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Flat Foot Simplified by Sports Medicine MD

October 31, 2012

Pes planus, as this condition is known in medicine, is more common than many of us believe. The term flat feet is too general. There are several variants of this condition: Pediatric/congenital flatfeet, flexible flatfeet and adult acquired flatfeet are amongst the most commonly known. Just as there are variants, there are also different potential causes of this condition/physical finding. In adults, the Posterior Tibial tendon fails on occasion. It normally helps keep the medial arch of the foot ‘patent’ by attaching to the medial midfoot. Studies show that this may not be the main cause, and that it may just be assisting a ‘weakness’ of the ligaments in the region that fail to hold the arch in place. There are several deformities of the foot seen in children that can predispose to the development of flat feet. People suffering from neuropathy (affected nerves) or diabetics with complications of the feet can also develop this condition. If we add physical trauma we find ourselves with a myriad of causes. Functionally, during our walking cycle, the foots goes through several phases. It transitions from its flexed stance (used mostly when standing on uneven surfaces/ground) to its firm/rigid shape when pushing off the ground. During this time, structural changes keep some bones ‘locked’ to add force and propel our body. Failure of these structures make this cycle less effective.  Foot orthotics can be useful to assist in the improvement of this condition. Surgery is seldom required, but always an option. Are you having problems with your feet? Do not let the problem get worse. Have a Sports Medicine Physician keep you walking.

Image taken from:,r:14,s:42&biw=1291&bih=560


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