Flat feet are common in both children and adults. In children the deformity is known as a pediatric flatfoot and encompases many types of flatfoot. The majority of children with flatfoot have no symptoms, but some children have one or more symptoms. Flatfoot can be apparent at birth but not become an issue until later in life.
- Loss of the arch of the foot
- Pain or tenderness in the foot, ankle, leg or knee
- Awkwardness or changes in walking
- Reduced energy when participating in physical activities such as sports
- Outward tilting of the heel
Children who have symptomatic flatfoot are further divided into two categories, flexible and rigid. Children with flexible flatfoot have flat feet when standing but when they are non weight bearing the arch returns, In children who have a rigid deformity, the arch remains flat even when non weight bearing. Some children exhibit a congenital condition known as Congenital vertical talus in which the deformity is a rigid rocker bottom deformity and symptoms appear at walking age.
There are many non surgical treatments for pediatric flatfoot depending on the type, these include orthotics, activity modifications, medications and physical therapy. Surgery is typically left for those who fail those treatments or for children who require surgery to avoid significant progression of the disease which would result in more extensive deformity later on in life. Make an appointment today with Dr. Jonathan Pajouh to further discuss treatment options and which treatment option best fits you.
Flatfoot and Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
Flatfoot is a complex disorder which has very diverse symptoms and disability depending on the type of deformity and severity. There are different types of flat foot deformity but all exhibit a partial or complete collapse of the arch. Flatfoot can be seen in both adults and children. In adults it is a progressive flattening of the arch of the foot that occurs as the posterior tibial tendon wears down. This condition is known as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction or posterior tibial tendon insufficiency, Early stages start typical with pain and swelling along the posterior tibial tendon and patients may have a wide range of symptoms.
- Progressive flattening of the arch
- Heel shifting outwards where it is no longer underneath the rest of the leg
- Tightening of the heel cord
- Pain in the foot or ankle
- Inability to ambulate properly
- Deformity at the foot or ankle
- Pain on the outside of the ankle
Treatments depend on the patient and the severity of the pain and deformity. Some patients do well early on with custom orthotics, physical therapy and activity modifications. Surgery is typically left for those who fail those treatments or for patients who require surgery to avoid significant progression of the disease which would result in more extensive surgery later on. Make an appointment today with Dr. Jonathan Pajouh to further discuss treatment options and which treatment option best fits you.