When you have flatfoot, you may experience pain, find it hard to stay active, and develop problems with your ankles and knees. Dr. Homam Badri at One Oak Medical has extensive experience diagnosing the cause of flatfoot and developing a customized treatment plan to relieve pain and improve mobility. To learn more about flatfoot or to schedule an appointment, use the online booking tool or call one of the offices in Wayne and Paramus, New Jersey.
Flatfoot occurs when the arch in your foot wholly or partially collapses. There are several different types of flatfoot:
Children typically have flat feet until about the age of six, because it takes time for their bones to mature and for their feet to develop strong arches. Some children don’t outgrow their flat feet, which can lead to chronic pain, instability, and difficulty participating in physical activities.
Flexible flatfoot begins during childhood or adolescence and worsens throughout adulthood, leading to stretching, tearing, and inflammation of the tendons and ligaments that support the arch. It’s flexible because your foot is flat when you’re standing but normal when you sit down.
The primary symptom of flexible flatfoot is pain: in your heel, arch, ankle, along the shin bone, or on the outside of your foot. In some cases, it causes knee, hip, or low back pain.
Adult-acquired flatfoot develops over time as problems arise that affect the arch. For example, a broken foot, arthritis, and damaged nerves can all lead to adult-acquired flatfoot. The most common cause, however, is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD).
The posterior tibial tendon starts at the bottom of your calf muscle, goes down the inside of your lower leg, and attaches to bones on the inside of your foot. It holds up the arch and supports your foot when you walk.
PTTD occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed or damaged. As a result, your arch slowly collapses, causing flatfoot and pain in your foot, ankle, and along the tendon.
In most patients, PTTD develops from overuse injuries, but the tendon can also weaken in patients who take steroids or have a chronic disease such as diabetes.
Dr. Badri develops a customized treatment plan based on the type and severity of your flatfoot. Conservative therapies to relieve your pain, support the arch, and improve functioning include:
For PTTD, you may also need to immobilize your foot or take medication to reduce inflammation temporarily. Your doctor may recommend surgical intervention if your pain and limited movement persist despite conservative treatments.
If you’re in pain or have difficulty walking, call One Oak Medical or book an appointment online today.