Adult Deformity Correction
Flatfoot is a term used to describe a collapsed arch. Medically, the term is pes planovalgus (for a flattened foot that is pushed outwards). There are varying degrees of ‘flatness.’ While some flat feet are not problematic at all, there are those that are painful and can cause significant discomfort and have a big impact on one’s ability to be active.
There are two kinds of flat feet – flexible (mobile) or rigid (stiff). A flexible flatfoot is one where the foot retains motion. This type is considered to be hypermobile and the arch is able to be recreated when there is no weight on the foot. A flexible flatfoot is a very common form of flatfoot that usually originates in childhood and lasts throughout adulthood, typically worsening without treatment. The deformity in flexible flatfoot involves a mild, gradual collapse of the foot’s arch, and almost always occurs in both feet. In contrast, a rigid flatfoot is ‘stuck’ in the flat position regardless of whether or not there is pressure placed on the foot.
The successful treatment of flexible or rigid flat feet depends on an accurate diagnosis, early treatment and in some cases proper procedure selection.