There are some things that gain value as they age. Antique dealers are always on the lookout for pieces that have a certain wear and tear look that will bring a high price tag. Our feet on the other
hand, don't always fair as well when they have experienced a lot of wear and tear. Cumulative stress and impact can cause your foot structure to weaken and become prone to injury, especially when you
have a flat foot. This is the case with a condition called posterior tibial tendon
Rheumatoid arthritis This type of arthritis attacks the cartilage in the foot, leading to pain and flat feet. It is caused by auto-immune disease, where the body?s immune system attacks its own
tissues. Diabetes. Having diabetes can cause nerve damage and affect the feeling in your feet and cause arch collapse. Bones can also fracture but some patients may not feel any pain due to the nerve
damage. Obesity and/or hypertension (high blood pressure) This increases your risk of tendon damage and resulting flat foot.
The symptoms of PTTD may include pain, swelling, a flattening of the arch, and inward rolling of the ankle. As the condition progresses, the symptoms will change. For example, later, as the arch
begins to flatten, there may still be pain on the inside of the foot and ankle. But at this point, the foot and toes begin to turn outward and the ankle rolls inward. As PTTD becomes more advanced,
the arch flattens even more and the pain often shifts to the outside of the foot, below the ankle. The tendon has deteriorated considerably and arthritis often develops in the foot. In more severe
cases, arthritis may also develop in the ankle. Symptoms, which may occur in some persons with flexible flatfoot, include. Pain in the heel, arch, ankle, or along the outside of the foot. ?Turned-in?
ankle. Pain associated with a shin splint. General weakness / fatigue in the foot or leg.
Examination by your foot and ankle specialist can confirm the diagnosis for most patients. An ultrasound exam performed in the office setting can evaluate the status of the posterior tibial tendon,
the tendon which is primarily responsible for supporting the arch structure of the foot.
Non surgical Treatment
The following is a summary of conservative treatments for acquired flatfoot. Stage 1, NSAIDs and short-leg walking cast or walker boot for 6-8 weeks; full-length semirigid custom molded orthosis,
physical therapy. Stage 2, UCBL orthosis or short articulated ankle orthosis. Stage 3, Molded AFO, double-upright brace, or patellar tendon-bearing brace. Stage 4, Molded AFO, double-upright brace,
or patellar tendon-bearing brace.
For more chronic flatfoot pain, surgical intervention may be the best option. Barring other serious medical ailments, surgery is a good alternative for patients with a serious problem. There are two
surgical options depending on a person?s physical condition, age and lifestyle. The first type of surgery involves repair of the PTT by transferring of a nearby tendon to help re-establish an arch
and straighten out the foot. After this surgery, patients wear a non-weight bearing support boot for four to six weeks. The other surgery involves fusing of two or three bones in the hind foot below
the ankle. While providing significant pain relief, this option does take away some hind foot side-to-side motion. Following surgery, patients are in a cast for three months. Surgery is an effective
treatment to address adult-acquired flatfoot, but it can sometimes be avoided if foot issues are resolved early. That is why it is so important to seek help right away if you are feeling ankle pain.
But perhaps the best way to keep from becoming flatfooted is to avoid the risk factors altogether. This means keeping your blood pressure, weight and diabetes in check.