The normal foot can come in many shapes and sizes. Some people have a high arch, whilst others can have a very low arch on the inside aspect of the foot. All these variations are normal, as long as your joints are painless and you can move your foot normally.
The term 'pes planus' refers to a flattening of the inner arch of the foot (or medial longitudinal arch). The loss of this arch results in the two secondary components that make up pes planus - outward twisting of the heel ('hindfoot valgus') and outward deformity of the end of the foot in comparison to the ankle ('midfoot abduction').
If you have a flatfoot that is not causing you pain or any other problems, then the good news is that you have nothing to worry about. No treatment at all is needed. However, some people with flatfeet have an underlying problem that needs treatment. These problems may include:
- Congenital deformities. Some people are born with conditions which may lead to flat foot.
- Tibialis Posterior Dysfunction. This condition commonly affects women over 40 years old. The tibialis posterior muscle and tendon helps maintain your foot arch and helps you walk efficiently. When it tears, a flatfoot develops which may lead to osteoarthritis of your foot if not treated properly.
- Arthritis of the Joints in the Foot. Rheumatoid arthritis or other types of arthritis can affect your midfoot, leading to painful flatfoot.
- Neuromuscular Disorders. Conditions such as Polio, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease or Diabetes can cause Flatfoot.