Flatfoot: causes, prevention and treatment

Each of us can regularly make mistakes that will lead to flat feet. What exactly, how to prevent them and what to do if you already have flat feet, says an orthopedic traumatologist, candidate of medical sciences, full member of ESSKA, AAOS, ASTAOR, ATOR Yuri Glazkov.

Flatfoot: causes, prevention and treatment

Yuri Glazkov

Flat feet is one of the most common deformities of the lower extremities. It is occasionally congenital, but more often acquired. In children, the pathology usually develops due to rickets, and in adults it is the result of prolonged standing.

With rickets in the child's body, vitamin D is not enough and calcium metabolism is impaired. A lack of calcium in the bones makes them soft. Initially, the foot has the shape of a vault, but with rickets, the resistance of the bones to the vertical load decreases. So, they do not withstand the body mass of the child and gradually become deformed. By 16-17 years, the bones finally harden, the foot remains flat.

Flatfoot: causes, prevention and treatment

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A common form of pathology is static flat feet. This is a consequence of a decrease in the tone of the muscles of the foot as a result of prolonged standing. Ligament sprains occur because they have a large load. The scaphoid and calcaneus are displaced, and the capsule of the ankle joint is wrinkled and stretched.

More rare forms of acquired flatfoot:

  • paralytic - a consequence of transferred polio;
  • traumatic - the result of an injury (fracture of the tarsus).

so that the flat feet do not form in childhood, parents should deal with its prevention. It consists in:

  • to prevent the development of a deficiency of vitamins (the child should often be in the sun, supplements or preparations with vitamins will not be superfluous);
  • try to avoid injuries, and if they occur, consult a doctor to prevent improper bone fusion after fractures;
  • do not stand in one place for a long time, and if necessary, do warm-up regularly;
  • try to avoid wearing shoes with too hard soles;
  • often walk barefoot.

Adults should avoid prolonged standing in one place, as this weakens the muscles and stretches the ligaments. It is necessary to control the regime of the day and rest regularly.

Flatfoot: causes, prevention and treatment

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The first signs of flat feet - it is pain in the calf muscles and fatigue of the legs at the end of the day. Pain in the feet gradually increases with prolonged standing and walking. The arch of the foot and lower leg muscles hurts.

On examination:

  • the foot is lengthened;
  • in the middle part is extended;
  • the heel is rejected to the outside.

Flatfoot: causes, prevention and treatment

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Parents may notice that the child is quickly slipping shoes. And mainly from the inside. Heel is quickly erased. In an adult, the first symptom may be soreness in the muscles of the lower leg, which indicates excessive tension.

Then there is swelling of the feet.

Diagnosis of flat feet is not difficult. To do this, use plantography (footprint) or podography (podometry) according to Freeland (this is the determination of the percentage of the height of the foot and its length; i.e., the height of the arch in millimeters is multiplied by 100 and divided by the length of the foot from the tip of the thumb to the back of the heel in millimeters).

At the early stages of development of flat feet, conservative treatment is possible. The patient needs to:

  • more often walk barefoot on an uneven surface (on stones or sand);
  • take warm foot baths;
  • receive a massage;
  • perform special exercises.

With the progression of flat feet, orthopedic shoes are required. It should form the arch of the foot and raise the medial edge of the heel. It is possible to pick up special insoles only from a doctor who makes them individually according to the casts of the feet.

Flatfoot: causes, prevention and treatment

Photo: shutterstock. com

With heavy flat feet, the application of plaster casts is indicated. After eliminating the pain, the gypsum is removed and the patient wears orthopedic shoes.

If conservative treatment fails, surgery is needed. It is done not earlier than in 10 years.

In the postoperative period, wearing orthopedic shoes is required. In adults, pathology is often complicated by valgus deformity of the first toe. The basis of treatment is a surgical operation, because only it allows you to achieve a sustainable result, and not a temporary decrease in pain.

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