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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

I'm 17 and have very flat feet that are products of genetics. I have bunions (that are just getting worse) on both feet and my big toes point drastically inward, so much that my 2nd and 3rd toes are slanted sideways trying to avoid contact with each other. Anyway, I've never been able to run very far or be active without pain. We (parents, doctors, myself) attributed this to normal growing pains/just generally being female. But the pain is getting worse. I work a job where I have to be on my feet all day and come home with horrible foot/hip/lower back pain. I just feel like my 17 year old body should not feel so old and hindered! I am a decent weight for my height and stay in shape by biking and running on the elliptical, which are less painful exercises for me. I have never owned a pair of heels of any kind. This week I tried on a pair of heels and because of my bunion they were instantly painful/impossible to walk in. When I set my bare foot down flat, the bottom of my foot below my ankle (sorry, I am not well versed in the anatomy of the foot) moves inward towards my other foot and my ankle slightly rotates in as well. When viewed from the side, there is not only no arch, but it is almost like the bottom of my foot is getting crushed into the floor. I can only imagine what kind of effect this is having during my moderately high impact work days. I don't want to subject myself to a dress shoe-less and running-less life just because I'm afraid of exacerbating the problem. Doctors have given me inserts for my shoes that did not help at all. So, through my limited research online, it seems like the only way to tame horribly flat, deformed feet is to surgically correct them. I am making an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible, but I was wondering: if they recommend surgery (if they even will for someone my age), what does that entail? It seems like it would be highly painful and take a long time to recover from. Should I try to avoid surgery at all costs? From my, probably poor, description, does my problem sound like a doctor will recommend surgery for it? Thanks for any input, and again, an appointment is being made!

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