Get answers to your Foot and Ankle questions.
Pes planovalgus; Fallen arches; Pronation of feet; Pes planus
Flat feet (pes planus) is a condition in which the foot does not have a normal arch when standing.
Flat feet are a common condition. In infants and toddlers, they are normal.
Flat feet occur because the tissues holding the joints in the foot together (called tendons) are loose. In infants and babies, the fat in the foot is also a factor.
As children grow older, these tissues tighten and form an arch, most often by the time the child is 2 or 3 years old. By adulthood, most people have normal arches. However, in some people this arch may never form.
Aging, injuries, or illness may harm the tendons and cause flat feet to develop in a person who has already formed arches. This type of flat foot may only be on one side.
Rarely, painful flat feet in children may be caused by a condition in which two or more of the bones in the foot grow or fuse together. This condition is called tarsal coalition.
Hosalkar HS, Spiegel DA, Davidson RS. The foot and toes. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap. 673.
Wexler D, Kile TZ, Grosser DM. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap. 87.
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