Normal feet have an arch, which is an upward curve located in the middle of the foot when you look at the foot from the outside. This arch is important for healthy and comfortable walking, but some people do not have this arch. Those without it are said to have flatfoot or fallen arches. Flatfoot is a condition treated by a foot doctor, and Elizabeth E. Auger, DPM can provide help with this condition to patients in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas.
Flatfoot is a condition where the tendons in the feet do not exhibit the proper pull to form a normal arch shape. Tendons are tight bands which connect bones of the heel and foot which should help to give the foot its shape if everything is working properly.
Foot abnormalities present from birth could cause the tendons not to pull properly, as can injury that causes the tendons to stretch or tear. Broken bones, an inflamed posterior tibial tendon, and nerve issues can also affect the ability of the tendons to help maintain the shape of the foot. Pregnancy, obesity, and diabetes make these problems more likely.
Suffering from flatfoot can impact you in many ways. When you have fallen arches, your feet may get tired easily and you may experience lots of aches and pains in the feet. Swelling on the inside of the foot can occur, and back and leg pain may develop. You may also have a difficult time standing on your tiptoes. Unfortunately, in many cases, your overall mobility is impacted by these symptoms.
A foot doctor can diagnose flat feet in an exam. If you get a flatfoot diagnosis, you need an experienced podiatrist who understands the signs of this condition.
Dr. Auger has helped many patients with flatfoot and will go through an appropriate diagnostic process including observing you walk; testing muscle and tendon strength; checking your shoes for unnatural wear patterns, and performing necessary testing, such as X-rays.
Once fallen arches are officially diagnosed, treatment could include pain-relieving medications; stretching and physical therapy; resting and icing; and the use of orthotics.
When more aggressive treatment is needed, surgery is an option. Procedures could include using bone grafts to form a more natural arch; cleaning the protective covering of the tendons; changing bone shape; implanting tendons from elsewhere on the body; and/or fusing the bones of the ankle together.
Dr. Auger has three offices where patients with fallen arches can seek treatment. Visit Dr. Auger today in Salt Lake City, West Jordan, or Sandy, Utah to find out how an experienced foot doctor will help with fallen arches.