foot-anatomyFlatfeet are often serious discomfort — that doesn’t have to be a lifelong condition. As noted in a PodiatryToday.com article which I wrote with Dr. Jessica Taulman, DPM, podiatrists frequently see adults with flat feet. Early identification and treatment can keep the flatfoot deformity from progressing.

When the foot isn’t working right in the arch area, there is further compromise at the heels and ankles. Over the years, podiatric treatment has shifted from surgery to more conservative treatment. This approach, when successful, means a patient doesn’t have to deal with recovery issues. Avoiding these issues can be beneficial for people with advanced age, sedentary lifestyle and medical conditions that won’t tolerate surgery.

A full evaluation is important to determine the needs of the flatfoot patient. Adequate treatment, whether conservative therapy or surgery is going to determine the future comfort of the patient. At Hoosier Foot and Ankle, we access the patient’s condition both while the patient is standing and seated. We want to determine the extent and type of the flatfoot deformity so that we can then create a treatment protocol.

If we choose conservative treatment, we will generally begin with immobilization, using a removable cast boot or below the knee cast. This immobilizing support decreases inflammation and prevents overuse of the affected tendons.

Some conditions indicate use of UCBL orthotics to stabilize the rearfoot. There are other orthotic possibilities that can be considered.

We also address the point that when flatfoot deformity occurs, other areas are affected. Equinus is one essential piece of the flatfoot puzzle that we look at to reduce pain.

We know that conservative treatment is often able to decrease pain and the progression of flatfoot deformity. Early detection and treatment are essential in keeping the deformity from progressing to further stages in the adult flatfoot scheme. Through a thorough patient history study and physical exam, we can determine of conservative treatment has a chance or if surgery is going to be required.

Do you think your may be suffering from adult flatfeet? Don’t second guess your footpain. Call Hoosier Foot and Ankle at 317-660-2115 to arrange for an appointment to determine what is causing your footpain. Or you may visit the Hoosier Foot and Ankle website and use the online appointment request option available 24/7 for your convenience.