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What are Flat Feet?

If the arches inside the feet have become flat and the entire sole can touch the floor while standing up, the person is suffering from a disorder known as Flatfeet. This disorder can lead to defects in the ankles and knees because flatfeet alter the body’s complete alignment. The condition is usually painless, and patients suffering from this defect do not require any treatment for the disorder. The patient may need medical intervention if the disorder affects the functioning of the knees and ankles.

At first, all babies’ feet look flat because an arch has not formed yet, and arches should form by the time a child is 2 or 3 years of age. Even in older children, flat feet usually do not cause any problems.

Flat feet are not a problem for most people. If flat feet cause pain or other concerns, treatments can help.

What Are the Types of Flat Feet?

Flat feet can pose problems whether they persist after childhood or develop in adulthood. The types of flatfoot include:

  • Flexible: Flexible flat feet are the most common. You can see the arches in the feet when you are not standing. The arches disappear when you put weight on the feet. Flexible flatfoot comes on during childhood or the teen years. It affects both feet and gradually gets worse with age. Tendons and ligaments in the arches of the feet can stretch, tear and swell.
  • Rigid:A person with rigid flat feet has no arches when standing (putting weight on the feet) or sitting (no weight on the feet). This condition often develops during the teen years and gets worse with age. Your feet may feel pain, and it can be difficult to flex the feet up or down or move them side-to-side. Flatfoot may affect one foot or both.
  • Adult-Acquired (Fallen Arch): With an adult-acquired flat foot (fallen arch), the foot’s arch unexpectedly drops or collapses. The fallen arch causes the foot to turn outward and can be painful. The problem may affect only one foot. The most common cause is inflammation or a tear in the leg tendon (posterior tibial tendon) that supports the arch.
  • Vertical Talus:Some babies have a birth defect (congenital disability) called vertical talus that prevents arches from forming. The talus bone in the ankle is in the wrong position. The bottom of the foot resembles the bottom of a rocking chair. The vertical talus is also called the rocker-bottom foot.

What causes flat feet?

Having flat feet may be in your genes. As child ages, arches form in the feet, and some people have high arches, while others have very low or nearly absent arches, causing flat feet.Some people develop flat feet later in life. The condition sometimes runs in families. Flat feet in adults can arise from a variety of causes. Here are the most common:

  • An abnormality that is present from birth
  • Stretched or torn tendons
  • Damage or inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon (PTT), which connects from your lower leg, along your ankle, to the middle of the arch
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Some health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Nerve problems

Other factors that can increase your risk include:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy

What are the symptoms of flat feet?

Many people with flat feet do not experience pain or other problems. But certain types of flatfoot can be painful. Symptoms may include:

  • Leg cramps.
  • Muscle pain (aching or fatigue) in the foot or leg.
  • Pain in the arch, ankle, heel, or outside of the foot.
  • Pain when walking or changes in your gait (how you walk).
  • Toe drift (front part of the foot and toes point outward).

Diagnosis

People with flat feet who do not experience pain or other symptoms usually do not need to consult a doctor.

However, anyone with the following symptoms should seek medical advice:

  • Flat feet that have only developed recently
  • Pain in the feet, ankles, or lower limbs
  • Symptoms that do not improve with supportive, well-fitted shoes
  • One or both feet becoming flattered
  • The feet feeling rigid, stiff, heavy, and unwieldy

The doctor at Fulshear Foot and Ankle will inspect the feet from the front and back. The individual may need to stand on the tips of their toes to allow the doctor to examine the shape and functionality of each foot.

A doctor will also consider the person’s medical history. They may order an X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, or electromyography in some cases.

How are flat feet managed or treated?

Many people with flat feet do not have significant problems or need treatment. Rarely do people need surgery to fix rigid flat feet or problem
 with bones or tendons.

Treatments include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), rest, and ice to ease inflammation and pain.
  • Physical therapies to stretch and strengthen tight tendons and muscles, improving flexibility and mobility.
  • Supportive devices like foot orthotics, foot or leg braces, and custom-made shoes.

How can you prevent flat feet?

Flat feet can be hereditary and hereditary causes can not be prevented.However, you can prevent the condition from worsening and causing excessive pain by taking precautions such as

wearing shoes that fit well and providing the necessary foot support.

What is the prognosis (outlook) for people who have flat feet?

Most people with flat feet get symptom relief with non-surgical treatments. Some people do not need any treatment. Flat feet may increase your risk of certain problems like:

  • Arthritis.
  • Bone spurs.
  • Bunions or corns and calluses.
  • Lower back pain, hip pain, or knee pain.
  • Shin splints.

When should you consult us?

You should visit us at Fulshear Foot and Ankle if you are having problems like:

  • Stiff, painful feet.
  • Difficulty walking, including pain when walking.
  • Sudden development of flat feet (fallen arches).
  • Balance problems.
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