Do Flat Feet Need Treatment?

Feb 22, 2016

Flatfoot is a condition in which a structural abnormality (low foot arches) causes issues for some people, but not for everyone who has it. Further, the issues that may be present tend to be more severe for certain individuals than others. This means that not everyone with the condition will require the same flatfoot treatment.

To start with, it may help to know that if there are no symptoms that come with flatfoot, treatment may not be necessary. This often (but not always!) tends to be the case for younger patients. Child foot development happens in such a way that foot arches are not visible when a child is first born. This means that it is not unusual for arches not to be clearly seen until around age 3, and no flatfoot treatment for toddlers is necessary unless there is a more serious condition (such as neuromuscular disorders) causing a more rigid flatfoot.

Arches begin developing around year 3, but the process continues until a child is around 8 years old. Until then, it is not uncommon for a child to have flexible flatfoot. When this is the case, foot arches are not visible when a child is standing or placing weight on his or her feet, but they do appear if the child is sitting or standing on his or her tiptoes. There are also instances where the condition is still present into adult years.

Flexible flatfoot patients rarely need to be treated. When they do, it is because of symptoms like fatigue or general aching in the affected foot and pain that can be present in the arch, heel, outer edge of the foot, ankle, shin bone, knee, hip, and even the lower back. If you or a loved one experience pain in any of these areas, contact our OKC podiatrist office and we can help.

More concerning is a condition where the arches are stiff and rigid. This can sometimes result in associated problems like tendon tears and ruptures. In cases where the flatfoot is inflexible, we may recommend the use of custom orthotics to control biomechanical processes and correct overpronation.

The main thing to remember when it comes to treating flatfoot is that low arches with no issues do not need to be treated. When treatment is necessary, simply contact Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma and we will help you decide on the best way to deal with it. Call our Oklahoma City, OK office at (405) 418-2676 for more information.

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