Facing the Pain of Adult Acquired Flatfoot
Aching arches, swollen feet, pain when standing for extended periods of time—if this sounds familiar, you might have arch problems. You arch is in the middle of your foot. The tarsal and metatarsal bones that make it up fit tightly together between the balls of your feet and your heels. This mid-foot helps support and distribute your body weight to other foot structures. Sometimes, however, something happens and the arch falls inward and flattens out. This adult acquired flatfoot puts strain on your feet and causes you pain.
Adult acquired flatfoot can have many different causes, including trauma to the foot, arthritis, diabetic foot collapse, and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), which is the most common cause. This tendon runs from the lower leg down behind the ankle bone and attaches to the inside of the foot. If it becomes inflamed or damaged, it isn’t able to hold the arch in its proper position and the whole foot rolls inward.
This puts strain on the different structures and can lead to arch and ankle pain, swelling along the inside of your feet, and discomfort that increases the longer you are active and standing. It is a progressive condition, so it does worsen the longer it goes untreated. As the problem gets worse, the arch collapses and you can experience pain on the outside of your foot as well. All of this extra strain can lead to additional uncomfortable conditions, like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and arthritis.
Dealing with the Problem
At Dallas Podiatry Works we excel in diagnosing and treating PTTD. The physicians perform a complete examination of your feet and ankles to determine if tendon dysfunction or another problem is the cause of your discomfort. Diagnostic images of your feet may be taken to confirm the condition and its severity. Once Drs. Joel W. Brook and David R. Northcutt have determined the specific cause, they are able to work with you to establish a treatment plan.
In the case of PTTD, you will need to rest your foot. Anti-inflammatory medications help reduce swelling and relieve pain. You may need prescription orthotics to support your arches. Physical therapy helps strengthen the weakened posterior tibial tendon so that it is able to do its job supporting your foot. For severe cases, you may need to have your foot immobilized while it recovers. Direct medication injections can also help extreme and stubborn pain. If conservative measures are ineffective, surgery may become necessary.
Discomfort from adult acquired flatfoot can interrupt your life and make daily activities more difficult. The more time you spend on your aching feet, the more they hurt. You don’t have to put up with the problem, however. Many easy, conservative remedies are available to get your feet healthy and pain-free again. Don’t wait and allow the problem progress to the point that it does become a serious issue. The physicians at Dallas Podiatry Works are experts dedicated to you and your family’s podiatric welfare. Contact us for an appointment or more information by visiting the online contact page or by calling one of our two convenient Texas locations: for the Dallas office, call (972) 566-7474; for the Plano office, dial (972) 943-3323.