It’s common to hear patients tell me they have foot pain because they have “flat feet”. An overwhelming majority of the patients who tell me this actually don’t have flat feet at all. They have a normal arch. Some of them may have a variant of a foot type which makes them a appear to have a lower arch, but it’s not what we would refer to as a pathologic flat foot. A pathologic flat foot is one that is severely deformed which many times can make a patient unable to run or even perform daily activities without pain. Lesser degrees of the deformity also exist which may be symptomatic occasionally depending on ones activity level.
The following is an example of a severe flatfoot deformity which was limiting the ability of the patient to walk and function at work. He was experiencing severe pain to his midfoot (arch) region with an associated callus.
The important concept to understand about flatfoot deformity is that although it is not as common as most people think, it’s important to treat or address early. The longer one waits to treat a flatfoot deformity, the more it will collapse and then treatment options become more complicated which will lead to fusion of joints. If you think you may have a flatfoot, it’s crucial to have it evaluated. Also, if notice that only one foot is flat, that is more indicative of a pathologic or problematic flatfoot that needs addressed.