Flat feet can be observed from 2 years old or anytime during the adult years, where the medial arch or inner side of the foot is lowered towards the ground.
If this develops during childhood, it is congenital flatfoot; if it develops during adulthood, it is adult-acquired flatfoot.
Leaving a flatfoot condition without treatment can lead to long-term chronic pain. The medial arch of the foot rolls inwards causing a chain reaction of destabilization on the ankles, knees, hips and spine.
Higher up from the foot itself, the most common complaint is knee pain. This could lead to knee arthritis if it is a chronic condition. A flattened foot that has been functioning at a suboptimal orientation for so many years will eventually cause one side of the knee joint to wear out. The problem may have been prevented by correcting the feet early on in life.
Flat foot is actually an umbrella term for many conditions. For example, tarsal coalition, ankle equinus, unstable OS navicular, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, midfoot arthritis, hallux abducto valgus, and so on. Each of these conditions should be carefully considered before designing the shoe insoles.
Conservative treatment for flatfoot is often customised insoles.
Podiatrists are specialists in integrating clinical diagnosis with orthotic design, creating the specific prescription each patient needs for optimal control and correction of their flat foot. This is never as simple as just pushing up a low-arch profile with an insole.
Also, Podiatrists design in millimetres, not centimetres. That means our orthotic corrections must be accurate to a person’s foot biomechanics by less than a fraction of a millimetre.
Pain from Flat Feet can be easily managed conservatively.
Georgina is a Podiatrist from the U.K. who began her initial years of practicing in Singapore by first serving in SGH. This was followed by a stint at NHG polyclinics before going into private practice to co-found East Coast Podiatry. Georgina focuses her practice on high intensity conservative treatments that have been widely received as a new gold standard in the community for non-surgical treatments. Georgina also treats highly complex cases such as drop foot, walking issues caused by cerebral palsy and patients with special needs. She consults patients from all over the world who travel to Singapore for clinical advice and treatment at East Coast Podiatry.