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Flat Foot

                                                                                                                         Mr Tim Clough

There are many, many different types of flat foot.

Other common terms

  • Pronated foot

  • Collapsed foot

Who does it affect?

Flat foot can affect people of any age and the condition is equally distributed between sexes. There are many different causes of flat foot ranging from congenital, tendon weakness, coalition (joining of bones in the mid foot), tight heel cord, neuro-muscular problems and arthritis.

Symptoms

Often people have a flat foot deformity without experiencing any symptoms what so ever in the early stages. However, very often flat foot during its developmental stage can be painful with pain in the arch of the foot and also pain up the inside of the ankle into the leg.

Investigations

X-rays are very often needed to assess the exact alignment of the bones in the foot and to check for any abnormalities. In advanced cases CT or MRI scans may be needed.

Treatment

Early treatment is strongly recommended. If flat foot is treated very early conservative treatment is usually all that is required by way of special insoles in shoes. If the flat foot is allowed to develop then the bony architecture is changed significantly and or arthritic change develops and surgical intervention is sometimes required to correct the arch, repair tendons i.e. flat foot reconstruction.

Please note that early treatment is recommended particularly in children as flat foot deformity can contribute to problems in other joints such as knee, hip and back.