13 Nov Flexible Flatfoot
Flatfoot is a condition that has a reputation as a nickname used in old B movies referring to policemen who walk the beat every day, generally on hard sidewalks. After a time, it is assumed, a policeman will develop flat feet as an occupational hazard.
From a clinical point of view, flatfoot is considered a complex and often painful condition. It has a variety of symptoms that result of a breakdown in the structure of the arch, which includes bone, tendon, muscle, cartilage, nerves, and blood vessels. Understandably, the arch of the foot is a critical structure we rely on. Anytime you stand, sit, walk, move your toes, jog, kick or even stretch a leg, your arch is involved.
Symptoms of Flatfoot
Flatfoot is a condition marked by a breakdown of the arch that allows flexibility and strength for walking. The symptoms, however, vary. They can include a distinct flatness of the arch which generally recovers if that foot is raised. Like headlights in a car, your foot can also slide to another direction, so your toes point outward instead of straight ahead. Your heel can also be out of position, leaning outwards. This can cause your ankle to move inward, just like a beginning ice skater before learning to keep the ankles in place. You could also develop bunions or conditions called hammertoes.
With any foot disorder, your gait could change to compensate for the discomfort or pain. When your gait changes other conditions could develop.
Symptoms of Flexible Flatfoot
Flexible flatfoot simply describes a flatfoot condition in which the foot returns to a proper shape when you pick that foot off the ground. With flexible flatfoot, your foot will show the collapse only when pressure or weight is applied. However, over time the condition could grow worse. Over time, the arch becomes less and less able to return when you lift your foot. This occurs because the tendon that is inured becomes inflamed and even more stretched out or torn.
The patient will experience the following: Pain in the heel, ankle, or arch. Pain also occurs on the outside of the foot. Some patients develop a condition called overpronation, which defines an ankle that rolls over rather than maintaining the proper posture. Pain can also occur in the knees, hips, or back simply because the improper position of the angle puts improper stresses in the other structures that support you when you walk or stand. In turn, the lower back might be negatively impacted. Your leg and foot might also feel unduly tired.
A visit to the podiatrist is the best place to start for a proper diagnosis. The podiatrist will ask about your medical history, focusing on what might have initiated the condition. Imaging, such as an X-ray is frequently ordered. The doctor will also observe your gait and how your foot looks when put into various situations, such as walking, standing, and sitting. An ankle specialist in Phoenix, Az., will also examine your condition once a general practitioner has made a referral.
Surgery is a last resort measure with most medical conditions and, unless your symptoms are severe the foot surgery Phoenix Arizona doctors will recommend won’t often be mentioned except a “wait and see” approach. There are several other more modest approaches your podiatrist will be likely to recommend. These include:
Keep away from stress. This might mean staying away from sports for a while or giving up on long walks. Your foot might heal over time if you spoil it for a bit.
Loss of weight. As part of a treatment plan, your podiatrists will often recommend weight loss. The stress of walking can be reduced by losing a few pounds. Orthotic options are available. This might come in the form of lifts or specially designed shoes. Wearing a cast is a possible treatment choice. This eliminates a lot of stress on the arch of your foot. Medication is often recommended, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Surgery can be a very successful option, but this involves rebuilding your arch, which is a complicated biological system. It may take a series of surgeries to set things right. Discuss this option at length with your podiatrist.
If you are experiencing pain in your foot, call the experts at Oasis Foot and Ankle Center at 602-993-2700.