What is the flatfoot?
The flat foot is a deformity characterized by a low or completely absent plantar arch. Foot at birth is physiologically flat and around the age of 2-3 plantar arch appears and complete its formation around puberty (12-14 years)
How can flatfoot be diagnosed?
The diagnosis of the flat foot is performed by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon after an accurate clinical evaluation of the child.
Should the flat foot be treated?
Treatment is recommended. Recent studies of gait analysis of the human body have shown that people with flat foot lose 30% of their power and have a higher risk of foot osteoarthritis in a young age. In addition, in children, the incorrect support of the foot may influence the development of the physiological biomechanical axis of the lower limbs.
Witch treatments are indicated?
There are two types of treatment:
1. Conservative: using particular tailor-made “tickles” (orthotic insoles) placed inside footwears. The aim is to support foot during walk ensuring the correct alignment of lower limbs during growth.
The different types of orthotic insoles can be prescribed by a pediatric orthopedic surgein after child’s accurate clinical evaluation
2. Surgical: flat foot surgery (arthroreisis of the subtalar or calcaneus stop) is performed not only in case of pain but also in asymptomatic flatfeet. Clinical studies demonstrated that a correct support and alignment of the foot is important for the correct growth of the lower limbs protecting the hip, knee and foot from premature osteoarthritis.
How is calcaneus stop surgery performed?
After an accurate clinical and radiographic evaluation of both feet, the pediatric orthopedic surgeon precedes with the correction of one foot at a time, usually the most “ugly” or the symptomatic one. A cause to the residual bone growth contralateral foot can be corrected automatically in some case otherwise surgical correction of the second foot is usually performed.
Duration of the surgery is about 5-10 minutes in Day Hospital under slight sedation and after 2-3 hours of clinical observation the patient returns home with immediate weight bearing load on the operated foot. Casting of the operated foot is not necessary.
Can flat foot be corrected after the end of growth?
Yes, correction of the flat foot is possible and different types of bone surgery (osteotomies) after clinical and radiographic evaluation of the feet can be performed.