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From Flat to Fabulous: Your Top Questions on Flat Foot Surgery Answered!Dr. Madhuri Mehta is a Foot & Ankle Surgeon at Gotham Footcare

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Your Top Questions on Flat Foot Surgery Answered | Gotham Footcare

Are you exhausted from dealing with the discomfort and limitations of flat feet? Have you tried every possible remedy and still struggle to walk or stand for long periods? If so, you are not the only one. Millions of people worldwide have flat feet, and while numerous non-surgical solutions are available, they aren't effective for everyone, leaving surgery as the only option. In this interview, Dr. Madhuri Mehta, a Foot and Ankle Surgeon at Gotham Footcare in New York City, will dive into the world of flat feet, what it is, when it's necessary to have surgery, and what you can expect from the procedure. So sit back, rest your feet, and let's dive in!

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet, often referred to as fallen arches, occurs when the arch of the foot flattens or collapses, and the entirety of the sole touches the ground. This condition can lead to discomfort, pain, and difficulty standing or walking for extended periods. Flat feet can happen for numerous reasons, including genetic injury or wear and tear over time. Many people with flat feet experience no symptoms, while others may require non-surgical treatment such as physical therapy and orthotics and, in worse cases, surgery.

How do I know I have flat feet?

As a patient, the easiest way to recognize if you have flat feet is when standing or walking. You may notice that the arch of your foot is low or absent when standing. You may be told you have a "heavy step" or hear a loud noise when walking. You may also feel pain or fatigue in your feet with long periods of standing or walking. Many times patients will notice that they wear out the insides of the sole of their shoes very fast. The best way to determine if you have flatfeet is to see a Podiatrist, get x-rays, and a gait exam.

Does walking barefoot cause flat feet?

Barefoot walking does not cause flat feet, but it can accelerate foot pathology in patients with flexible or hypermobile feet and need extra control or support from shoes.

What shoes should people with flat feet avoid?

Patients should avoid shoes that are flat, floppy, and flexible. An excellent supportive shoe should only be able to bend from the toe box. Narrow, flat, heavy, and unsupportive shoes cause many problems in patients with flat feet.

Is flat foot genetic?

Yes, genetics can play a role in a patient having flat feet. Over fifty percent of patients with flat feet have a family member with the same condition.

What problems do you have with flat feet?

As a Doctor, I like to intervene before patients develop problems or pain. Symptomatic patients can suffer from fatigue, painful bunion and hammertoes, heel pain, arch pain, arthritis, ankle sprains, knee and back pain, etc.

Can flat feet be corrected?

Flat feet can be treated conservatively or surgically, depending on the type of flatfoot. Flat feet can be flexible or rigid in nature, and flexible flat feet can be treated with custom orthotics, serial casting (particularly in children), pronation control shoes, taping, or physical therapy.

Can you grow out of flat feet?

Typically up to the age of 7, children are still developing the bones that help hold up their arch. Parents should be aware of the structure of their child's feet but also realize that a flat foot can be normal up to a certain age group. Parents should always look out for signs like in-toeing, tripping, falling, pain, or fatigue in children because these are signs of flat feet that need treatment.

Can a podiatrist help with flat feet?

At Gotham Footcare, our podiatrists specialize in treating all conditions affecting the lower extremities, including pain and discomfort associated with flat feet, which is one of the most common conditions affecting the foot and ankle. Early treatment and recognition is important when treating patients with flat feet.

Can flat feet be corrected through surgery?

Yes, there are several approaches to flatfoot surgery depending on the stage of the flat foot and whether it is flexible or rigid.

What are the surgical options for flat feet?

Surgical procedures for flat feet include tendon transfers, joint implants, joint fusions, or detailed flat foot reconstructions. At Gotham Footcare, your Surgeon will discuss surgical options with you based on your symptoms, x-rays, and foot type.

How long does it take to recover from a flat foot surgery?

It can take 2-3 months to heal from flat foot surgery, followed by 3-6 months of physical therapy.

Is flat foot surgery painful?

At Gotham, we aim to provide patients with a comfortable post-operative experience. Pain medications and strict post-operative protocols help us minimize pain and discomfort after surgery.

Is flat foot surgery covered by insurance?

Yes, most insurance plans will cover surgical treatment for flat feet.

When can I walk after flat foot surgery?

Walking after flatfoot surgery depends on the procedure that is performed. Most patients can walk around 6-8 weeks after surgery.

What can I expect after flat foot surgery?

Flat foot surgery aims to restore the normal alignment of bones, joints, and tendons in the foot so that patients can walk pain-free and return to their activities.

Can you wear heels after flat foot surgery?

Yes. Patients can wear high heel shoes after flat foot surgery if they are not feeling any pain or discomfort when walking.

Gotham Footcare is a reputable podiatry practice with multiple locations in New York City. Their team of highly trained and experienced podiatrists provide a comprehensive range of foot and ankle treatments, including sports injuries, bunions, hammertoes, Morton’s Neuroma, nail fungus, and plantar fasciitis. They use state-of-the-art technology and the latest medical advancements to ensure their patients receive the best possible care. The practice is dedicated to improving patients' quality of life by addressing their foot and ankle issues with personalized treatment plans.

At Gotham Footcare in NYC, we strive at recognizing your individual needs and desired outcomes while formulating an effective and personalized treatment plan with the highest quality care available.

What sets Gotham Footcare apart from other podiatry offices is our dedication to providing you with the education you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your care. Regardless of what your foot and ankle trouble may be, at Gotham Footcare our team will work tirelessly to help you feel better. At Gotham Footcare, we help you put your best foot forward.