Flat foot is a condition caused by loose tendons in the foot. While this is a common condition in infants and toddlers as the foot develops and the tendons tighten, the arch should be formed by late childhood. If these tendons fail to tighten, the arch doesn’t form and children grow to be adults who have flat feet. Rarely, children may have flat foot if two or more of the bones in the foot fuse together, leading to a condition called tarsal coalition. A flat foot can also be caused by injuries or health issues that affect the feet. It can also be caused by the aging process, resulting from a loss of elasticity in the tendons. Read on for flat foot symptoms and diagnosis information.
Flat Foot Symptoms and Diagnosis
In general, flat foot is not a painful condition, nor does it require prolonged or expensive treatments. At most, adults with flat foot may suffer from some pain or discomfort, or even a tired, sore feeling in their feet after extended periods of standing, walking or playing sports.
For children with tarsal coalition, there may be some pain in the foot, ankle or lower legs.
For infants and toddlers with flat feet, no treatment is necessary. They should grow out of the condition as their tendons tighten. There is also no treatment necessary for those with flat feet that are flexible, as long as the condition does not cause pain.
If children or adults with flexible flat foot do experience pain, they can obtain orthotic devices that help create an arch. These devices can be bought in a store or be custom-made to fit the specific needs of the individual.
Children that suffer from tarsal coalition will need to seek care from a professional. Treatments for this condition start with simple bed rest and may end in surgery for the more extreme cases. For these cases, doctors will have to clean and repair the tendon, and possibly fuse joints together for a more natural position in the foot.
Only a professional can diagnose or treat the flat foot condition since diagnosis may require X-rays and treatment may require surgery. When searching for a trained professional to learn about flat foot symptoms and diagnosis, it is important to find those with experience in the area of treating and diagnosing flat feet.
The caring professionals at Michigan Podiatry are experienced and easily accessible through one of their three locations. Patients are seen quickly by appointment or through the office’s emergency care. For more information of flat foot symptoms and diagnosis contact Michigan Podiatry today.