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Flatfoot (pes planus) is a condition in which the longitudinal arch in the foot, which runs lengthwise along the sole of the foot, has not developed normally and is lowered or flattened out. One foot or both feet may be affected.

Flatfoot may be an inherited condition or may be caused by an injury or condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, or diabetes.

Children as well as adults may be flat-footed. Most children are flat-footed until they are between the ages of 3 and 5 when their longitudinal arch develops normally.

How is flatfoot diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask questions about your health and do a physical exam. They will look at your feet and may assess how you stand or walk. Imaging tests such as X-rays may be done.

What are the symptoms of flatfoot?

People who have flat feet rarely have symptoms or problems. Some people may have pain because of:

  • Changes in work environment.
  • Minor injury.
  • Sudden weight gain.
  • Excessive standing, walking, jumping, or running.
  • Poorly fitted footwear.

Children sometimes have foot discomfort and leg aches associated with flat-footedness.

Flatfoot: when to call

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have pain in your feet or legs.
  • You want help to find orthotics to fit your feet.
Find a provider

We have podiatry experts throughout the region.

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