Foot and Ankle Excellence
Bruni Leka, DPM
Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Philadelphia, PA
It’s normal for infants and toddlers to have flat feet, but flatfoot that persists into adulthood can cause pain and symptoms. Highly trained podiatrist Bruni Leka, DPM, treats flatfoot in patients of all ages at Foot and Ankle Excellence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If you suffer from painful flatfoot, call or book an appointment online today.
What is flatfoot?
Normally, an arch along the inside of your foot supports you when you stand or walk. Flatfoot means you don’t have this arch, so the entire sole of your foot touches the ground when you stand up. There are two main types of flatfoot:
This is the most common type of flatfoot. Flexible flatfoot means your arches appear when you lift your feet from the ground, but they disappear when you stand. This type of flatfoot begins in childhood and usually isn’t painful.
Rigid flatfoot means you don’t have an arch, whether you’re standing or not. This type of flatfoot can cause pain during everyday activities like walking.
What causes flatfoot?
All infants are born with flat feet. Most of the time, an arch develops throughout childhood. If the ligaments in your foot aren’t strong enough to support an arch, flexible flatfoot may persist into adulthood.
Adults can develop rigid flatfoot for a variety of reasons, including:
- Foot injuries like a bone fracture or torn tendon
- Diseases such as cerebral palsy that affect the muscles
- Medical conditions like diabetes
The risk of adult-onset flatfoot (fallen arches) increases with advancing age. You may be at increased risk of fallen arches if you’re overweight and don’t get regular exercise.
How is flatfoot diagnosed and treated?
Flexible flatfoot that doesn’t cause pain or symptoms may not require treatment. If you have foot pain or your feet tire easily, Dr. Leka can help.
Dr. Leka begins by thoroughly reviewing your symptoms and medical history. She also observes your feet while you stand upright and on tiptoes. She may also take an on-site digital X-ray to evaluate the structure of your feet.
Then, Dr. Leka creates a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Treatment for painful or symptomatic flatfoot include:
- Custom orthotics like arch supports
- Stretching exercises
- Supportive shoes
- Physical therapy
Surgery to correct flatfoot is uncommon, but it may be necessary if your condition is due to an underlying injury, like a tendon tear.
If you have foot pain related to flatfoot, call Foot and Ankle Excellence or book an appointment online today.