Are Fallen Arches Really A Problem?
(Mauldin, SC, 10/30/14) Are Fallen Arches Really a Problem? Or are they just a label for chronically sore feet?
(Mauldin, SC) foot and ankle surgeon (Sara Borkosky DPM, AACAFS, says fallen arches –or flat feet– are a legitimate medical condition affecting five percent of Americans.
“Flat feet can be present at birth, or develop over decades of walking, running and overall time spent on the feet, especially on hard surfaces in the workplace,” says Dr. Borkosky of Oak Tree Podiatry, PA.
When present at birth it can be due to abnormal connection between specific bones in the foot either by soft tissue or bone. This type of flat foot is rigid and unable to be corrected by stretching. If the foot remains flexible, it is usually due to development of the tendons and ligaments and bracing or orthotics can aid normal foot development and function.
If the flattening occurs as an adult, aka: adult acquired flatfoot, it is typically the result of overuse over the lifetime. The main tendon on the inside of the foot that hold up the arch gets stressed, can become swollen and even rupture over time. This leads to a gradual dropping of the arch and pain. Again, beginning treatment with bracing or orthotics can help limit the amount of damage and prolong or eliminate the need for surgery. If arthritis develops and the foot becomes rigid, surgical intervention is often needed to straighten the foot, rebuild the arch and limit pain.
“Flat feet can be very painful and make people avoid walking, running and exercise,” says Dr. Borkosky. “If you seek medical attention early, a foot surgeon may be able to prevent it from becoming a more serious foot problem.”
Dr. Borkosky says treatments may include modifying or limiting activities, stretching exercises, custom shoe inserts, bracing and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. If those techniques don’t work, she says a variety of surgical procedures may be considered to relieve pain and improve foot function.
To contact Dr. Borkosky at Oak Tree Podiatry, PA about flatfoot treatment or other painful foot conditions, call her office at 864-297-6616.
Dr. Borkosky is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Visit their FootHealthFacts.org Web site for reliable information on fallen arches and other conditions