbing, trail races, and fitness training. It is lightweight, fits snugly to the foot and is totally breathable.

Its rubber soles provide maximum support and balance in difficult terrains while its circular sole patterns provide proper grip on rough surfaces.

The insoles are removable and provide a great deal of arch support, shock absorption, and weight distribution.

It is also designed with heel counters that reflects light, making it suitable for night exercises.

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Best Casual Shoes, Sneakers, and Flats for Flat Feet

Clarks Men’s Raharto Plain Oxford

This shoe can pass as a casual shoe and as a dress shoe too. The rubber soles provide traction and comfort in every step. It can also be used as a working shoe.

It is designed with premium leather and a synthetic sole. The footbed is removable to accommodate prescription insoles. It is ultra-lightweight, possesses smooth lining fabrics and soft paddings for optimum cushioning.

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JOOMRA Women Lightweight Sneakers

These lightweight 3D grid-pattern knitted shoes are designed to fit snugly on the foot like a sock and provide comfort during movement. The ultra-light synthetic outsole feels like a feather on the feet.

It is suitable for activities like walking, jogging and running and the knitted upper is breathable and will keep the feet cool during physical activities.

The tongue possesses an integrated collar that is low cut to take up the shape of the feet to provide all-day comfort.

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Skechers Men’s Afterburn Memory-Foam Lace-up Sneaker

This shoe is made with a flexible high-traction Articu-Lyte sole that offers great heel stability, arch support, and comfort during movements.

The tongue and collar are padded and the textile lining is breathable to cool the feet.

The insole is made with Memory Foam that provides great cushioning effects and comfort with added durability.

The leather is quite smooth and the mesh upper is perforated and stitched delicately to keep the feet comfortable while offering the needed support to supinated and overpronated feet.

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Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flop

This flip-flop is incredibly lightweight and its flexible EVA midsole and footbed make it as comfortable as ever.

The materials are manmade and the otholite footbed is proven to provide premium support to flat feet. The soft textile lining makes the shoe breathable and cools the feet.

The closure is adjustable to fit any feet size and provide extra visual satisfaction.

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Vionic Women’s Adilyn Slipper

These soft and supportive slippers are designed to provide the same orthotic support as flat feet shoes.

It takes up the shape of the feet and provides essential support for the feet in movement. It can be used as a casual, dress or activewear.

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Reef Men’s Fanning Flip Flop

This sandal possesses a contoured EVA footbed that provides maximum arch support and cushioning.

It is water friendly and suitable for any water adventure. Its heel bag is a full 360 degrees and offers heel stability and a great cushioning effect.

It has a bottle opener on the sole that provides the thirst-quenching technology (TQT) and is designed to provide comfort and relaxation of the feet in every step.

The compression-molded EVA sole and polyurethane-enclosed heel bag make the feet feel like it is walking on clouds.

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Factors to Consider While Choosing Running Shoes for Flat Feet

It is sometimes overwhelming to find the right shoes for walking, training and other physical activities. There are a lot of factors you could consider before buying shoes.

Comfort

Comfort is an important factor to consider while choosing shoes to help in the management and treatment of flat feet.

The shoes should be soft and provide enough cushioning when the foot hits the ground. It should also have soles that offer adequate arch support are not rigid.

Also, the shoe should have a wide toe box and a heel that is not floppy so that it will help the feet to properly distribute the force exerted on it by the bodyweight during physical activities.

Ensure to try out shoes first before buying them and in the presence of a shoe expert. Always buy shoes in the morning or midday before the feet get swollen from daily activities. Always make sure that the shoe can be returned if they are uncomfortable and do not properly fit.

Gait

This is simply the way the body moves when steps are taken. The gait is determined through a walking test and differs from individual to individual. The gait can be normal or abnormal.

Abnormal gait can be a result of an accident, injury, illness, bone deformation or muscle disorders. Flat feet can also cause abnormal gait especially if overpronation or supination is present.

When choosing a shoe for flat feet, gait should also be considered. If the flat feet cause the feet to move inwards, shoes that offer great arch support should be chosen.

Likewise, if the feet supinate, a shoe that has a superb cushioning should be chosen since ankle pain could be a great issue.

VIDEO: Normal Gait and Common Gait Abnormalities

This video explains the different types of gaits. it also differentiates the normal gait from the abnormal gaits.

Foot Shape

The structure and shape of flat feet are somehow different from that of normal feet. Flat feet are wider than arched feet and hence covers more space in a shoe.

It is therefore very important to choose wide shoes that will not squeeze the feet together and cause discomfort.

The proper shoes for flat feet should not have an hourglass shape like the shoes meant for arched feet. They should be straight and wide enough to accommodate the feet comfortably.

Material Used

Motion-control shoes used in the treatment and support of flat feet should be made with durable and strong materials.

It is targeted to help in the correction of muscular movements and as such should not be too flexible else it can’t achieve that purpose.

It should be strong enough to bear the forces exerted to the feet by the body and at the same time preventing the feet from moving in its original manner.

The shoe should be made with durable polyurethane materials, especially at the soles and arch support system.

Foam materials are also reputable for its strength, durability and superb cushioning effect. It is also advisable to look out for shoes produced with foam materials.

Design

This is the style that the shoe producer integrated into the shoe, putting into consideration a lot of purposes the shoe is meant for.

Some of the design attributes that are put into consideration in the choice of flat feet shoes are:

  • Midfoot stability
  • Rigidity at the sides
  • Shock absorption
  • Foam of dual-density in the soles for a proper rebound
  • Proper weight distribution
  • Rigid heel cups
  • Guiding rails for proper gait maintenance
Flat Feet Solutions

how to fix flat feet with surgery

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A flat foot is a condition whereby the whole feet meet the floor when it bears the body weight. Under extreme conditions, decisions can be made to fix flat feet with surgery.

In children, it is a normal occurrence and the arches of the feet usually take its normal shape as the child grows. In adults, it’s not as flexible as that of children.

Flat foot in adults is sometimes caused by tendon injuries, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), bone deformities and so on.

It is diagnosed by an orthopedic doctor through physical exams and imaging. If the flat foot is flexible, treatment is usually not recommended.

If it is rigid, a flat foot reconstruction surgery might be recommended especially if it is accompanied by pain.

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Types of Flat Feet Surgery

A specific flat feet surgery or a combination of surgeries can be done to correct the fallen arches. Some of the procedures are used to correct bone deformities and some are used to repair inflamed ligaments and tendons.

It is the duty of the foot and ankle surgeon to decide the best procedure(s) to tackle the cause of the flat feet as shown in the test results.

Although flatfoot surgery can be done under general anesthesia, regional anesthesia is used more often. This is the process of blocking the spine or nerves of the foot and ankle to reduce pain during the surgical process.

One or more of the following types of surgeries can be used to treat fallen arches and rigid flat feet.

Lateral Column Lengthening

This is a procedure that is used to correct flat feet disorder where the forefoot is extending to one side. Most times, this surgery is done together with calcaneal osteotomy. The lateral column lengthening surgery can reshape feet completely.

It has been used to efficiently correct totally deformed feet, but it also has a disadvantage of forming a stiff foot which might cause further complications like pains, nonunion (bone healing delay), and nerve damage.

The lateral column of the feet is:

  1. The calcaneus
  2. The cuboid
  3. The fourth metatarsals
  4. The fifth metatarsals.

They are joined to each other in this order and extends from the heel to the midfoot. The lateral column lengthening surgery involves the insertion of a bone graft to extend the length of the column.

The bone graft to be used can be obtained from the pelvis of a cadaver and should be about 7-10mm in length and have a trapezoid shape.

Lateral column lengthening can be carried out in two ways:

  • The calcaneus can be cut from the front, just before its joint with the cuboid. Then it is shifted about 7-9mm apart to accommodate the bone graft.
  • The joint of the calcaneus bone and cuboid bone can be separated and moved apart to allow the insertion of the bone graft between it.
  • After the bone insertion, the bone graft which is used to extend the lateral column is held in place, with a metal plate or screws.
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Medializing Calcaneal Osteotomy

Calcaneal osteotomy is a procedure used in correcting bone deformities just like the lateral column lengthening procedure.

The calcaneal is one of the bones of the feet located near the heel. Osteotomy is a surgical process of cutting a bone. The calcaneal osteotomy is done to realign the heel bone and place it directly under the tibia (shin bone).

When the procedure is done to shift the heel bone towards the inner ankle, it is known as a medializing calcaneal osteotomy. When it is done to shift the heel bone towards the outer ankle, it is known as a lateralizing calcaneal osteotomy.

The heel of the flat feet (pes planus) is shifted a bit far to the outer ankle. The heel of the high arched feet (Pes Cavus) is shifted far towards the inner ankle.

The medializing calcaneal osteotomy (bone shift towards the inner ankle) is therefore used to correct flat feet while lateralizing calcaneal osteotomy (bone shift towards the outer ankle) is used to correct high arched feet.

A cut is made near the heel bone, the bone is shifted and held in place using screws.

Triple Arthrodesis

This is best suited in the correction of hindfoot deformity that is accompanied by joint stiffness and arthritis.

Although it is the most efficient procedure, it is not often done unless the joints involved are severely deformed or damaged and can no longer be preserved.

This involves the joining of 3 joints to form one joint. The three joints joined in triple arthrodesis are

The Subtalar Joint

This is also known as the talocalcaneal joint which is positioned directly under the ankle joint. It is a joint of the calcaneus bone and the talus bone.

The Talonavicular Joint

This is a joint of the talus bone and lower half of the ankle joint and the navicular bone. This joint is responsible for the circular movement of the foot.

The Calcaneal-cuboid Joint

This is a joint formed by the calcaneus bone and the cuboid bone. The joint involves the distal surface (front) of the calcaneus and the proximal surface (back) of the cuboid bone.

To perform this surgery, two cuts are made on the foot. The inner cut is made to show the inner part talonavicular joint.

The other cut is made on the outer part of the foot to expose the calcaneal-cuboid joint, the subtalar joint, and the outer part of the talonavicular joint.

All the cartilages on the exposed joints are removed and filled with a bone graft. The bone graft can be obtained from the pelvic bone (iliac crest) or tibia of a cadaver.

The hindfoot is then realigned and the joints are joined with wires. They are all held in place using screws or a metal plate.

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Tendon Transfer

This is used mainly to treat the posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. This is a condition where the tendon of the tibia (shin bone) is overstretched or has damaged. This usually occurs in people with flat feet.

This surgery is done to transfer the Flexor Digitorum Longus (FDL) tendon to the position of the posterior tibial tendon. The FDL tendon is responsible for the ability of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th toes to curl.

This surgery is done by making a cut from the inside of the ankle joint all the way to the midfoot.

The cut continues until the posterior tibial tendon and the FDL tendon are exposed. The tendon transfer can be carried out in either of these two ways:

  • The Flexor Digitorum Longus (FDL) tendon is wrapped around the posterior tibial tendon and they are stitched together
  • The FDL can be fixed directly on the bone where the posterior tibial tendon is originally inserted using a screw or with stitches.

This is often carried out together with lateral column lengthening and medializing calcaneal osteotomy to ease the load and stretching of the tendons. If this is not done, the transferred tendon might fail as time passes.

Cotton Osteotomy

This is also known as Medial cuneiform dorsal opening wedge Osteotomy which is a procedure used to create an arch in flat feet. It is used to treat flat feet caused by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.

The surgery is done to insert a bone wedge above the medial cuneiform and thus push it down. The joint is fused and held in place with a screw or a metal plate.

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When Should I Consider Flat Feet Surgery?

Flat feet surgery is usually the last resort in the treatment of rigid flat feet which is causing severe pain and discomfort.

The surgeon may recommend other methods of managing flat feet first before considering feet reconstruction.

The methods that can be used to manage and correct flatfoot deformity are orthotic insoles, arch support cushions, physical therapy, and even weight loss.

How to Prepare For Flat Feet Surgery

Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is very important. This will help you to know what to expect from the process and detect if the surgery is successful or not.

It will also help you to do all that is needed to ensure a successful surgery and quick recovery.

It is a good idea to list your questions, medical conditions, supplements and medications with their dosages.

It is also advisable to attend lessons on how to use assistive devices. This will help to make the recovery process faster and less traumatic.

Certain drugs are not to be taken prior to surgery. Seek medical advice on the drugs and food to avoid while preparing for the surgery. The surgeon may ask you to avoid the following:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and supplements like Omega-3 and St. John’s Wort. They are known to increase blood flow during surgery and decrease the rate of bone healing.
  • Contraceptives should be avoided after the surgery since it is known to increase the risk of developing blood clots.
  • Metformin and other diabetic drugs that contain or act like metformin should be avoided at least a day before the surgery. These drugs are known to increase the risk of reacting to general anesthesia.
  • Nicotine found in tobacco and cigarettes should be avoided because it can reduce the blood from the feet. It can also increase the risk of developing infections after the surgical process.
  • Food and drinks (even water) should be avoided entirely at least 6 hours before surgery. This is because the presence of food or water in your intestines increases the risk of nausea and vomiting when the anesthesia is given.
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Flat Feet Surgery Procedures

Flat feet reconstruction surgery is usually done in a hospital with the use of general or regional anesthesia. The purpose of the surgery might differ and so is the procedure. However, each of the surgery follows basically the same process but the recovery time may also vary.

The purpose of feet surgery may be to realign the feet, remove inflamed tissues or muscles or tendons, and to create feet arches.

When the surgery is performed, the surgeon makes some incisions and remove the inflamed tendon while replacing it with another tendon.

The surgeon may also make a cut, realign the heel bone and hold it in place with a screw. Some other procedures might be taken depending on the cause of the flat feet and the source of the flat feet pain.

After the surgery, the patient is wheeled to another room for close monitoring and recovery. Some patients might be allowed to go home from the hospital the same day or to sleep overnight if need be.

VIDEO: Flat Feet Reconstructive Surgery

This video shows how the feet looked like before and after the flat feet reconstructive surgery.

Recovery from Flat Feet Reconstruction Surgery

After surgery, a cast will be put on the feet, painkillers might be given and a schedule for another appointment will be fixed.

To avoid swelling, always place the foot on an elevated surface and avoid placing the bodyweight on it for at least two weeks.

If you are not sure how to keep yourself from bearing your weight on the leg, seek medical advice and support from a physiotherapist.

Walk around only when necessary, avoid smoking, hard drugs, and anti-inflammatory drugs because they might delay bone fusion and eventual healing. If the quantity of bloodstains in the plaster cast becomes copious, talk to your doctor.

Keep the cast totally dry. Cover it with a waterproof material before you take a shower. When the wound is healed and the cast is removed, you can shower without covering the wound.

When the cast is eventually removed, talk to your physiotherapist on how to massage the area to facilitate total healing. The wound scabs will fall off by them without your assistance and you should talk to your doctor if the wound becomes reddish or swollen.

The physiotherapist should also assist in walking lessons, gait correction, and muscle rehabilitation. Walking would be painless and easier after twelve weeks, with minimal swelling. Normal daily and even sports activities might be possible after six months.

Insoles may be recommended by your doctorr to reduce swelling, offer heel and arch support and help in physical activities.

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Possible Risks of Flat Feet Surgery

  • The metal used in the surgery for the fusion of the joints might become conspicuous and make the feet appear deformed. If this occurs, the metal plate can be removed after the foot heals.
  • The pain and the deformities that led to the surgery might still be present after the surgery. It is important to talk to the doctor if you don’t see any changes or feel relief after the surgical procedures. Orthotics might be recommended to assist in the correction of the problem on a long-term basis.
  • The nerves near the incision site may be damaged and become numb. It is usually a normal occurrence in surgeries, but the doctor should be notified in case it is due to inflammation or an infection.
  • Blood clots might start to form in the deep veins of the feet. This is also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). It is usually characterized by pain, redness, swelling, warmth, and discoloration of the skin of the affected area.
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