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Secondary Conditions Resulting From Flat Feet

Flat feet is a common foot deformity that can lead to complications if not managed carefully and treated promptly. Some of the possible complications are;

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By Babafemi Adebajo
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated February 17, 2023.

Flat feet is a common foot deformity in which the foot arch flattens out, leaving all parts of the foot in contact with the ground. While some are born with it, others acquire it in adulthood as a result of damage to the posterior tibial tendon. Flat feet is generally painless until complications begin to set in.

Since the soft tissue on the inner part of the foot is subject to repeated loading, it swells, causing a change in the foot alignment. The distortion in foot alignment affects the walking mechanics. Consequently, it affects the kinetic chain and places undue strain on the musculoskeletal system, and can lead to several other conditions.

Secondary Conditions Caused By Flat Feet

Flat feet are diagnosed by assessing symptoms and evaluating the position of your arches in sitting, standing, and walking. If not managed promptly, secondary conditions that can result include the following:

  1. Corns and calluses While there is still weight-bearing with flat feet, it occurs abnormally. This can cause the foot to develop painful corns and calluses in the areas that bear the most weight.
  2. Toe Deformities The toes also bear part of the extra stress placed upon the foot. The undue pressure on the foot causes deformities like bunions.
  3. Plantar fasciitis Flat feet place undue stress on the plantar fascia causing it to bear more load off the foot and leading to a painful inflammation.
  4. Arthritis of the ankle and foot joints
  5. Pain in the ankle, knee, hip, and lower back
  6. Shin splints

While some people experience flat feet without symptoms, it's not worth the risk. If you notice any sign that you have a flat foot, you must immediately seek medical attention in order to avoid complications.

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