Nonoperative treatment of adult acquired flat foot with the Arizona brace

Foot Ankle Clin. 2003 Sep;8(3):491-502. doi: 10.1016/s1083-7515(03)00036-6.


Nonoperative treatment of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction can be successful with the Arizona AFO brace, particularly when treatment is initiated in the early stages of the disease. This mandates that the orthopedist has a high index of suspicion when evaluating patients to make an accurate diagnosis. Although there is a role for surgical management of acquired flat feet, a well-fitted, custom-molded leather and polypropylene orthosis can be effective at relieving symptoms and either obviating or delaying any surgical intervention. In today's climate of patient satisfaction directed health care, a less invasive treatment modality that relieves pain may prove to be more valuable than similar pain relief that is obtained after surgery. Questions regarding the long-term results of bracing remain unanswered. Future studies are needed to determine if disease progression and arthrosis occur despite symptomatic relief with a brace. Furthermore, age- and disease stage-matched control groups who are randomized to undergo surgery or bracing are necessary to compare these different treatment modalities. At this time, the Arizona AFO brace can be a useful weapon in the orthopedist's armamentarium for treating acquired flat foot deformity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Braces*
  • Female
  • Flatfoot / etiology
  • Flatfoot / physiopathology
  • Flatfoot / therapy*
  • Foot / physiopathology
  • Foot Deformities, Acquired / etiology
  • Foot Deformities, Acquired / physiopathology
  • Foot Deformities, Acquired / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction / complications
  • Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Tendons / physiopathology