Flat feet can cause pain, limited mobility and more. At Ankle and Foot Institute serving the St. Louis and Fenton, MO, areas, Dr. Richard Wittock helps many people overcome this hereditary problem.
What makes flat feet flat?
You have bones and muscles in your feet and ankles. Connective tissue called ligaments and tendons helps them operate with every step you take.
Typically, when these connective tissues do not tighten sufficiently to form distinct arches on the bottom of your feet, you have pes planus, or flat feet. Also called fallen arches, this common podiatric condition results from developmental immaturity (babies and toddlers have flat feet until they reach the age of three or four), tight Achilles tendons and posterior tendon dysfunction. This acquired deformity happens when the tendon between the calf and the inside of your ankle becomes overstretched (even to the point of tearing).
What's so bad about flat feet?
The Institute for Preventive Foot Health has found that a full eight percent of American adults have flat feet. Diabetics, people with body weight issues and those with hypertension may suffer from pes planus. Sprains and fractures in the lower extremities may lead to flat feet as well.
Sadly, flat feet impact mobility and quality of life with:
- Limited range of motion
Plus, symptoms can be progressive. That's why an exam and symptom management with your Fenton and St. Louis, MO podiatrist are so significant.
What your foot doctor can do
Dr. Wittock is a published podiatric expert on flat feet. When you come to Ankle and Foot Institute, he'll ask you about your symptoms and what may worsen or alleviate them. He'll do a complete podiatric exam and X-rays as needed. He may ask you to walk and to stand on your toes.
With a confirmed diagnosis, Dr. Wittock may advise:
- Good quality footwear with adequate support in the arches
- Custom-crafted shoe orthotics, or inserts, to lift the arches
- Stretching and light exercise
Some people require foot surgery on the arches, or occasionally, a procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon.
Get the relief you need
Flat feet can be managed with help from your podiatrist serving Fenton and St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock. For an in-office consultation, please call Foot and Ankle Institute at (636) 717-1100.