Pes planus is the name of the deformity of the foot where the arch on the inside of the foot is abnormally low.
Having flat feet can mean when you are standing, your feet have a low, or no arch or instep, the middle part of the foot which is usually slightly raised.
The height of this arch varies amongst every person. Some people do not get any problems from having this foot shape, however, it can lead to problems in the feet, ankle, knees, hips and even back, due the overstraining of structures and malalignment.
This condition can be congenital (present from birth) or acquired.
Flat feet that are congenital are present from birth. This type of flat foot is predisposed to having increased flexibility to the midfoot, this can result in the arch collapsing. Genetics play an important contributory factor regarding congenital flat feet. In certain ethnicities the prevalence of flat feet is much higher than others, particularly of African heritage.
Flat feet that are acquired are feet that once had an arch, that has flattened later in life. This is can be due to intrinsic foot and ankle stabiliser degeneration, injury, obesity, hypermobility, conditions such as stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ligament laxity, or one or more factors. For example; the tibialis posterior tendon is the most integral structure in stabilizing the arch of the foot. Someone who is obese would put extra strain on this tendon when weight-bearing than someone who is not, overtime this can create an overuse injury in the tendon and its ability to hold the arch up is reduced.
Most people with flat feet have no problems. Those who do have concerns, may advise of the following symptoms:
In an asymptomatic flat foot, treatments usually consist of wearing suitable footwear with good arch support.
If pain occurs during activity, such as sport, or is a part of everyday life, certain treatment options are available. An assessment with your podiatrist is necessary to identify the severity of the condition and the appropriate treatment.
A podiatrist will provide a thorough lower limb assessment to determine the extent of the condition and any contributory factors to the pain that is being experienced. A podiatrist will examine the patient in a standing and seated position, and will also usually watch the patients walking pattern.
The flat foot management is often managed by supportive footwear with or without orthoses inside the shoes, exercise may help depending on the presenting problem. If problems persist following conservative (non-invasive) treatment methods, surgery is an option reserved for those with very severe malalignment. This could due to congenital deformity, or a torn tendon who do not respond to treatment.
For more information about the services that are available or to book an assessment please call 0151 558 0099
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Liverpool Podiatry offers a range of podiatry services that are suitable for all individuals. This means that whether young or old, amateur or elite athlete - Liverpool Podiatry can help you!
Liverpool Podiatry is a leading provider of quality podiatric assessment and treatment services in Liverpool and Merseyside.
We are part of Chiropody.co.uk - We provide immediate access to a high quality, value for money bespoke podiatry service. Our podiatrists provide specialist treatments to meet the needs of individuals, case managers, solicitors, organisations, care homes, and sport teams.