Flat feet occur when the arch of the foot loses integrity and strength, resulting in the framework of the foot beginning to collapse. This structural damage causes the foot to flatten. This condition is a common condition of foot structure. Prior to walking, infants and toddlers do not develop a longitudinal arch and flat feet at this time is normal. The arch of the feet develops throughout childhood and by adulthood, most people have developed normal arches.
There are multiple causes of Flat Feet (Pes Planus), and all age groups from the young to elderly can be affected. At East Ocean Podiatry we use digital x-rays, and biomechanical examinations to determine the cause and proper treatment of the flat feet condition. Some forms of the ailment are corrected with minimally invasive surgical procedures with the use of implants. We also utilize a digital scanning machine to create customized orthotics to correct some forms of mild flatfoot conditions.
This condition is associated with pronation. Pronation is the process where the ankle bones lean inward toward the center line of the foot. In children who pronate, their shoes will lean toward each other when placed side by side.
Most people with flat feet do not often experience pain or other associated foot problems. When there is pain evident in the lower leg, ankle and foot, especially in children, the feet should be evaluated.
Painful progressive flatfoot, also known as tibialis posterior tendonitis (adult-acquired flatfoot), refers to inflammation of the tendon attached to the tibialis posterior. This condition manifests when the tendon becomes stretched, inflamed or torn. If the condition is left untreated, severe disability and chronic pain can follow. Some people are predisposed to form of tendonitis if they have flat feet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot.
We may prescribe special custom orthotic shoe inserts, physical therapy and/or medication to relieve pain and inflammation. Surgery may be considered your best option for effective pain relief in severe cases of flat feet.