Southern Tier Podiatry
Marilyn Boyuka, DPM
Podiatrist located in Vestal, NY
Flat feet can develop during childhood, or they can occur later in life. In adults, they often cause pain and difficulty walking. Dr. Marilyn Boyuka at Southern Tier Podiatry has extensive experience helping patients with flat feet find relief from their pain and improve their arches using a variety of conservative treatments. To learn more about treatment options for flat feet, call the office in Vestal, New York or use the online booking tool to schedule an evaluation.
Flat Feet Q & A
What are flat feet?
Flat feet occur when you have a partial or complete collapse of the arches in your feet. Flat feet may contribute to other foot problems such as Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and hammertoes.
What are the different types of flat feet?
There are several types of flat feet:
Pediatric flat feet
Children naturally have flat feet up until the age of six, because it takes time for their bones to mature and develop strong arches. About 1-2 out of every 10 children, however, don’t outgrow their flat feet.
Congenital flat feet
In rare cases, children are born with problems that cause flat feet, such as loose ligaments or tarsal coalition: An inherited condition in which foot bones are fused together.
Flexible flat feet
One of the most common types of flat feet, flexible flat feet begin in childhood or adolescence and continue throughout your adult years.
The condition is flexible because you have flat feet when standing, but your arches return to normal when they’re not bearing weight. Flexible flat feet worsen over time, potentially causing inflammation and tearing in foot tendons and ligaments.
Adult-acquired flat feet
Adult-acquired flat feet is a painful condition that develops over time, as changes occur that cause the arches to collapse. This type of flat feet can be caused by:
- Fractured foot bone
- Joint dislocation
- Torn or stretched tendon
- Damaged nerves
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
What is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD)?
Dysfunction of the posterior tibial tendon is one of the most common reasons adults develop flat feet. This tendon attaches your calf muscles to your feet, where it helps your feet function while walking and supports your arches.
PTTD typically occurs from overuse of the tendon, but it can also weaken in patients who take steroids or have a chronic disease such as diabetes.
How are flat feet treated?
Your treatment plan depends on the severity of your flat feet and your symptoms. It may include:
Dr. Boyuka may recommend several options to relieve pain and improve foot function, such as:
- Arch support with customized shoes or orthotics
- Taping to support the arch
- Exercises to improve range of motion
- Customized orthotic braces
- Boot or cast orthotics for foot support
If you continue experiencing pain after conservative therapies, Dr. Boyuka may perform surgery to repair the tendon, fuse or remove bones, or remove inflamed tissues.
To receive a comprehensive evaluation and treatment for flat feet, call Southern Tier Podiatry or book an appointment online.
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