A flat foot, where the arch of the foot is dropped, is usually considered a variation of normal. Sometimes in children, there may be an abnormality in the separation of the bones as they form in the foot. There may be a connection between some of the bones of the foot that should not be there. This often causes a stiff flat foot. In general, children have flat feet until they are approximately five years old. If the foot remains flat into adulthood and it is not very stiff, this is probably the result of genetics. Older adults may experience “fallen arch syndrome,” a situation where muscles and tendons that support the arch stop working and cause the arch to collapse.
Treatment for flat foot may involve special shoes, arch supports, and exercises to strengthen ligaments and muscles. There are surgical treatments that can be accomplished if foot support is unsuccessful in alleviating the pain associated with acquired flat foot or fallen arch. Surgeries are quite extensive and require prolonged casting, but can be quite successful in helping the pain. Most people will respond to a non-operative treatment program.
For more information about flat foot, please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).