What is Flatfoot?

If you’ve noticed that your feet have gotten progressively flatter as you’ve aged, and that feeling is accompanied by bouts of pain in your heel, arch, or even swelling on the inside of your ankle, then adult-acquired flatfoot may be to blame. This condition can also creep up without any pain at all. The good news is, there are remedies available to arrest the progression of flatfoot, and other treatment options to correct it if the condition has worsened.

Flatfoot is caused by a malfunction or weakness in the posterior tibial tendon. Being attached to several bones in your foot, the posterior tibial tendon maintains your arch and provides strength as your feet move through their steps.

The resilience of the posterior tibial tendon can become compromised for a wide variety of reasons including aging (particularly over the age of 40), a sedentary lifestyle, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, or previous ankle injury or surgery. Women are more likely than men to develop the condition.

If you suspect that you’re beginning to suffer from signs of flatfoot, it’s better to seek out medical advice before the condition advances to a fallen arch. It’s much easier to correct flatfoot in its early stages. Devices such as shoe inserts, foot straps, specially designed boots, as well as good old fashioned rest, can help alleviate flatfoot. Should the condition advance and impact your daily life and normal activities, then surgery to repair the tendon and reestablish proper foot alignment may be recommended. Whenever possible, keep chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure in check.

Don’t let flatfoot get you (and your arches) down! With a bit of prevention and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, it is possible to keep that spring in your step.

If you are suffering from flatfoot and want to be evaluated by one of our physicians at Triad Foot & Ankle Center, please call 336-375-6990, or visit our website at triadfoot.com to request an appointment.

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