Adult Acquired Flatfoot

 

Adult acquired flatfoot is a progressive disorder that involves a compromise of the tendon and ligaments that support the inside arch. The condition most commonly affects middle-aged women and is characterized by a noticible collapse or sagging of the arch with an outward shift of the forefoot/heel and inward shift of the ankle (see photo). 

There are four clinical stages of the disorder as the condition worsens, with each stage becoming progressively more disabling. The final stage involves separation of the ankle joint along with all the joints in the hindfoot. It is important to diagnose this problem early and begin treatment to slow the disease process. Surgery maybe needed to ultimately stabilize the arch.

HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE ADULT ACQUIRED FLATFOOT?

A simple clinical test for adult acquired flatfoot is to:

1. Place your hands on a countertop for balance.

2.  Stand foot-flat only the affected foot and to try to perform a heel lift.

If it is impossible to lift the heel, the arch structure maybe compromised. We would recommend a clinic appointment to evaluate the problem. Individuals with adult aquired flatfoot can not lift their heel when performing a heel-lift on one foot.