Valgus Flatfoot Rehabilitation: Tailored Solutions
In the case of valgus flatfoot, rehabilitation may be necessary. Dr. Julien Lopez provides personalized treatment tailored to your medical situation.
Valgus flatfoot is characterized by a loss of height in the longitudinal arch of the foot. While often painless, it can become painful and even lead to complications in some cases.
Most of the time, it is a congenital deformity that is asymptomatic and self-corrects as a child grows. Flatfoot can also be degenerative, with the tendon relaxing with age or due to lack of exercise. Finally, the condition can be acquired after traumatic injuries or foot surgery.
In the latter two cases, flatfoot can cause discomfort during walking and daily activities, which can worsen over time. In addition to the collapse of the arch, your heel may deviate outward while the midfoot tilts inward.
Therefore, if you experience symptoms, it's important to seek prompt care from a specialist to limit the risk of complications such as arthritis or tendon ruptures. Dr. Julien Lopez, a specialist in percutaneous flatfoot surgery, will always propose non-surgical treatment as the first option to manage your condition.
Orthopaedic Solutions for Valgus Flatfoot Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation for valgus flatfoot, along with orthopedic insoles, can be highly effective and may even help avoid surgery. Although Dr. Julien Lopez performs minimally invasive procedures that minimize surgical aggression, non-surgical treatment is initially preferred. Dr. Lopez will conduct a clinical examination of your foot to determine if medical treatment is possible. In case of treatment failure, surgical options, including percutaneous flatfoot surgery, will be discussed.
Orthopedic solutions aim to restore foot balance through various methods. The most common solution is custom orthotics. Created based on the imprint of your foot, orthotics like insoles support the arch and heel. They can have a leather or foam base, depending on your case, and feature reinforcements to correct pressure points. They also help absorb shock from walking and redistribute the weight on the knees and back. Wearing orthopedic insoles often goes hand in hand with wearing wide shoes to prevent squeezing the forefoot and exacerbating your condition.
In more advanced cases, heel cups may be considered to block the rearfoot or even the ankle to alleviate pain.
Orthopedic treatment often includes physical therapy to optimize the treatment.
Flatfoot Rehabilitation through Physiotherapy
Flatfoot rehabilitation may be recommended in two scenarios:
- As a conservative treatment for mild deformities. It helps limit the progression of deformity and relieve patient pain.
- After surgery to recover normal walking and promote the healing process.
For optimal rehabilitation, Dr. Julien Lopez recommends undergoing physiotherapy sessions.
Sessions with a specialist help to improve flexibility and strengthen the plantar arch. They stimulate the activity and reinforce the muscles that support the foot, specifically the medial longitudinal arch.
Physiotherapy exercises often include flexion and extension movements, as well as Achilles tendon and calf stretches. Stretching the posterior chains and strengthening the posterior tibial tendon muscle are also highly useful.
For valgus flatfoot, rehabilitation after surgery is essential to regain foot movement, muscle strength, and correct plantar support. Physiotherapy continues as long as there is progress in function.
Minimally Invasive Surgery as a Last Resort
If non-surgical treatment is insufficient, surgery is an option. Symptomatic valgus flatfoot can be debilitating and painful in daily life. The procedure may involve recreating the medial arch of the foot. It is a complex surgery, tailored to the individual, and often includes multiple surgical procedures such as tendon lengthening and osteotomies. It corrects the rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot. In advanced or arthritic valgus flat feet, corrections may involve joint fusion surgery (arthrodesis). The goal is to have a shoe-wearable and pain-free foot.
Dr. Julien Lopez guides you through every step of your treatment journey until your flatfoot is healed.