Most patients have an arch on the inside of the foot but the height of this varies considerably and is a variant of normal. Absence of the arch is referred to as ‘flatfeet’.

What causes flatfeet?

Usually there is no cause for flatfeet; it’s just the way you are made! Rarely painful flatfeet are caused by problems with the bones or muscles / tendons.

Do my flatfeet need treatment?

Not usually. Most flatfeet are a variant of normal and do not need treatment. Painful flatfeet or excessive shoe wear often benefit from an arch support orthotic.

Will my children have flatfeet?

Maybe! Flatfeet often run in families so you children may have flatfeet. Your children do not require orthotics unless they have pain or excessive shoe wear.

When should I seek professional help?

You should consider seeing your GP or Podiatrist if

  • Your flatfeet are painful
  • Shoes are wearing out excessively quickly on the inner part of the shoe.
  • Your flatfoot is on one side only, or your foot is progressively becoming more flat.
  • Your foot seems stiff.

What can be done about flatfeet?

Most flatfeet can be helped by an arch support orthotic inserted into your shoe. Surgery for flatfeet depends on the cause of your flatfoot. Rarely flatfeet are cause by two bones in your foot being joined together (tarsal coalition). Surgery can remove the excess bone allowing mobility of the foot. Another cause of flatfoot is tendon rupture (tibialis posterior). Depending on the severity of the rupture, surgery can restore function with tendon transfers or fusion surgery if arthritis has developed.

Perth Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Centre

31 Outram Street
West Perth WA 6005

9.00am – 4.00pm Monday to Friday

FAX  +61 8 9212 4264

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