Flat Feet…No Longer the Arch Enemy
Collapsing arches have become somewhat of an epidemic. No, flat feet aren’t something you can catch. It’s just that although nature has designed our feet perfectly, things like stylish shoes and man-made, hard flooring have taken their toll on them. Our poor feet just weren’t meant for that kind of daily abuse.
The fact is, most people don’t even know that they’re experiencing collapsing arches until trouble rears its ugly head. Are you inconvenienced by bunions, hammer toes, heel pain, back pain or even tendon pain the lower extremity? Well, the root of your trouble might very well be collapsing arches, or flat feet.
Okay, so perhaps you knew that already because you’ve seen a physician who identified the source of your woes. Did the doc prescribe custom orthotics and specially made sneakers or shoes to help divert the beating your aching feet are taking on a daily basis? If so, these are helpful but they are unfortunately not the solution. Simply put, they’re just a bandaid. I liken it to the difference between glasses and Lasik surgery. You can wear the glasses for the rest of your life, constantly having to clean them or even misplacing them. Or, you can have the surgery and enjoy clear vision freely.
Speaking of surgery, previously the only other option to conservative treatment was a rather lengthy, reconstructive procedure where bones were cut and reshaped to create a bigger arch. I would only recommend this to the severely flat-footed patient. In most cases, though, I find that this is over-aggressive to patients who have an arch that simply collapsed.
Luckily, there are now minimally invasive procedures to combat collapsing arches. More good news! With these procedures, you don’t need to be off your feet for months and don’t even have to wear specialized shoes or inserts. I knew you’d like that!
In one of the newest procedures, we insert a minimally invasive, internal stent that holds up the arch way better than any orthotic can. Don’t have all day? No worries. The procedure only takes 15 – 20 minutes, and you walk out the same day. Of course, you’d be required to wear a boot for a few days, but then we’d place you into a sneaker. We’ll even encourage you to walk, so you can stay in shape. Just avoid jumping and running for a few weeks.
Then you can jump, run and skip all you want. Arch enemy gone. Now isn’t that a relief?
Alex Tievsky, DPM
DeLoor Podiatry Associates