One of the more common foot problems we see at Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle is flatfeet. In the simplest of terms, flatfeet is a deformity where the entire foot rests flat on the ground and the normal arch in the middle of the foot is absent.
In babies and toddlers flatfeet are not unusual before walking. Baby fat can make it hard to see the arch! Once a child starts to walk, however, the arch should begin to be visible. In some patients, the arch will fail to develop properly from childhood. In other cases, adults with a normal arch will experience a falling or collapse of the arch. This can be the result of an injury or other medical condition, such as arthritis, or weight gain due to pregnancy or obesity. Sometime the tendency for flatfeet is hereditary.
Symptoms and Treatment
In many cases flatfeet does not cause any pain or discomfort. One exception to this is if it is the result of a condition known as tibialis posterior tendinitis. When this tendon is injured due to overstretching or tearing, it becomes inflamed and can cause chronic and severe pain in the arch and back of the heel. Our board certified foot and ankle doctor, Dr. A. Bil Buksh will need to examine your foot both when you are walking/standing and sitting. If you are experiencing pain in the foot, ankle or lower leg as a result of flatfeet or you have noticed swelling in the arch area or loss of flexibility in your foot the podiatrist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Rest and staying off your feet
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and icing to relieve pain and swelling
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises
- Arch supports, braces, taping or custom orthotics