What is Flat Foot?
If you have flat feet, this means that the arch of your foot is lower than normal and the entire sole can touch the floor when standing. Yet, it is important to know that this is a condition that may not affect your quality of life and not every person with flat feet requires surgical treatment in Singapore. However, if you experience swelling, and pain in the foot and ankle among other symptoms, flat foot reconstruction surgery is an option when you are starting to find it difficult to walk.
Common Causes of Flat Feet
The arch of the foot generally helps with shock absorption, distributing body weight evenly and providing stability for walking or running. However, with flat feet, you may make up for this lack of support by increasing your heel strike from step to step.
Also known as pes planus, flat feet can be either an inherited condition or a result of physical injury or illnesses such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. This can cause problems in both children and adults. A flat foot can lead to pain in the legs, back, hips and other parts of the body as well as cause abnormal wear on your shoes or foot deformities like bunions.
In the case of bunions, your doctor may also suggest minimally invasive bunion surgery, depending on the severity of the bump.
Who Needs to Visit a Doctor for Flat Foot Treatment?
Many people can live with flat feet without experiencing any pain or discomfort. However, for patients with painful flat feet, having difficulty with daily activities or experiencing pain in the ankle or foot when walking or running is common. Nerves may also be damaged in the foot, causing numbness or a tingling sensation. In such cases, seeking the advice of an orthopaedic surgeon and having the foot evaluated to get proper treatment will be necessary.
Diagnosis of Flat Foot
A flat foot is diagnosed through a physical exam, where the orthopaedic assesses the foot and ankle for any visible signs of a flat foot, such as a low arch or a foot that appears to roll inward when walking. The doctor may also perform tests to evaluate the strength and flexibility of the foot and ankle, as well as the range of motion in the foot and ankle joints, to prescribe the right treatment plan.
In some cases, X-rays may be ordered to obtain images of the bones and joints in the foot and ankle. This can help identify any abnormalities in the bones or joints, as well as any arthritis or other conditions that may be contributing to the flat foot. In rare cases, additional tests may be ordered to rule out other conditions that may be causing the flat foot, such as nerve or muscle disorders.
Precautions Before Flat Foot Treatment
Before beginning any treatment for a flat foot, it is important to consult our flat foot reconstruction surgery specialist in Singapore for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. It is not recommended to self-treat a flat foot, as this may cause more harm than good. Flat foot treatment can take time and may require patience, so it is important to follow the prescribed treatment plan and be consistent in your efforts to see results.
Treatment Options for Flat Foot
Most flat feet can be treated with non-surgical treatments such as shoe inserts, braces and physical therapy. Should these non-invasive methods be unsuccessful, you may consider surgical intervention through flat foot reconstruction to adequately relieve painful symptoms. Getting flat foot surgery may also be advisable to correct any misalignment or instability in the foot.
Depending on the individual, different types of surgery may be performed to treat the flat foot. Flat foot surgery can be done to create an arch, repair tendons, or lengthen the Achilles tendon. Minimally invasive surgeries may also be done to create a natural space between the ankle and the heel bone. In general, flat foot reconstruction is done under general anaesthetic to numb the foot and reduce the pain post-operation. Depending on the surgery, the surgeon might shift the heel bone back to the correct alignment under the leg, remove the damaged tibial tendon and replace it. He can also repair or reconstruct the damaged spring and deltoid ligament, or make incisions and spread the bone apart to recreate an arch.
Post-Care Steps After Flat Foot Treatment
For flat foot reconstruction surgery in Singapore, it will usually require up to four months of recovery before you may transition to wearing shoes, while full recovery can take up to two years. During this time, do note that you will need to follow specific rehabilitation instructions such as going for physical therapy to help ensure a successful outcome.
Possible Side Effects of Flat Foot Treatment
Soreness or discomfort after flat foot treatment is a common side effect that can be managed with rest and over-the-counter pain medication. Swelling or bruising may also occur, but this is typically temporary and will subside within a few days. Patients may experience an allergic reaction to medications or anaesthesia used during the treatment, and infection is also a potential risk, although it is rare. You should discuss any potential side effects with your doctor before undergoing any flat foot treatment.
Why Choose OrthofootMD for Flat Foot Treatment in Singapore?
If you are seeking flat foot treatment in Singapore, look no further than OrthofootMD. Dr Gowreeson is a highly skilled orthopaedic doctor who is known for his expertise in treating lower limb orthopaedic conditions, with a focus on minimally invasive surgical techniques for foot and ankle, knee, and hip/thigh conditions. Moreover, he has experience in trauma and fracture surgery for both the upper and lower limbs.
OrthofootMD is dedicated to providing exceptional care and empathy to its patients, following an evidence-based approach. We understand that each patient has unique needs and thus adopt a patient-centric approach that prioritises personalised care and treatments to achieve the best possible outcomes for each individual.
Dr Gowreeson- Flat Foot Reconstruction Surgery Specialist
Dr Gowreeson Thevendran is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon at OrthofootMD in Singapore who specialises in foot and ankle surgery, including flat foot reconstruction surgery. He received his medical education at the University of Bristol and completed his surgical training in London, UK. He has further pursued fellowship training in foot and ankle surgery at the University of British Columbia, sports surgery at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, and complex trauma and deformity correction surgery at Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He is also a published author, having contributed to numerous scientific articles and has been a speaker at several regional and international orthopaedic meetings.
Insurance and Medisave Coverage for Flat Foot Treatment
OrthofootMD provides multiple orthopaedic treatments and flat foot treatments that are eligible for coverage under insurance plans and Medisave. However, patients should visit the clinic and confirm the eligibility of their treatment for Medisave claims and the level of coverage offered by their insurance plan.
Get Flat Foot Treatment in Singapore
Flat foot reconstruction surgery may lessen the discomfort in your lower body, provide more stability during activities, and reduce the risk of injury to ligaments connecting the joints in your feet and legs. Moving forward, it is crucial to seek the advice of orthopaedic specialists to better understand if a flat foot reconstruction surgery is a suitable treatment for your condition. Book an appointment with foot surgeon Dr Gowreeson in Singapore for more information today.
Dr Gowreeson Thevendran
MBChB (Bristol), MRCS.Ed, Dip. Sports Med.Ed, FRCS.Ed ( Trauma & Ortho. ), FAMS (Singapore)
- Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery
- English, Malay, Tamil
- Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, University of Bristol, England
- Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh
- Diplomate Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh
- Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore
- SICOT PIONEER Founders Award 2020
- 2015 European Foot & Ankle Society ‘Best Podium Presentation’ Award
- 2013 Singapore Orthopaedic Association Junior Travelling Fellowship
- 2012 NHG Critical Talent Special Recognition Award
- 1998 Enid Lindt Prize in Clinical Surgery
- 1995 Public Services Department Full Medical scholarship
Frequently Asked Questions about Flat Foot Surgery
When the foot arch does not rise high enough and the entire soles touch the floor when weight is put on the foot, this could be an indication of flat feet. The arches of your foot are made up of three different ligaments, one from each side and one from the middle. These ligaments should support the weight of your foot and keep them aligned properly so that it does not hurt to walk or stand for long periods. When these ligaments do not work correctly, this can lead to flat feet which can create other problems such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain or even lower back pain.
It is important to note that if you have flat feet but do not experience pain, you may not need to consult a doctor. Learn more about when flat feet may become a problem.
Pronation is the natural motion of your foot that occurs when you walk or run. Yet, when the arch on the inside of your foot flattens out, it can cause overpronation. In this case, the heel bone rotates inward and can cause excessive movement in the ankle joint and instability in the knee joint. Flat feet are a major risk factor for overpronation as they lack arches.
People who overpronate are also more likely to have:
- Pain in the foot arch, knee, hip and/or back
- Hammer toes
Yes, flat feet are also sometimes referred to as fallen arches. Flat feet are characterised by an abnormally flattened arch that falls toward the ground from a young. Fallen arches may be used to describe a flat feet condition – caused by the collapse of the arch on one or both feet – that has developed over time as one ages. When the pain becomes severe, you may wish to consult your orthopaedic doctor for flat foot treatment options, which may include flat foot reconstruction surgery.
Dr Gowreeson Thevendran is currently an orthopaedic surgeon with Island Orthopaedic, a one-stop care centre for orthopaedic health under Healthway Medical Group. He specialises in treating lower limb orthopaedic conditions, as well as trauma and fracture surgery of both the upper and lower limbs. Prior to establishing his private practice, Dr Gowreeson was Chief of Foot & Ankle Surgery at the Department of Orthopaedics at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). Today, he continues to serve the Orthopaedic Department at TTSH as a visiting consultant.