Pes Planus or Pes Plagus or Overpronation is a word used for flat feet. It means your feet are flat on the bottom. The entire foot sole touches the floor when you stand. A surprising fact is that every baby is born with flat feet. The foot tendons tighten as we grow. The majority of people form arches but a few don’t. Even if people have normal arches they can start to flatten because of illness, injury, or age.
Arches are curved and raised areas on the bottom of the feet made from metatarsal and tarsal bones. They help in distributing some body weight, so a lot of tress does not get applied on your heel. Everyone has a different arch – some are flat or low but it doesn’t cause any pain. If there is pain then standing or walking for a long time gets hindered. The tissues and muscles along the heel and arch start to ache. The ankle and foot inside can swell.
Pediatric podiatrist Orange County get visits from parents, who are concerned that their 5 years old kids lost their pudgy, cute fat pads and are developing arches. It is normal for kids to grow out from their natural feet form. If the normal arch does not develop then their entire foot will touch the ground while standing. This can cause –
- Sore ankles or heels
- Foot pain
- Feet that feel tired easily
- Awkward gait
- Walking or running is hard
- Frequent falling & tripping
- Unable to play sports
If your kid complains or you identify some of these flat feet symptoms then have it checked by experts at Podiatrist Irvine Clinic.
If the flat feet persist as your kid grows into a teenager then it can be due to several reasons –
- Juvenile arthritis
- Inherited disorder
- Childhood obesity
- Muscles or ligament damage
- Connective tissue disorder
- Abnormal anatomy
- Fusions within the foot bones
- Knock knees
Various conditions can cause fallen feet, so it is wise to have it diagnosed properly. Pediatric and adult flat feet appear similar but are different. The majority of toddlers develop a foot arch over time, while some with a normal arch will have flat feet. Normal arch is developed over time or until your kid turns 10 years old. It means don’t panic and if you are concerned visit the local pediatric podiatrist.
In adults, flatfoot deformity is developed when there is a gradual loss of the arch. The condition is called posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. The tendon that extends from the calf is attached to several areas across the foot tendon offering support. When this tendon is torn or injured the arch loses its stability causing it to collapse. It does not occur suddenly but results from several factors like rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, traumas, diabetes, genetics, or using steroids. Fortunately, a podiatrist can even help adults suffering from fallen feet.
Testing & diagnosis
In many cases, kids don’t need any treatment but historically fallen feet are regarded to be an unwanted disabling issue. However, with advanced technology clinical opinions have altered. Pediatric foot doctor at Podiatrist Irvine Clinic conducts a systematic checkup to diagnose if there is a need for treatment or not.
- Studies of the child’s complete medical history
- Performs physical examination
- Visual evaluation
- Ask kid a description of pain – sudden, dull, sharp, burning which activities worsen the soreness or ease it
- Childs standing, walking, and running are closely observed to understand feet’s mechanics
- Even the child’s shoes will be evaluated – the wear patterns will pinpoint the pain cause.
If the kid is struggling with foot pain then the podiatrist can recommend –
- X-rays for bone images
- EOS images to get a 3D model of flat images taken when a child is standing upright.
- CT scan to examine bones and body’s cross-sectional images.
- MRI to get detailed images of muscles, ligaments, soft tissues, and others in deep body structures. The MRI is performed under safe conditions and the child is safe from radiation.
How will the podiatrist plan the flat feet treatment?
If the flat feet are painless then there is usually no treatment recommended. If the kid is experiencing flat feet pain then the podiatrist will recommend arch support.
Arch support is an orthotic device, which is customized to fit in your kid’s soles. It helps to reduce the symptoms and pain. Purchasing an OTC orthotic is inexpensive but you need to get the fit right. You need to understand if your kid has rigid or flexible flat feet.
If an arch appears while sitting the kid has flexible flat feet, so the arch insole has to be medium but firm. When you don’t have any arch while sitting or standing then the condition is rigid flat feet. The insoles will have a low and firm arch. It is sensible to take help from a children’s foot doctor at Podiatrist Irvine Clinic.
A podiatrist takes foot impressions and has a personalized orthotic created. It ensures that the insole fits properly and it optimizes the needed support. A customized orthotic device means a long-term solution that outweighs the price tag.
Podiatrists even recommend wearing structurally supportive shoes rather than shoes, flip flops, and sandals without arch support.
In extra active children, the flat feet painful symptoms are due to overuse of their feet. If the podiatrist identifies issues with the form then physical therapy will be suggested to correct it.
A child with more weight will need to lose weight and relieve stress from the child’s feet.