Flat Foot: General Information
Foot is an important organ of the body system. However, negligence in up keep and complications created by certain diseases may lead to dysfunction of foot. Flat foot is one of such abnormalities.
Description of Flat Foot
When the longitudinal foot arch collapses and comes in contact with the surface of ground such a condition is termed flat foot. Flat feet are normal in toddlers and infants as the longitudinal arch in their body is not developed. The longitudinal arch may never develop in some individuals.
Usually, flat foot is painless in nature and does not produce other disorders. Generally flat feet are associated with inward leaning of the bone of the ankle towards the center line, known as pronation.
Common symptoms of Flat Foot
The symptoms of flat foot may vary in some cases. However, following are considered as most common symptoms.
- Flat appearance of foot on physical examination. This could be noticed either in one foot or both feet.
- Collapse of shoe towards inside of the flat foot and uneven shoe wear.
- Pain in lower part of leg
- Pain on inner side of ankle
- Swelling along the inside of ankle
- Pain in foot
Causes behind occurrence of Flat Foot
Tarsal coalition is considered as the cause behind painful flat feet, especially in children. Tarsal coalition is a condition resulted from fusing of two or more foot bones. This condition restricts motion and usually leads to occurrence of flat foot.
Fallen arches are another factor that could lead to development of flat foot. Fallen arches is result of weakening of tendon, that is responsible for shaping of the arch, due to wear and tear over the period of time. Condition of fallen arches can also be result of injury like inflammation of toot tendons.
Treatment options for Flat Foot
There are some remedies available for treating Flat Foot condition. However, usually flat foot doe not need any treatment, especially flat feet that are painless and flexible. If the flat foot produce pain and restrict movements, the treatment is determined based on the cause of development of flat foot condition. Your doctor will carry out an evaluation to ascertain the exact cause. Based on the result of evaluation your doctor will decide line of treatment.
Following are some of the most commonly used methods of treatment.
- Use of shoe inserts and ankle braces
- Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications- for relieving pain and reducing inflammation
Complications of Flat Foot
Complications may appear in certain cases. Following are common complications.
- Pain and inflammation of feet sole ligaments
- Posterior Tibial tendonitis and Achilles
- Shin splints
- Development of stress fracture in lower leg
- Development of calluses or bunions