Flat Feet (Pes Planus)

Flat Feet, also known as fallen arches, is a common foot condition characterised by the absence or low height of the foot arches. In individuals with flat feet, the entire sole of the foot makes contact with the ground when standing which can lead to discomfort and pain, particularly in the ankles, arches, and heels.

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Flat feet, a prevalent condition, can lead to discomfort in key areas such as the ankles, arches, and heels. As the foundation of the body, the feet play a pivotal role in maintaining balance and alignment. When arches collapse, which is the case with flat feet, the feet lose their proper support structure, resulting in misalignment. This can stress on other joints in the body as they attempt to compensate for the misalignment. While typically asymptomatic, it can contribute to pain, gait abnormalities, joint stress and musculoskeletal conditions.

Types of flat feet

  1. Congenital flat foot, a hereditary condition, can be present in varying degrees in children as young as 2 years old. Flat footed individuals may also be diagnosed with hypermobility, a condition related to the laxity of ligaments. This laxity can also impact other joints such as the knees and hips.
  2. Adult-acquired flat foot happens when the foot arch drops or collapses. It can be caused by conditions such as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), arthritis, injury or diabetes.

If unaddressed, the affected foot may deform and collapse more and more over time. This can result in loss of mobility, postural changes, and pain all the way up to the spine.

How are flat feet managed and addressed?

Foot Orthotic Insoles

Supportive devices, such as custom foot orthotics or insoles, offer a common and effective solution for managing flat feet. These customised foot orthotics are medical devices prescribed and crafted to address individual needs and specific foot pathology. Your podiatrist will carefully select materials, densities, and designs for the orthotics based on your medical requirements and lifestyle.

Thanks to the advancements in technology and manufacturing, custom insoles designed for flat feet can now be seamlessly integrated into various types of footwear, including pumps, heels, court shoes, and sports footwear like soccer boots or hockey shoes. This ensures that individuals with flat feet can maintain support and comfort across different activities.

For diabetic patients, total contact orthoses are tailored to offload pressure, providing cushioning movement to minimise abrasion or irritation against the skin of the foot. This approach aims to prevent foot ulceration which tends to develop in areas of high pressure.

Ankle Foot Orthotics

Ankle Foot Orthotics is a highly specialised device designed to accommodate a wide range of foot and ankle deformities, aimed to restoring patients to a normal walking gait. This contoured and balanced orthotic device is articulated to the lower leg uprights, making it particularly adept at stabilising rotational forces at the midtarsal, subtalar, and talocrural joints.

Based on individual needs, the AFO can further enhance or restrict motion in sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes, allowing options for rigidity, semi-rigidity or dynamic support. Customized through a meticulous molding process capturing the full structure of the foot and ankle, the AFO integrates a custom foot orthotic at its base, extending seamlessly up the leg. It is meticulously designed to take into consideration a patient’s static and dynamic biomechanics while ensuring ease and comfort in wearability.

3D Foot Scanning

At East Coast Podiatry Singapore, we utilise advanced computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) processes ensuring an accuracy of up to +/- 0.4mm. To ensure that the 3D image of the foot is captured accurately, patients will undergo 3 different types of 3D scans. These scans are reliant on the clinician’s expertise and training, aiming for maximum precision in foot capture.

The results from these scans are seamlessly integrated with information gathered from musculoskeletal and biomechanical assessments conducted by our team of skilled podiatrists. This is necessary for the prescription and precise design of orthotic devices that are designed specifically to correct flat foot condition unique to each individual.

As lower limb specialists, podiatrists are required to conduct a full biomechanical examination in order to make a comprehensive diagnosis of a patient’s present and potential foot conditions. Addressing the low arch height is the first step.

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Common Symptoms

Pain on the inside of the ankle and arch
Pain in the leg and knee after activity or with high intensity sports
Pain in the ankle due to joint impingement

How It Looks Like

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Related Conditions


At What Age Do Arches Develop?

Children’s foot arches typically show around 2 – 3 years of age. If you suspect your child has congenital flat feet, schedule a consultation with one of our podiatrists for a full evaluation as soon as possible.

Have a question?

Made my first orthotics insole for flat foot problem back in 2018; went for 5km, 10km, and half marathon with no more pain. Just did a consultation after 5 years, as expected the front staff was friendly, accomodating, & informative; the podiatrist Ms Millicent was amazing, she explained and fix my shoe problem with ease. This place is recommended if youre a runner, frequent runner etc who have problem with your ankle, knee, or leg.

James Lim

Our Podiatry Care Strategy

100% non-invasive methods to improve your flat foot in 4-8 weeks

An flat foot specialist, such as a podiatrist, will be able to perform a thorough foot assessment using diagnostic tools, such as a musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound to determine the source of your flat foot.

A thorough assessment of your ankle

Immobilising the area with splints

Utilising technological therapies

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