What are flat feet?
Also known as fallen arches or low arches, flat feet are a common condition seen in children and adults. Though not always painful, it can result in bone and soft tissue changes that cause pain as we age. Not all flat feet are the same, and various issues can result in flat feet. Conditions such as congenital pesplanovalgus, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy and others can cause a decrease in arch height. Your foot and ankle specialist can help determine the specific cause of flat feet.
What are symptoms of flat feet?
Children complain of achy, tired feet and may not be able to keep up with others in sport or activities; some will refuse to participate all together. Adults that have had long-standing flat feet can develop other painful secondary conditions such as bunions, arch pain, hammertoes and calluses. Adults may also complain of pain and difficulty with walking or being on their feet for extended periods of time.
How are flat feet treated?
Many times, asymptomatic flat feet are not treated at all. It is encouraged for those with “flat feet” to wear comfortable shoes that provide support. Purchasing over the counter (OTC) orthoses, (commonly called orthotics–specially designed shoe inserts), may prevent some of the symptoms of foot fatigue; their use is encouraged. OTC inserts are recommended to individuals with painful symptoms and or fatigue in the arch at the end of the day. Some may benefit from custom-made arch supports, and a foot and ankle specialist can prescribe an orthoses for your individual specific needs.
In the event that home treatment such as OTC inserts fail to help, then other treatments such as steroid injections, physical therapy and other exercises are available. If non-surgical intervention does not provide relief, then surgical intervention may be an alternative to restore the arch and address possible secondary conditions that can develop due to flat feet. Our doctors have extensive experience in treating children and adults with this condition and can help determine what intervention is best suited for individual after a thorough clinical exam and X-ray evaluation.
Why choose the International Center for Limb Lengthening for the treatment of flat feet?
The International Center for Limb Lengthening’s foot and ankle surgeons offer our patients the most comprehensive treatment possible as our doctors specialize in both podiatric and orthopedic surgery. With a collective experience of over thirty years of helping patients with lower leg, foot and ankle problems, the Foot and Ankle Service of the Rubin Institute is one of the leading treatment centers for foot and ankle conditions in the United States. Your doctor will take the time to make sure you understand all of your options and then will customize your treatment to meet your specific needs. Our patients benefit from our team-centered approach with world-renowned surgeons and specialized physician assistants, nurses and physical therapists. We help patients with flat feet achieve their best possible result.