Feet come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, which means that some people have a very high arch while others have flat feet and almost no discernable foot arch. Having abnormally high or low arches doesn’t guarantee that you’ll develop painful symptoms, but these foot designs can make it more likely that certain areas of our foot may be overloaded with stress when we move. This is especially true for people with flat feet, which can lead to significant pain and an inhibited walking style. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how symptomatic cases of flat foot can be treated with a corrective procedure, as well as the pros and cons of flat foot reconstruction.

Surgery For Flat Foot Development

Flat foot syndrome can develop for a number of different reasons. While genetics and aging can play a role in the formation of your feet, so too can more modifiable factors, like your shoe choice. Trauma and physical activity can also lead to a loosening of the tight ligaments underneath your foot that help to form the arch. Finally, other health conditions can affect the underlying structure of your foot, leading to a flattening of the feet. The two most common conditions that can lead to the flattening of a foot arch are diabetes and arthritic degeneration.

As your arch eventually falls, pressure will be placed on your feet in new ways, which can lead to pain and a number of other symptoms. Physical therapy and custom orthotics can help to provide support for your foot, but if pain persists, a reconstructive procedure may be recommended to help reshape the foot and prevent further damage.

Pros And Cons Of Flat Feet Corrective Surgery

The vast majority of people who undergo flat feet reconstruction surgery experience great results and a significant reduction in symptoms, but that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect solution for everyone dealing with flat feet syndrome. The procedure has a number of benefits and some potential drawbacks that you’ll want to be aware of prior to proceeding with surgery. We dive into those pros and cons below:

Pros:

  • Surgery provides a permanent solution to the physical changes.
  • It’s a very safe procedure with only a few risks that can be well controlled (bleeding, nerve damage, etc.).
  • No additional treatment is needed after recovery is complete.
  • Provides significant symptom reduction, and potential for total relief.
  • Relatively quick procedure.
  • Can be completed using minimally invasive techniques.
  • You can return to many of the physical activities you once enjoyed following recovery.

Cons:

  • Even when minimally invasive techniques are used, because your foot is in a vulnerable state following reconstruction, full recovery will take some time (non-weight bearing for first 6-8 weeks followed by physical therapy).
  • Blood clots can be a concern, especially in diabetic patients where blood flow may already be inhibited.
  • The possibility that the reshaped bones do not heal as expected, requiring additional treatment or continued symptoms.

Most people experience very favorable outcomes and can avoid any of the potential downsides associated with a surgical procedure, but every patient should know what they are signing up for before they move ahead with surgery. For more information about flat feet syndrome or reconstruction surgery, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today.

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