Pes Planus or flatfoot is a condition that causes the natural arches of the foot to fall. Flatfoot is an extremely common condition, and it can affect the weight and shock bearing abilities of the foot. Pain is also a primary symptom for which patients seek treatment.
Flatfoot can either be congenital – that is, present at the time of birth, or it could be acquired in adulthood. Sometimes a congenital flatfoot begins to show symptoms later in life after an injury to the foot or increased activity.
These people usually have an extra bone – the accessory navicular bone – that impinges on a nerve and causes pain. Surgical removal of this bone becomes necessary for prompt pain relief.
On the other hand, acquired flatfeet are a result of the ageing process. Degeneration of the posterior tibial tendon can cause the arches of the foot to fall and ultimately result in a flatfoot. In this case, the pain arises from either the bone impinging on an underlying nerve or from the torn tibial tendon.
In most cases, the pain is mild and compatible with life. Simple orthotic and shoe insoles may be advised for rehabilitation.
However, when the symptoms are severe, surgical tendon reconstruction may be the only treatment option.