Flat Feet

There are two main types of flat feet. Flexible flatfoot and Painful Progressive Flatfoot or Adult Acquired Flatfoot.

Flexible flatfoot

Flat feet are a common structural condition of the foot. They are seen in infants and toddlers before they start to walk and is considered normal through age three. When a child approaches ages four to five an arch should start to form. If no arch forms by that age the child very likely has flexible or developmental flatfoot. This condition can also develop in adolescence and continue into adulthood.

Symptoms and treatment in children

Children with flat feet may also have foot pain, but more often they don't experience any pain. Instead parents will notice toe walking, in-toeing, out-toeing, poor coordination and balance. Kids who are diagnosed with flexible flat foot will not outgrow this condition. They often face future foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions along with hip, back, knee, and ankle problems. For more information about other signs and symptoms of this condition and how podiatrists correct them to prevent future problems, see our Kids Feet First Program.

Symptoms or treatment in adults

Adults with flexible flatfoot can experience:

  • Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, bunions, and hammertoes

  • Ankles that roll in or pronate

  • Shin splints

  • Aching or fatigue in the foot or leg

  • Low back, hip, knee, ankle pain, and migraines

Treatment for patients with mild flatfoot can include an over-the-counter arch, but most patients with more severe flatfoot will need correction of their foot mechanics with custom orthotics.

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (adult acquired flatfoot)

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) or adult-acquired flatfoot, refers to inflammation of the tendon of the tibialis posterior. This condition arises when the tendon becomes inflamed, stretched, or torn. Left untreated, it may lead to severe disability and chronic pain. People are predisposed to PTTD if they have flat feet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot.

For an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, call us at 206-368-7000.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

We have two downloadable books where you can learn more about treatment of plantar fasciitis or heel pain.