Flat feet develop when the arches of your feet partially or completely collapse. Having flat feet may contribute to other foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, and Achilles tendonitis.
There are several types of flat feet that generally develop at different ages:
Children normally have flat feet for about the first six years of their life because it takes time for bones to mature and develop strong arches. About 1-2% of all children don’t outgrow their flat feet.
Although it’s rare, children may be born with inherited conditions that cause flat feet.
Flexible flat feet begin in childhood or adolescence and continue through their adult years. When you have flexible flat feet, your feet are flat when you’re standing but the arches return to normal when they don’t have to bear your weight. Flexible flat feet worsen over time, leading to torn and inflamed tendons and ligaments.
This is a painful type of flat feet that develops as you get older. Adult-acquired flat feet are caused by:
- Fractured foot
- Joint dislocation
- Torn or stretched tendon
- Injured nerves
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
PTTD is one of the most common causes of adult-acquired flat feet. The posterior tibial tendon attaches your calf muscles to your feet, where it’s essential for supporting your arches. Overuse of the tendon makes it weaken, which in turn leads to flat feet.
You can also develop a weak tendon if you take steroids or from chronic diseases like diabetes.
Our physicians develop an individualized treatment plan based on the severity of your flat feet. Your treatment may include one or more of the following to relieve pain and improve foot function:
- Arch support with customized shoes or orthotics
- Kinesiology taping to support the arch
- Exercises to improve range of motion and reduce pain
- Customized orthotic braces
- Boot or cast orthotics to improve foot support
When you still have pain or limited function despite conservative treatments, you may need surgery. Tendon repair, removing inflamed tissues or parts of the bone, or a bone fusion are a few examples of surgical procedures used to treat flat feet.
You can get relief from pain due to flat feet, call ACE Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic or book an appointment online