Flat Foot (Fallen Arches)

It is rare to find someone who walks with both feet in perfect alignment. Often we walk on the inside or outsides of our feet, or with our toes or heels rotated inward. These typical walking patterns can cause many problems not just with the feet but also for the whole body as the alignment of the feet sets the foundation for the whole body’s alignment. One of the most common effects of improper alignment is known as flatfoot, or fallen arches.

Also known as fallen arches, the condition of flat feet is characterized by a lack of appropriate arch in the inner foot. It can be a genetic condition or the result of improper body mechanics or tendon failure. Often the whole of the foot will contact the ground. Because a healthy foot is structurally able to support the weight of the body thanks to the bone structure that comprises the arch, a flat foot often is unable to properly support this weight and will cause extreme pressure in the joints above, such as the ankles, knees and hips. Prolonged activity with the foot in this position can lead to arthritis in the joints of the foot and leg, and can also cause problems and instability in the back.

Many people experience loss of arch height on one foot only. This is typically due to instability of the bones, joints, and tendons of the rearfoot and ankle. This condition is also known as “posterior tibial tendon dysfunction” (PTTD), “posterior tibial tendon insufficiency” (PTTI), or “adult acquired flat foot deformity.” This problem is usually very effectively treated with shoe inserts or bracing; however, should these treatment options fail the most common treatment is surgical reconstruction of the bones and joints of the foot.
If you or a loved one is suffering from fallen arches, the physicians at the Foot and Ankle Center of Cape Coral would be privileged to take part in your care and work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.