Pes planus, also known as flatfoot, is a common condition that affect both children and adults in which the arch of the foot is lowered and the foot appears flattened, and in some severe cases may even turn outwards (abduct) while walking or standing.
People who have flat feet may never experience symptoms or problems. However, if they do, symptoms may develop or worsen due to an increase in weight bearing activity, injury, sudden weight gain or even poorly fitted shoe gear. Common symptoms include knee pain, heel pain, pain in the arch or even lateral ankle pain. These symptoms result from abnormal biomechanics and malalignment of the foot relative to the leg.
In children, symptoms of flat foot may persistent during their growing years. However, with appropriate shoe gear and custom-molded orthotics, their condition may be well controlled and symptoms may resolve over time into adulthood.
In adults, symptoms are often chronic in nature and are most often experienced with activities, as simple as, walking and standing for a prolonged period of time. The first line of treatment for flatfeet include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), physical therapy, bracing and/or custom-molded orthotics.
When conservative management is exhausted, surgery may be warranted. The purpose of surgical intervention includes deformity correction through either extra-articular bone cuts or, in severe cases, joint fusions. Both surgical options should be reserved as a last resort and require 2-3 months of non-weightbearing in a splint, cast or boot, followed by several weeks of physical therapy and gait training.
If you think you may be experiencing foot pain associated with flat feet, please come visit Complete Foot and Ankle to be evaluated. We’re here to help!