What are Fallen Arches and How are They Treated?
Your foot has a complex structure. With numerous bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, there are many things that could go wrong with your foot. A common foot ailment is fallen arches.
What is a Foot Arch?
The arch of the foot is formed by several tendons that attach to your heel and foot bones. These tight bands help form the curve that, when all are working together with your foot and lower leg, make a normal arch. But when these tendons do not work together correctly to provide the right amount of pull, you might have little or no arch at all. This is referred to as a fallen arch or flat foot.
What Causes Fallen Arches?
There are several reasons why you might suffer from a fallen arch. Some of the most common are:
- Injury to tendons, including tearing or overstretching
- Broken or dislocated bones in your foot
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, including damage or inflammation
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other medical conditions
- Injury or damage to nerves
- Foot abnormalities at birth
Your risk of developing fallen arches increases with age or if you are obese, diabetic or pregnant.
Fallen Arch Symptoms
If you have fallen arches, you might never have pain or other issues with your feet that would require treatment. However, you should consult with an orthopaedic surgeon if:
- You experience pain in your arches and heels
- The bottom of your feet become swollen
- Moving your feet is painful or difficult
- Pain in your back or legs
- Your feet feel tired all the time
Treating Fallen Arches
Your doctor will perform an examination and diagnostics to determine if you have fallen arches and the cause of your condition. When there is severe damage to your foot or non-surgical treatments fail to relieve your pain, surgery may be recommended. Such may be the case with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.
If you have fallen arches due to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, there is help available. Dr. Allison Wade of 3D Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center has the distinction of being the only foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in Brevard County, Florida. Call to schedule a consultation today.