Flexible flatfoot is one of the most common types of flatfoot. It typically begins in childhood or adolescence and continues into adulthood. It usually occurs in both feet and progresses in severity throughout the adult years. As the deformity worsens, the soft tissues (tendons and ligaments) of the arch may stretch or tear and can become inflamed.
The term “flexible” means that while the foot is flat when standing (weight-bearing), the arch returns when not standing.
Symptoms, which may occur in some persons with flexible flatfoot, include:
In diagnosing flatfoot, the foot and ankle surgeon examines the foot and observes how it looks when you stand and sit. X-rays are usually taken to determine the severity of the disorder.
If you are diagnosed with flexible flatfoot but you don’t have any symptoms, your surgeon will explain what you might expect in the future.
If you experience symptoms with flexible flatfoot, the surgeon may recommend nonsurgical treatment options, including:
In some patients whose pain is not adequately relieved by other treatments, surgery may be considered.
A variety of surgical techniques is available to correct flexible flatfoot, and one or a combination of procedures may be required to relieve the symptoms and improve foot function.
In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the foot and ankle surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the x-ray findings, your age, your activity level, and other factors.
The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.
If you are experiencing pain or instability issues related to a foot arch disorder, our podiatrist are highly skilled at diagnosing, evaluating and treating disorders of the foot, including low arches.
Most patients will benefit from non-surgical treatments methods to manage pain and/or instability caused by a foot or ankle disorder.