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Surgery for painful flat feet can improve your quality of life

Surgery for painful flat feet can improve your quality of life

Flat feet generally mean that you have a low arch and a sunken arch. It is very common for people over the age of 60 to suffer from flat feet problems. The symptoms can cause pain in the affected foot, but more often cause pain in the hip, knee, and back due to improper loading of the body.

– Those who participated in the research study believe that their health condition is very poor. Painful flat feet have a huge impact on how healthy people feel. For those who want help treating painful flat feet, physical therapy is the first step, but if that doesn't work, foot surgery gives results. “We can make a big difference and improve the quality of life with the help of surgery,” says Ida Osbeck.

Complex process

Getting rid of pain caused by flat feet is a complex process because it often involves several simple interventions during the same process. But it is also successful in that the person who has undergone surgery can usually stand and walk without pain for some time after the operation.

– Those waiting for a planned operation for flat feet have poorer health and rate their general health as low or lower than do patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis before the operation. But foot surgery has evolved a lot in recent years. We are currently reviewing data indicating that patients' quality of life improves significantly after surgery.

– The next step is to see if health improves differently depending on the intervention you choose to do, says Ida Ospek.

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Much is unexplored

Flat feet and how they can affect overall health is a somewhat unknown area. A study is now being conducted with the aim of achieving the same quality of treatment in foot surgery across the country.

There are different ways to correct incorrect foot position, but there is not much scientific evidence about which surgical treatment gives the best results. There is much yet to be explored in the field of foot surgery, and it is an exciting area where we can make significant improvements for patients, says Ida Osbeck.

Facts about flat feet

  • Flatfoot is a misalignment of the foot where, among other things, the arch of the foot slopes toward the ground. It is often painful and can cause stiffness, affect walking pattern, and pregnancy-related pain in other parts of the body.
  • Some of the most common interventions performed against flat feet in Sweden are called osteotomies. This means you can cut the heel bone and turn it inward toward the midline of the body or make a wedge on the outside of the foot. In the latter case, a piece of pelvic bone or a metal wedge is used to guide the forefoot inward toward the midline of the body.
  • The condition is congenital or can develop in adulthood. Children, for example, usually have soft flat feet. This is considered a normal condition and usually does not require any treatment.