Have you ever wondered if your feet are trying to tell you something? If you’ve experienced persistent foot pain, swelling, or difficulty walking, your feet might be signalling that it’s time to pay closer attention to their needs.
Enter the world of flat foot – a condition that affects at least a quarter of adults worldwide, and one that could be the missing piece to the puzzle of your foot-related woes. In this blog, we’ll dive into the intricacies of flat foot, explore treatment options in Singapore, and discuss when it might be time to consider surgery.
What is Flat Foot?
Imagine navigating daily life with the entire soles of your feet touching the ground, experiencing discomfort or even pain in your feet, ankles, and lower legs. This is the reality for those with flat feet, also known as pes planus. While it is common for infants and young children to have flat feet without concern, for adults, it can be a more significant issue.
The collapse of the foot’s arch, which characterises flat feet, can lead to various symptoms that impact a person’s quality of life. These symptoms may include walking discomfort, challenges in standing for extended periods, or even difficulty finding shoes that fit comfortably. Living with flat feet can undoubtedly affect daily activities, but understanding the condition and seeking appropriate treatment can help pave the way to improved foot health and overall well-being.
Common Flat Foot Treatment Options
A doctor-guided treatment plan is usually the first course of action for flat foot. Treatment options may include exercises, physical therapy, and the use of orthotic devices, such as arch supports or custom-made shoes. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
While these treatments can be effective for many people, there may be instances when surgery is necessary. Flat foot reconstructive surgery is an option in Singapore and around the world, for those who have significant pain and limited mobility, and whose symptoms have not improved with conservative treatment options. The goal of the surgery is to restore the foot’s arch and improve its function.
Factors to Consider Before Surgery
Before considering flat foot surgery, there are several factors that both you and your doctor should evaluate to determine if surgery is the most suitable course of action:
1. Severity of condition
The severity of your flat foot condition plays a critical role in deciding whether surgery is necessary. To assess the extent of the damage, your doctor may employ various imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans. These imaging techniques can provide a detailed view of your foot’s structure, helping your doctor understand the underlying causes of your flat feet and the degree to which your arch has collapsed.
2. Overall age and health of the patient
Your age and general health are also essential factors to consider before opting for surgery. Younger patients may have a better capacity for healing and recovery, while older patients might experience a slower healing process or have other health conditions that could complicate the surgery. The doctor will take into account any pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, or poor circulation, as they may affect the surgical outcome or increase the risk of complications.
3. Previous treatments and their effectiveness
Before recommending surgery, your doctor will likely evaluate the effectiveness of conservative treatments you have tried, such as physical therapy, exercises, or orthotic devices. If these non-surgical interventions have not provided significant relief or improvement, surgery may be considered as the next step.
4. Lifestyle and activity level
Your lifestyle and activity level are also important factors to consider. If your daily activities or occupation require you to be on your feet for extended periods or involve strenuous physical activities, surgery may be necessary to alleviate pain and improve your quality of life. On the other hand, if your lifestyle is relatively sedentary, your doctor may recommend trying conservative treatments for a longer period before considering surgery.
5. Patient’s expectations and goals
Finally, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your expectations and goals from the surgery. Communicate openly with your doctor about your desired outcomes, such as pain relief, improved mobility, or better foot function. Your doctor can then provide a realistic assessment of what to expect from the surgery and how it aligns with your personal goals.
Flat Foot Surgery in Singapore
If surgery is deemed necessary, the procedure may involve several different techniques, including tendon repair or transfer, bone realignment, and joint fusion. The exact technique used will depend on the patient’s individual needs and the extent of the damage.
Recovery after flat foot surgery can vary depending on the extent of the procedure. In some cases, patients may need to wear a cast or a special boot for several weeks. Physical therapy may also be necessary to help improve mobility and range of motion. In general, it can take several months for the foot to fully heal, and patients should avoid strenuous activity during this time.
If you’re considering flat foot reconstruction surgery, it’s essential to find a foot and ankle surgeon with the right experience and expertise. At OrthofootMD, we offer advanced treatments for sprained ankles and flat foot surgery. Our experienced orthopaedic specialists in Singapore use the latest techniques and technologies to provide patients with personalised care and treatment plans.
With the right care and support from our orthopaedic surgeons, you can improve your foot function and regain your quality of life.