Patients with flat feet, or pes planus, have a flattening of the arch in their foot. However, when these individuals stand up straight the bottom of their feet are almost completely in contact with the ground. In infants and younger children this can be completely normal. As the foot develops, flat feet can resolve. This does not always happen and flat feet can become painful and problematic for many individuals. When this happens, flat feet must be treated.
Some causes of flat feet:
Some causes of flat feet include aging, injuries, or medical conditions that can cause flat feet to develop. Usually when this happens, the flat feet may only occur on one side. Tarsal coalitions in young children (may not be troublesome until later) may also be a cause of painful flat feet. This is a condition in which two or more bones in the foot are attached (fused) together.
Symptoms of flat feet:
Many patients experience pain when walking for prolonged periods of time, running, participating in sports or activities. Your feet may even feel tired or ache after standing for a long time. This pain can not only occur in your feet but also in your ankles, knees and your back. This is due to alignment issues. Your ankles roll inward (pronation) which can cause pain and general discomfort. Your feet may feel tired or ache after standing for a long time. If you have any of the following symptoms you should be examined by a podiatrist: pain around the heel or arch region, ankle pain or instability, flat arches on weight bearing, or even uneven shoe treads.
What to expect during an exam:
Shoe gear examination, range of motion and gait examination, flexibility, determination of whether you can stand on your toes, X-rays, CT or MRI may even be needed in more advanced or severe situations.
If you are concerned about the possibility that you or your child may have flat feet, make an appointment to get examined today!
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