According to the National Foot Health Assessment, 8% of adults in the United States age 21 and older (approximately 18 million people) have flat feet. Flat feet is a common foot condition where one or both feet do not have normal arches.
Learn more about flat feet, the common symptoms of this condition, and how Comprehensive Foot Specialists in Huntington, NY, uses our expertise to diagnose and treat flat feet every day.
Flat feet, also known as pes planus, pronated foot, or fallen arches, is a deformity that affects one or both arches in the feet, where the entire sole of the foot collapses or nearly touches the ground when a person is standing. Flat feet can be a hereditary trait or can occur over an extended period of time. The majority of people with flat feet do not experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, the most common is pain in the foot and heel because of the higher strain placed on the muscles and connecting ligaments. Additional symptoms of flat feet may include:
Nearly all of us are born with flat feet, but normal development of the arches usually occurs between the ages of 2 and 3 years old. In many cases, the foot simply does not develop correctly, as a result of genetics or because of certain childhood disorders. However, the condition can arise during adulthood as well for a number of reasons, including:
Patients who are obese, diabetic, or pregnant have a higher risk of developing flat feet, because of the additional weight placed on the body and laxity of the joints. Another foot condition that can cause flat feet is tarsal coalition, which is when the bones of the foot fuse together unusually, resulting in stiff and flat feet. Also, flat feet can simply develop with age. The posterior tibial tendon, which is the primary support for the foot arch, tends to weaken as we grow older.
During an examination for flat feet, the doctor will examine the front and back of the foot, as well as review how the patient stands and walks. The doctor may require the patient to stand on their toes to let them further examine the shape and function of the tendons and muscles. In more severe and painful cases of flat feet, the doctor may utilize an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan to determine if the deformity is being caused by another condition, such as arthritis or tendonitis.
Treatment for flat feet depends on the severity of the deformity. When the foot remains flexible, shoes with properly fitting arch supports will provide acceptable relief. However, oftentimes flat feet are progressive and will continue to get worse and more painful with time. This is often called posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and relates to dysfunction of this specific tendon. As the deformity progresses, the treatments can range from tendon repairs and augmentation to repositioning of tendons and bones, and even fusion of the hind/midfoot.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, we are passionate about treating a variety of foot conditions, including flat feet. At our welcoming office in Huntington, NY, you will receive the best possible care from our knowledgeable and skillful team of podiatrists. To learn more about the services we provide and conditions we treat, or to book your appointment, please contact us today.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, our expert physicians are dedicated to treating a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions so you can live comfortably, 24/7. Contact us today to learn more!Book an Appointment