Get answers to your Foot and Ankle questions.
Pes planovalgus; Fallen arches; Pronation of feet; Pes planus
Once your health care provider has examined your child, no treatment is needed for flat feet that are not causing any pain or problems walking.
In older children and adults, flexible flat feet that are painless and do not cause problems with walking do not need further treatment once a health care provider has evaluated them.
If you have pain due to flexible flat feet, the following may help:
Rigid or painful flat feet require evaluation by a health care provider. The treatment depends on the cause of the flat feet.
For tarsal coalition, treatment starts with rest and possibly a cast. If this does not improve the pain, surgery may be needed.
In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to:
Flat feet in older adults can be treated with pain relievers, orthotics, and sometimes surgery.
Most cases of flat feet are painless and do not cause any problems or need treatment.
Some causes of painful flat feet can be successfully treated without surgery, but surgery is the last option to relieve pain in some cases.
Patients who need to have surgery often report improvement in pain and function.
Flat feet rarely cause any complications except pain.
Possible problems after surgery include:
Call your health care provider if you experience persistent pain in your feet or your child complains of foot pain or lower leg pain.
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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