Acquired Adult Flatfoot Deformity: Everything You Need to Know

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Flat feet - 3D Sports Medicine

Acquired Adult Flatfoot Deformity: Everything You Need to Know

Acquired Adult Flatfoot Deformity (AAFD) is a very common condition that results to fallen arches of feet. This is a painful deformity affecting feet and ankles of both males and females.

People suffering from AAFD often experience pain and deformity at their ankle or hindfoot. When the tendon can’t properly function, changes can occur to the ankle and foot.

Flatfoot Symptoms

During the earlier stages, symptoms usually include pain along the tendon, behind the inside of the ankle. As the tendon sequentially fails to do its job, foot and ankle malformation may begin to occur. This will possibly involve continuous arch flattening and heel shifting, causing it to no longer be aligned underneath the rest of the leg. It may also include rotation and malformation of the forefoot, tightening of the heel cord, arthritis development, and deformity of the ankle joint. At these stages of acquired adult flatfoot, pain may shift from the inside to the outside aspect of the ankle since the heels begin to shift outward and structures are laterally pinched.

What Causes Flatfoot?

One common cause of acquired flatfoot is Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD) involving the tendon that functions to support the arch of the foot when walking. If this tendon becomes injured or swollen, it may eventually lead the arch to collapse. In other cases, adult flatfoot can also be caused by a tear to the foot ligaments. An injury to the middle of the foot may cause foot flattening which can be very painful. Some other causes are hindfoot injuries, and fractures of the bones in the foot. Another cause of flatfoot is arthritis which attacks the foot joint cartilage causing the foot to flatten.

AAFD diagnosis is often made with a combination of symptoms, physical examination, and x-ray imaging. Determining the foot shape, pain location, hindfoot joints’ flexibility and gait can help Dr. Wade make the right diagnosis-assessing and evaluating the condition thus arriving with a treatment plan.

How Adult Flatfoot is Treated

AAFD can be helped with braces, orthotics, and physical therapy. However, for patients who have tried these methods but didn’t get any relief, surgery may be needed to ease acute pain. When the adult flatfoot requires surgery, various procedures must be considered. The surgical plan will vary depending on the stage of the disorder. Procedures may include ligament and muscle lengthening, tendon lining removal, tendon transferring, bone cutting and realigning, and implant placement for realignment of the foot and joints.

If you’re experiencing acute pain due to AAFD, seek professional medical attention. In Brevard County, FL, Dr. Allison Wade of 3D Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center holds the distinction of being the ONLY Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeon. Call us today to schedule a consultation.