Flatfoot is a painful deformity in which the natural arch of the foot collapses, bringing the entirety of the sole into complete contact with the ground.
Those with flatfoot may experience difficulty walking and running, and may overpronate, which can result in other foot problems, such as shin splints, back problems and tendonitis.
Usually, adult-acquired flatfoot or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction can lead to a gradual loss of the arch. The posterior tibial muscle, a deep muscle in the back of the calf, has a long tendon that extends from above the ankle and attaches to several sites around the arch of the foot. The muscle acts like a stirrup on the inside of the foot to help support the arch. The posterior tibial muscle stabilizes the arch and creates a rigid platform for walking and running. If the posterior tibial tendon becomes damaged or tears, the arch loses its stability and as a result, it collapses, causing a flatfoot.
Cherrywood Foot Care has nearly three decades of experience in assessing and treating flatfoot and flatfoot-related foot issues. Surgery is often required to give the patient a more functional and stable foot.
Several procedures may be needed to correct someone’s flatfoot deformity, depending on the severity of the problem. These may include:
- Tenosynovectomy—a procedure to clean away (debridement) and remove any of the inflamed tissue around the tendon.
- Osteotomy—removal of a portion of the heel bone (calcaneus) to move the foot structure back into alignment.
- Tendon Transfer—in which replacement fibers from another tendon are inserted to help repair damage.
- Lateral Column Lengthening—A procedure that implants a small piece of bone, usually removed from the hip, outside of the heel bone to create the proper bone alignment and rebuild the arch.
- Arthrodesis—Fusing of one or more bones together to eliminate any joint movement, which stabilizes the foot and prevents any further deterioration or damage.