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May 12, 2010

The Agony of De-Feet

I expect to graduate from physical therapy school in December. Tradition usually has been that the graduating class buys the school a gift in order to facilitate learning opportunities for the classes coming behind us. One class provided the school with a skeleton, another class provided pneumatic compression garment with compressor and pressure gauge. Me, personally, I'd like to donate a foot. A great big giant foot. Anybody know where I can find a great big giant foot? And, it's got to move. This was the closest thing I could find, life-sized and almost $900.

Here's my rationale. Studying foot biomechanics was one of the most difficult concepts to wrap my brain around during analysis of gait. This was the case, in part, because the biomechanics of the foot change depending upon whether or not they are bearing weight. I have a whole new respect for podiatry. The examples of feet that they showed in our class of about 40 people were life-sized skeletal feet that nobody could see. It was awful.

So, then I found this article about pes planus, or flat feet. The story is worth reading if you or someone you know decides to undergo surgery for flat feet. I had to admit a certain amount of pride in understanding several of the procedures and structures described.

I was told I needed six procedures, whose names might as well have been in Mandarin: posterior tibial tendon repair, F.D.L. tendon transfer, calcaneal osteotomy, lateral column lengthening, iliac aspiration and gastroc release.

I'm reminded of a friend in high school who confidently registered for the draft on his 18th birthday, sure he would not be called up to service because he had flat feet. I doubt he ever was called up for the service. However, over twenty five years later, I wonder how his back and knees are holding up.

Posted by linda at May 12, 2010 2:57 PM

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