Mercy’s Dr. Rebecca Cerrato, Institute for Foot & Ankle Reconstruction, Discusses Treatment for Flat Feet
Many adults have flat feet that remain flexible and pain-free throughout their lives. But there are some common conditions that create painful flat feet, although doctors say that these problems that can be treated.
Leticia Nace has lived with flat feet all her life. But over the years, something as simple as a walk in the park caused unbearable pain in her left foot.
"As I was walking I could kind of like feel it all the time," Nace said. "I was constantly reminded of pain in that area inside my ankle."
According to Mercy orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rebecca Cerrato of The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction, there's nothing wrong if you have flat feet as many people do.
Dr. Cerrato noted that flat feet are only a problem if they become painful, and there are two common reasons why that happens.
"Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (is) a tendon that runs along the inside of our ankle and attaches to a bone here," Dr. Cerrato said. "It helps to support your arch up, and as that starts to tear and weaken, the arch can collapse and roll over. The other common thing is arthritis, so arthritis in some of these hind foot joints, and even joints across here can also cause collapse through the arch of the foot."
There are ways to treat these conditions, beginning with orthotics.
"So to support the arch with something in the shoe can provide a lot of relief for patients," Dr. Cerrato said. "Shoe modifications can help as well. Physical therapy can be very helpful for patients, particularly with the tendon dysfunction. Anti-inflammatories, even sometime a brief period of rest (can also be helpful)."
When conservative treatments no longer managed Nace's tendon dysfunction, she opted for surgery last year. She said it helped.
"I can walk better. I can walk faster," Nace said. "I'm not constantly reminded of the inner pain I had inside my ankle, so it's better."
View Dr. Cerrato’s interview regarding flat feet.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.