Flatfoot occurs when the arches inside of your feet are flattened, allowing the medial sole of your foot to touch the ground. Flatfoot is very common and can be a painless condition. In other cases, flatfoot can cause severe pain and deformity.
Flatfoot can occur due to abnormal development in childhood, injury or from common progression with age. Risk factors for developing flatfoot include: obesity, injury, age and diabetes.
Pain most commonly occurs on the inner side of your foot, although some patients never have pain. Your foot may also change shape when you compare it to the other foot. The medial arch is flatter, which may make it more difficult or painful to walk. Pain can worsen with progressive activity and deformity.
History and examination of the foot combined with X-rays will help diagnose flatfoot. Further investigations including: ultrasound, MRI or CT can help categorize the exact deformity. Multiple imaging investigations also help the surgeon plan each of the surgical procedures that will combine to amend the patient’s flatfoot deformity.
Orthotics, modified footwear, physical therapy or a brace can be helpful to some patients in the early stages of flatfoot.
A combination of surgical procedures can help correct flatfoot deformity. If bones have moved out of their normal positioning, they need to be realigned and require a cut in the bone (osteotomy) to shift them back into normal alignment. Soft tissue transfers, repairs and procedures including spring ligament repair and augmentation can help prevent some of the more invasive bony procedures.