Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists
Foot and Ankle Surgery & Podiatric Medicine located in State College, PA
Flat Feet Q & A
What are flat feet?
Flat feet occur when you have no arch when standing. Everyone is born with flat feet, but the loose tendons in the feet tighten during early childhood, forming the arch.
Your foot arch supports normal foot mechanics and proper body weight distribution.
However, you may never develop the arch, or the arch may fall as you get older. Types of flat feet include:
Flexible flat feet
With flexible flat feet, you have an arch when sitting or lying down that disappears when you stand. This is the most common type of flatfoot and usually develops during childhood or adolescence.
Flexible flat feet worsen over time, and the tendons and ligaments in the feet may stretch and tear, causing pain and swelling.
Rigid flat feet
Rigid flat feet occur when you have no arch when sitting or standing. This type of flatfoot develops during adolescence and worsens over time.
With rigid flat feet, you may have foot pain and difficulty flexing your feet.
Adult-acquired flat feet
Adult-acquired flat feet, also known as fallen arches, are when the arch of your foot drops unexpectedly. Your fallen arch causes your foot to turn outward, resulting in pain.
You may develop adult-acquired flat feet if you have inflammation or tearing in the leg tendon that supports the arch — the posterior tibial tendon.
What can I expect during a flat feet consultation?
You can expect a patient-centered exam when you visit Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists with concerns about flat feet. Your podiatrist reviews your symptoms, medical history, and daily routine. They also ask about the type of shoes you wear.
Your provider examines your feet and may have you stand and walk so they can assess the arch and how it affects your gait. They may also take X-rays to evaluate the bony structure in your feet.
How are flat feet treated?
Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists customizes treatment for flat feet based on type and severity of symptoms. Treatment may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Change in footwear
- Custom orthotics
- Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) devices
- Physical therapy
In severe cases, the experts at Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists may recommend surgery to correct the underlying cause of flat feet.
Surgery may include repairing the tendons, transferring tendons to restore the arch, or fusing the bones to correct their position.
To get help for your flat feet, call Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.
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