What You Need to Know About Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

what you need to know about flat feet and fallen arches

Healthy foot arches keep us light on our feet and prevent us from being caught flat-footed. It’s the arch of your foot that puts the spring in your step!

When the arches of our feet are over-stressed and under-supported, that’s when you really notice them, and not in a good way!  You are now may be feeling the pain of  Flat Feet and Fallen Arches.

Here’s some info about About Flat Feet and Fallen Arches, and how you can best support them when arch problems arise.

Our foot’s arch is actually composed of three different arches

  • The medial arch is the highest. It runs along the inside of the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot, just behind the big toe.
  • The lateral arch extends from the heel to the metatarsal bone that connects with the little toe.
  • The transverse arch extends across the front of the foot, along the forward ends of the metatarsal bones. It connects the medial arch to the lateral arch.

The three arches form a triangle in the center of your foot. This creates a space for elastic tendons and ligaments, which act as springs to absorb, store, and mediate the energy created by each impact between the foot and the ground.

What are flat feet? (pes planus)Flat Feet

The name says it all. You have flat feet when the entire sole of your foot touches the ground when you’re standing still on bare feet.

Infants normally have flat feet, because their arches have not yet developed. Some people’s arches never develop, but that can be a normal and harmless structural variation.

What causes a collapsed foot arch?

Fallen arches collapse over extended time periods. Decades of wear and tear can weaken the posterior tibial tendon that is the primary support for your arch.

Factors that increase the risk of a fallen foot arch include trauma to the foot or ankle, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, aging, and obesity.

Symptoms of flat feet

Flat feet often cause no symptoms and therefore don’t require any treatment.

But flat feet can cause heel pain and pain in the arch of the foot. That pain can worsen with activity. A fallen foot arch can also cause swelling along the inside of the ankle.

How to treat flat feet?

Flat feet and their causes are diagnosed with imaging methods like X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, and MRIs.

Problematic flat feet can usually be alleviated through structurally supportive shoes and orthotics. A visit to your foot specialist will help with the best shoe and insole combination for your arch support needs. Stretching exercises, to lengthen the Achilles tendon, and other forms of physical therapy are also helpful.

Modifying participation in painful activities is a logical and effective step. Weight loss also often helps. Physical therapists can design an exercise protocol for each individual patient.

Are there Regenerative treatments for flat feet?

Yes! These include infusions of platelet-rich plasma, amniotic stem cell injections, and bone marrow stem cell therapy.

Can surgery correct flat feet?

In severe cases, when conservative treatments don’t target the causative issue, a foot specialist may recommend surgery. These surgeries will involve both repairing the posterior tibial tendon and a reconfiguration of the foot, in order to prevent recurrence of the problem.

If you’re experiencing foot problems, we’re here to help. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced podiatric care and the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

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Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar is board certified in podiatric medicine and joined University Foot and Ankle Institute under a fellowship in sports medicine and ankle reconstruction. She attended podiatry school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and went on to complete her surgical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York, where she was trained in foot and rearfoot surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine.

Dr. Redkar specializes in foot and ankle pathology and is available for consult at our Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles and Beverly Hills locations.
Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM
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