Flat Feet (Pes Planus)

People with flat feet have either have very low arch or no arch in their feet. The condition may be congenital (occurs at birth) or acquired (developed over time with aging or traumatic injury). Flat feet needs medical attention when it is only causing any symptoms that bothers their routine life style. This condition can also occur either one side or both side of the feet depending on the causes. 


Causes: 

Genetic factors, as flat feet can pass from parents to children in the genes

weak arches, meaning that the arch is visible when a person sits but the foot flattens onto the ground when they stand 

foot or ankle injury

arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis

Damage, dysfunction, or rupture of the posterior tibial tendon

Nervous system or muscle diseases, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spina bifida

Tarsal coalition

Aging

Obesity


Symptoms

Tired feet

Discomfort, usually in arch of the feet

Pain, usually in arch of the feet as activity time increases

Pain in ankles, knees and hips due to the abnormal stress from uneven weight distribution

Abnormal gait 

limb length discrepancy

Diagnosis can be made with clinical findings, through gait examination, biomechanical examination, plain radiographs. Sometimes imaging studies such as CT, and MRI may be ordered in order to further assess the bony deformities.

Conservative treatment for flat feet includes supportive, well fitted shoes, orthotics with arch supports, ankle braces if occurs with tendonitis. These treatments only treat the current symptoms, may not provide long lasting relief. 

Surgical treatments are available in order to eliminate any severe pain that is chronic and has not relieved by any conservative treatments.