WHAT IS A FLAT FOOT?
A flat foot is a term used to describe a collapsed arch in the foot, causing the entire foot to touch the floor when standing and walking or just to stay flat entirely. There are two kinds of flat feet. The first, a flexible flat foot, retains motion, and the arch can spring back when the foot has no weight on it. This is typically not painful, though some people may experience pain after playing sports. The second type is known as a rigid flat foot. These feet are ‘stuck’ in the flat position, and the arch is not present, whether bearing weight or not. A rigid flat foot, unlike a flexible flat foot, can cause foot pain during everyday activities. At Millennium Podiatry, we're dedicated to correcting these issues for our patients in New York, NY. Our talented team of doctors is highly experienced in rectifying instances of both flexible and rigid flat feet.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FLAT FEET?
Patients who are suffering from flat feet may complain of pain in their arches and/or heels. Commonly, there is pain on the outside of the foot, where the foot meets the ankle, as the collapsed foot presses against the ankle. Additionally, muscle cramps within the foot and onto the leg may occur. In general, patients usually have pain with physical activities, such as walking or running. In many instances, irritation from shoes can cause redness and swelling for those with flat feet.
What CAUSES FLAT FEET?
There are a variety of causes of flat feet. It can be genetic, acquired, or develop over time. In addition, injury, tendon problems, and arthritis can also lead to flat feet. Rigid flat feet may also occur from a condition called tarsal coalition, where the bones in the back of the foot are genetically fused or locked together.
What Forms of TREATMENT Are Available for Flat Feet?
- Purchase better-fitting shoes.
- Use shoe inserts, preferably arch supports.
- Rest the foot and apply ice to the painful area.
- Take anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
- Ask your doctor if you need to follow a physical therapy program.
Surgical procedures often include:
- Heel bone realignment.
- Repairing a stretched or torn tendon.
- Using a piece of one tendon to lengthen or replace another.
- Fusing one or more of the bones in the foot or ankle together.
"Dr. Levine and staff are absolutely amazing. I had several consultations with other podiatrists, none came close Dr. Levine or Dr. Ryan. Both do meticulous work. I had very painful bunions on both feet, Dr. Levine removed both and I barely have scars (seriously!). Kind, compassionate, and TOP in her field. My sister suffers from the same (painful bunions), and she lives over an hour and half outside NYC but she will ONLY see Dr. Levine for her surgery. I highly recommend 100%!!!"- Deb G / Google / Dec 10, 2020
"Dr. Suzanne Levine and her team are the best! I had a bad infection on my toe that looked dreadful. Dr. Levine treated it with a laser that was gentle, quick, and effective. After two treatments, my toe looked 100% better! I would definitely trust them with any foot issues in the future"- Jeffrey Greenstein / Google / Nov 20, 2020
"Dr. Levine and her team are real top professionals in the field of podiatry. I came here because of a misdiagnosed foot problem. Dr Levine identified the issue immediately. Also the office is state of the art and supper efficient!"- Kim Opiatowski / Google / Nov 17, 2020
"Dr. Levine, Dr. Ryan and the team at Institute Beauté provided the best podiatry services and overall healthcare experience I have ever received. From my initial consultation through both of my foot surgeries and follow-ups, I have had every question answered, every treatment clearly and patiently explained to me and am treated like family during every visit. Dr. Levine is at the top of her field and introduced me to innovative procedures that were able to correct foot problems I formerly thought I would struggle with forever. Correcting my foot pain has changed my life and I could not recommend Dr. Levine and her team highly enough."- Rebecca Schlacter / Google / Nov 17, 2020
"I knew from my consultation with Dr. Ryan that I was in great hands at Dr Levine's practice. He answered all my questions, putting any concerns at ease, educating and assuring me on problems and solutions. We were on the same page when I left the office and I felt confident to book the operations. I was treated for multiple ailments including bunions, flat feet, and crooked toes. Within a month, I can feel the difference in my arch and even the way I walk, not to mention how much better they look. The office is aesthetically glamorous, it gives me great vibes, and the girls at the desk are so sweet and accommodating. This is the place to go if you have any concerns about your feet!"- Brittany Beckett / Google / Nov 17, 2020
Flat Foot FAQ
How do you know if you have flat feet?
Some simple identifiable characteristics of flat feet include a lack of arch or decreasing arch (especially when putting weight on your feet), foot pain and fatigue on the inner side of your feet and arches, foot swelling, and foot and leg fatigue.
Can you improve your foot arch?
Yes, you can. Here are some simple exercises you can do to improve your foot arch:
- Heel stretches
- Rolling your foot on a tennis ball, focusing on the arch
- Arch lifts
- Calf raises
- Stair arch raises
- Towel curls
- Toe raises
How do you prevent flat feet?
While flat feet can be caused by genetics, there are some things you can do to help protect your arches. These include staying healthy to avoid developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, avoiding or limiting high-impact activities (running on roads, soccer, tennis, basketball, etc.), wearing supportive shoes or orthotic inserts, doing regular foot exercises like the ones listed above, and having physical therapy.
How long is recovery after flat foot surgery?
Most patients will return home the same day as their surgery with their treated foot in a cast and using crutches to walk. After about six weeks, the cast can be removed. You'll have to avoid putting too much weight on it as it heals. After about three months, most will be able to wear normal shoes with a foot or ankle brace. Typically, many patients will be able to return to sports and exercise regimens within 6 - 12 months after their surgery. Most will need to wear orthotic insoles to support their feet. Some may need physical therapy to help improve the range of motion, strength, and flexibility of their treated foot.
Correct Your Flat Feet
Whether you have flexible flat feet or rigid flat feet, the expert staff at Millennium Podiatry are dedicated to providing the medical care you deserve. Through a number of both surgical and nonsurgical techniques, we can alleviate pain and/or reshape your feet into a more ideal position. Contact our New York, NY office today to schedule your consultation and receive an expert diagnosis from one of our doctors.
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