There are a number of factors that can lead to adult acquired flat foot deformity (AAFD), a condition that can leave the patient with a fallen arch and the foot pointed outward. In the vast majority of these cases, the patient can be successfully treated with orthotic or ankle-foot orthotic therapy.

Firefly podiatrist, Sarah O’Connell is in the process of treating one such patient who suffers from AAFD. As part of her MSc in Sport & Exercise Medicine, she has detailed her treatment as a case study.

The case study focusses on treating AAFD with an ankle-foot orthotic (AFO), in this instance, she’s chosen a Richie Brace AFO.

She recently discussed the case study with Firefly’s Founder and Medical Director, Martin Mc Geough. You can listen to the conversation below.

In this recording, Sarah and Martin discuss:

  • the patient
  • patient footwear
  • diagnosis of the pathology
  • characteristics of AAFF
  • forefoot abduction
  • hindfoot valgus
  • comparison with asymptomatic foot
  • Adult Acquired Flat Foot vs Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction [PTTD]
  • gastroc-soleus complex
  • Adult Acquired Flat Foot – stage 2A & stage 2B
  • why Sarah chose a fully articulated  Richie Brace hinge,
  • prescribing the AFO – additions, modifications, heel lift, forefoot correction
  • rehabilitation
  • reviewing the case
  • delivering the patient to pain-free movement/function
  • measuring outcomes

Sarah O’Connell

About Sarah O’Connell

Sarah graduated from the University of Ireland, Galway. She has experience in treating both public and private patients with a wide variety of podiatric issues. Sarah specialises in biomechanics and orthotic therapy and is currently completing an MSc. in Sports and Exercise Medicine at the University of Ulster.