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Flat Feet (Pes Planus)

Flat feet are, as the name suggests, when there is little or no space under the arch of your foot when you are standing up.

  • It’s normal for young children to have flatter feet because the arch often doesn’t develop fully until they are older
  • Some people have flatter feet than others. If both feet are the same, and they don’t cause any problems, this may be perfectly normal

However, if one foot is flatter than the other and causes pain in the foot or legs, this may be caused by tendon problems around the arch or arthritis developing around the heel. Some people with flat feet also develop peroneal tendon problems or tarsal tunnel syndrome.

What causes flat feet?

There are a number of reasons why people have flat feet:

What problems can flat feet cause?

Having flat feet can cause a number of problems including:

  • Pain – especially on the inside of the foot and ankle – when you walk or run
  • Swelling around the ankle
  • Nerve damage in the foot on the inside of the ankle, resulting in tingling or numbness in the foot

It’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible because, left untreated, the foot can become less flexible and the problem can become more difficult to correct, resulting in arthritis.

How can it be diagnosed?

During your first appointment, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your symptoms with Mr Heidari who will usually carry out X-rays and an MRI scan to identify any damage to the bones and tendon.

What does treatment involve?

If the problem is identified early on and your foot is flexible enough, flat feet can usually be treated by working with one of our physiotherapists on a personalised exercise plan, along with wearing insoles in your shoes to support your foot correctly. Along with losing any excess weight and taking anti-inflammatory painkillers (if your doctor recommends these) should help to prevent the problem becoming worse. However, if the foot is very stiff or misshapen, or affected by arthritis, Mr Heidari may suggest carrying out flat foot surgery or foot fusion surgery.

Important
This information is written as a guide to your treatment but it is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Please contact us for advice if you are worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.