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Helping those with flat-feet

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( New York, NY - Many Americans suffer from various forms of flat-foot, a physical condition where there is an absence of the arch that runs from the toes to the heel of the foot. In some instances flatfoot arises from abnormal foot development. Most adult cases of flat-foot are typically caused by arthritis, foot and ankle trauma or a tendon rupture. The consequences of untreated cases can be severe.

Flat-fleet, also known as hyper-pronation, can lead to other foot problems; such as hammertoes, plantar fasciitis or Achilles tenditis explains Manhattan podiatrist, Dr. Oliver Zong. The most common symptom of flatfoot is pain. Due to a weak structure, feet that are lacking arches cannot support the weight of the body properly. Many patients come in with complaints of leg pain, knee ailments, shoulder pain and/or neck stiffness that is the result of advanced hyper-pronation, shares Dr. Zong. Years of walking with over-pronated feet can cause structural changes to the ankles as well as the knees, hips and back. In addition, lack of shock-absorption causes an increase in pressure to these joints and may lead to pain, joint stiffness and arthritis.

Severe cases may need to be treated surgically. One surgical option that has become the treatment of choice for many surgeons is the Sinus Tarsi Implant procedure. The Sinus Tarsi Implant is small soft-threaded titanium device that is inserted into a small opening called the sinus tarsi. The insertion of the implant is a 5 minute procedure that involves a brief outpatient surgery and several stitches to close the incision, says Dr. Zong.

Acting like an internal orthotic, the placement of the implant restores the arch by preventing the displacement of the talus and by preventing the foot from rolling-in (pronating). Since the tissue grows normally around the implant it aids in holding it in place. Following surgery you will typically be partially weight-bearing with crutches or a cane until you can bear full weight, which is usually around two weeks. The postoperative care varies from patient to patient.

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