Adult Acquired Flat Feet
Flat feet is very common in our population. Up to 20% of us have flat feet. Most of them are painless and therefore harmless. However, some of us do not have flat feet when younger. We "acquire" them in adulthood. This is an abnormal collapse of the arch of the foot.
This collapse is believed to be related to tendon degeneration. An older name "posterior tibial tendon dysfuction (PTTD)" is often used. Left untreated, this can lead to hindfoot osteoarthritis.
This type of abnormal flat feet is painful. It is frequently "one-sided". Ask a friend or relative to look at your ankles from the back and see if they are symmetrically aligned.
Initial treatment is often orthotics. Surgical correction is a last resort. Treated early and correctly, the prognosis is excellent. Surgery in the past, often involved extensive fusion of the ankle and hindfoot joints. This results in a stiff foot. Current treatment is joint sparing. Using osteotomies (bone reshaping) procedures, surgical correction can result in a well aligned and mobile foot.
The above patient has collapsed arches in both feet. The right side has been corrected and the left side has not been corrected yet. Notice the much improved alignment and appearance of the right foot and ankle when compared to the left side. Again, much of the surgery can be performed through minimally invasive small incisions involving scopes and special devices.

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