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Adult Acquired Flatfoot
What is Adult Acquired Flatfoot?
Adult Acquired Flatfoot Definition
Adult Acquired Flatfoot Deformity is a condition involving the medial column, or arch, of the foot. It typically involves the very important posterior tibial tendon which runs along the medial or inside aspect of the ankle. Whether from chronic repetitive microtrauma resulting in a tendinitis or a more significant injury, dysfunction of this tendon results in less support across the arch and may lead to injury of other supporting ligaments. As the condition progresses, the arch will "flatten".
Adult Acquired Flatfoot Symptoms and Anatomy
The most common symptoms of a fallen arch are pain and sometimes swelling along the posterior tibial tendon on the inside part of the ankle. Other more chronic symptoms can include stiffness and/or arthritis of the involved foot joints. Painful callouses can form as well. This flatfoot structure can even lead to altered forces across the knee joint, sometimes resulting in knee pain or arthritis.
Adult Acquired Flatfoot Treatment Options
Initial conservative treatment options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications - oral and/or topical
- Arch supporting shoe inserts - off-the-shelf or custom-molded
- Ankle bracing - off-the-shelf or custom-molded
- Physical therapy
- Weight loss
Adult Acquired Flatfoot Surgery
When conservative treatments fail, surgery may be considered to help reconstruct the anatomy of the foot. Surgical techniques and approaches will vary, but can include the cutting and moving of involved bones, transfers of tendons, and sometimes fusion of affected joints. Each surgical option is dependent on the severity of the deformity and other considerations specific to individual patients. These surgeries will include a time period of immobilization and weight bearing restrictions. All of these details will be discussed with your orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon.