Flat feet mean that your foot arch is sometimes or always absent.
Flexible flatfoot means having clear foot arches when sitting or laying down. But, your arches flatten when you stand.
Rigid flatfoot means that you never have a foot arch.
Rigid flatfoot is the more serious of the two, but both kinds of flatfoot can cause uncomfortable symptoms.
Flat feet can cause symptoms like:
Flat feet can lead to abnormal stress on the joints of your feet and toes, which increases the risk of developing bunions, hammertoe, and other foot deformities. If you have a preexisting condition like arthritis or diabetes, you can experience severe flatfoot symptoms.
Many different things can cause flat feet, including:
The posterior tibial tendon, which supports your foot arches, can become irritated or tear, causing PTTD. You have an increased risk of developing PTTD if you’re female, over 40, play high-impact sports, or have a chronic condition like diabetes.
Inflammatory arthritis, which includes conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, causes joint problems and ligament damage. When inflammatory arthritis shows up in your rear and midfoot, it erodes your foot’s support system and can eventually cause flat feet.
Any trauma to the middle or rear part of the foot can lead to flatfoot. Ligament tears, fractures, and dislocations are the most common injuries leading to flatfoot.
Foot deformities like bunions and hammertoe cause changes in your foot’s structure, which can then cause flatfoot.
Charcot foot, a condition in people with diabetes, causes the foot bones and tissues to weaken and fracture. The foot arch can completely collapse, leading to flat feet. Without treatment, Charcot foot can get worse until your foot arches bow outward, creating a rocker-bottom appearance.
In some cases, the root cause of flat feet isn’t clear. But regardless of the reason, if flat feet cause pain or other problems, Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates can help.
Flat feet symptoms generally improve with targeted treatment of the underlying problems. Custom orthotics, bracing, and changing your shoes can all ease your symptoms. If you have severe symptoms or structural foot problems, you could need surgery.
Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates can help you conquer flat feet and return to the activities you love. Call the office now or book an appointment through online scheduling.