Flatfoot, also known as pes planus or fallen arches, is a common condition where the arches of the feet are lower than normal or entirely absent. This results in the entire sole of the foot coming into contact with the ground when standing.
Flat feet can be categorized into two main types:
- Flexible flatfoot: In this type, the arch of the foot is visible when the person is not bearing weight or is standing on their toes, but it disappears when they stand with their full weight on the feet. Flexible flatfoot is often considered a normal variant and may not cause significant discomfort or problems.
- Rigid flatfoot: This type is characterized by a flattened arch that persists regardless of whether the person is bearing weight on their feet. Rigid flatfoot can be more problematic and may lead to pain and other symptoms.
Some potential causes of acquired flat feet include:
- Some individuals are born with flat feet due to an inherited structural abnormality in the foot.
- Acquired: Flatfoot can develop over time due to various factors, including:
- Aging, as the arches tend to naturally flatten with age
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or neurological disorders
- Injury or trauma to the foot or ankle
- Obesity, which can put extra strain on the feet
- Tendonitis or inflammation of the tendons supporting the arch
Treatment for flat feet may include one of the following:
- Footwear: Choosing shoes with proper arch support and cushioning can help manage flat feet.
- Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Orthotic devices: Custom-made or over-the-counter arch supports and insoles can provide additional support and alleviate discomfort.
- Physical therapy: Exercises and stretches can strengthen the muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles.
- Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on the feet.
In severe cases or when conservative treatments do not provide relief, surgical intervention may be considered to correct the alignment of the feet and restore the arches.
If you suspect you have flatfoot, please request an appointment online or call (559) 256-5200 to schedule a consultation with one of our fellowship-trained foot doctors, Dr. Francis Glaser or Dr. Devin Mangold.
Our Fellowship-Trained Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Specialists
The Foot & Ankle Center is designed to provide our foot and ankle patients with comprehensive education and exceptional nonsurgical and surgical care through the combined knowledge, experience, and expertise of our specialty-trained foot and ankle surgeons.