What is Flatfoot?
Flatfoot, of which there are several different types, is the partial or complete collapse of the arch of the foot. Other characteristics of most types of flatfoot include
- "Toe drift," where the toes and front part of the foot point outward,
- The heel tilts to the outside and the ankle looks like it's turning inwards.
- A short Achilles tendon, which makes the heel life off the ground earlier when walking
- Bunions and hammertoes might occur in some people with flatfeet
Rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes can sometimes increase the risk of developing flatfoot. Patients who are overweight also frequently suffer from this disorder.
This is one of the most common kinds of flatfoot, usually starting in childhood or during our teenage years and continuing into adulthood. Usually occurring in both feet, it typically progresses in severity throughout the adult years. As it worsens, the tendons and ligaments of the arch might stretch or tear, and can become inflamed. "Flexible" means that the arch returns to it's normal appearance and condition while not standing, but flat while bearing weight. Symptoms include pain, a "turned in" ankle, or general weakness or fatigue of the foot or leg.
Your podiatrist will examine your foot, taking note of its appearance while your standing and sitting. You should expect to have an x-ray performed so the doctor can fully determine how severe your particular case is. Once the evaluation is completed, your podiatrist will discuss treatment options with you, including potential surgery if your case calls for it.