Flat feet is where a foot has little or no arch. This may result in the heel tilting outwards, and the toes to point outwards when walking.
Approximately 20% of adults in the UK have flat feet, with the majority suffering no difficulties.
Often there are no problematic symptoms associated with flat feet. In some cases however the following symptoms may occur:
- Pain in the heel, arch or ankle, and in other areas, such as knees, lower legs, hips and the back.
- Overpronation – where the ankle rolls too far inwards.
- Shin splints
- Bunions or hammertoes
Often, pes planus is inherited from parents, but it is a condition that could develop later in life. Humans are born with flat feet, and sometimes the arch never forms during childhood, resulting in pes planus.
Other causes could be syndromes that cause loose connective tissue throughout the body, such as joint hypermobility syndrome; or conditions that affect the muscles and nerves, such as cerebral palsy.
Other factors that could cause the foot’s connective tissue to become stretched and inflamed include overuse, poor footwear that is unsupportive, a tendon injury, age, obesity or rheumatoid arthritis.
Flat feet only require treatment in serious cases, such as where the patient suffers from pain or overpronation.
Often non-surgical treatments can relieve the problems associated with flat feet.
Supportive shoes that fit well or orthotics can support the foot’s arch and stop it rolling inwards, while painkillers can reduce pain and inflammation.
In some cases, weight loss can prevent aggravating symptoms by reducing the burden on the arches. Alternatively, cutting down on prolonged physical activity such as long-distance walking or standing for lengthy periods of time, can also reduce pain.
Physiotherapy could also be an option, to stretch muscles and tissue in the lower leg, and prevent overpronation.
Surgery is only considered if non-surgical treatments don’t adequately relieve suffering, or an underlying problem can be resolved as the result of an operation.
Abnormally shaped bones could be separated, straightened or repositioned, or soft tissues could be lengthened or repaired.
In serious cases, the joints may need to be fused in order to eliminate pain.
Find out more about how we can help treat Flat feet
To find out more about how we can help treat Flat feet or for more information about Total Foot Surgery, contact us on 07449419401 or use our online contact form.