Flat feet is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed, generally making the sole of the foot completely or almost completely stay in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.
Having flat feet can sometimes make it difficult to walk due to the stress it places on the ankles. The general alignment of your legs is thrown off because the ankles move more inward which can cause some major discomfort. This also has a big effect on the knees as many people that have flat feet often have arthritis in that area. This in turn can affect your lower back. However, in some cases, having flat feet does not cause any pain and it should not be a cause for concern in that case.
For those that run, there are specific shoes to help realign the ankles with a lot more support and less pronation. The weight shifting in this activity is very quick, so that's why it's important to know if you have flat feet early on in your life, in case of injury down the road.
Symptoms of flat feet can include: pain around the heel or arch area, trouble standing on the tip toe, swelling around the inside of the ankle, flat look to one or both feet, and having your shoes feel uneven when worn. Other symptoms include shin splints, knee and lower back pain. A major cause of flat feet is never having developed an arch on your foot. Overtime, a lot of stress and trauma to the foot can actually weaken the posterior tibial tendon that runs around the inside of the ankle. This is the reason why some people with flat feet have pain around that particular area.
There are a number of ways to help treat flat feet. One way is using custom made orthotics which are devices specifically made for your foot. Many over the counter devices or inserts do not accomplish the correction needed that is afforded by a custom device. Dr. Ramos's office will fabricate the custom device for you in his office and you can leave that same day with them on! Also, those with flat feet have a weaker Achilles tendon, and exercise to the area will help stretch the area. For those that suffer continued pain in that area, foot realignment surgery is available. Dr. Ramos offers minimally invasive repair of your flatfoot using a specialized implant called Hyprocure .