WHAT IS A FLAT FOOT?
A flat foot is a term used to describe a collapsed arch, a collapse in the medial longitudinal arch of the foot, and sagging of the heel valgus. The foot flattens and is pushed outwards.
There are two kinds of flat feet:
- A flexible flat foot retains motion and the arch can spring back when the foot has no weight on.
- A rigid flat foot, on the other hand, is ‘stuck’ in the flat position and the arch is not present, whether bearing weight or not. There are varying degrees of ‘flatness’.Flexible flat foot is typically not painful, though some people may experience pain after playing sports. Rigid flatfoot can cause foot pain during everyday activities.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FLAT FEET?
Patients may complain of arch pain and heel pain. Commonly there is pain on the outside of the foot, where the foot meets the ankle, as the collapse foot abuts against the ankle. Muscle cramps within the foot and onto the leg may occur. In general, patients have pain with activity, such as walking or running. Irritation from shoe gear can cause redness and swelling.
CAUSES OF FLAT FEET
There are a variety of causes of flat feet. Flat feet can be genetic, acquired, and develop over time. Injury, tendon problems, and arthritis can also lead to flat feet can lead to flat feet. Rigid flat feet may occur from a condition called tarsal coalition, where the bones in the back of the foot are genetically fused or locked together.
- Purchase better-fitting shoes. Use shoe inserts, preferably arch supports.
- Rest the foot and apply ice to the painful area.
- Take anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
- Ask your doctor if you need to follow a physical therapy program.
Surgical Procedure often includes:
- Heel Bone Realignment.
- Repairing a stretched or torn tendon.
- Using a piece of one tendon to lengthen or replace another.
- Fusing one or more of the bones in the foot or ankle together.
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