ABC Medical Center > Flat foot

What is Flat foot?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is an anomaly in which the arch of the foot is nonexistent so the sole makes full contact with the floor. Generally, this condition is detected after two years of age, whose causes can be hereditary, as in the case of Marfan syndrome, which causes the baby to be born with flat feet. However, it can also appear after an injury or due to wear and tear from age.

In infants and children, flat feet often occur because the arch of the foot has not yet fully developed, although it sometimes stops growing, causing problems later on.

This foot disorder does not usually cause pain or discomfort, but it can cause problems in the knees and ankles if it alters the alignment of the legs.

Like any condition, some factors increase the risk of suffering from flat foot, such as:

  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Old age.
  • Injuries.
  • Overweight or obesity.

Signs and symptoms Flat foot

Most people do not have symptoms, but sometimes you can experience:

  • Pain, especially in the arch and heel.
  • Ankle swelling.
  • Discomfort that can worsen by movement.

Diagnosis and treatment Flat foot

Once the doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a detailed physical examination of your feet and observe the wear pattern of your shoes. If you have pain or discomfort, you will likely request the following diagnostic tests:

  • Ultrasound: To check if there is no injured tendon.
  • X-rays: To detect if there is no presence of arthritis.
  • MRI:  To have detailed pictures.
  • Computed tomography:  Obtain accurate images of the foot from various perspectives.

Generally, if there is no pain, no treatment is required, but if necessary, it would include:

  • Arch braces.
  • Stretching program for short or stiff tendons.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Ergonomic shoes with adequate support.

The specialist may recommend that you avoid some movements or activities that cause discomfort or prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain.

In more extreme cases, where a tendon tear or rupture may occur, surgery may be suggested to repair this area that produces the absence of the arch in the foot and thereby fuse some joints of the foot until the correct position is achieved.

At the Orthopedics and Traumatology Center, we seek to improve the lives of patients restricted or immobilized by musculoskeletal disorders or injuries. We specialize in the care of the locomotor system by integrating the latest medical, biological, and technological advances, in strict adherence to the highest international standards of patient care.


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