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Flat Feet

What are Flat Feet?

The midsection of the foot should create a small arch between the heel and ball of the foot. Flat feet or fallen arches happen when that arch is very shallow or absent. While flat feet might not be a painful condition, foot pain can result along with effects on your gait, causing pain in the ankles, knees, hips, and back.

Tendon injuries or fractures in the foot can cause flat feet. Rheumatoid or nerve damage in the foot can also lead to flat feet.

Flat feet occur normally in infants and children. The tendons holding the joints in the foot together tighten and create an arch as children grow older, and normal arches would be seen in most adults

What are the symptoms of Flat Feet?

  • Pain in the foot, ankle, or lower leg in children
  • Tired or achy feet after long periods of standing or taking part in sport in adults
  • Possible pain on the outside of the ankle

How are Flat Feet diagnosed?

Standing on your toes to check if arches form for your feet. If there is pain, a CT scan can be used to evaluate the bones. An MRI scan is helpful for checking the tendons and an X-ray can be used to identify if there is arthritis.

Reviewed by Dr. Anandakumar Vellasamy, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Centre for Foot and Ankle Surgery

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