Flat Foot

Patient Information




GP Information

Background Information

  • A flat foot or ‘pes planus’ occurs due to loss of the medial longitudinal arch of the foot.
  • Normally associated with a valgus heel, a pronated midfoot, a valgus forefoot, tibialis posterior dysfunction.
  • Patients may complain of pain along the instep or medial malleolus, or pain on the outer aspect of the foot from lateral impingement. They may also notice a change in foot shape, reduced balance and pain on walking.
  • Examination typically reveals loss of the arch and a valgus heel.

Investigation Guidelines

  • Diagnostics are not required for treatment or referral.

Management Recommendations

  • Children under 10 and adults with long-term, flexible, painless, non-progressive flat feet usually do not require any treatment.

Conservative measure include;

  • Heel stretching exercises.
  • Custom orthotics.
  • Referral criteria:
    • Referral is recommended when the condition is;
    • New and painful.
    • Progressing.
    • Associated with a fixed deformity.
    • Other associated problem (Tib post dysfunction).
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