At the Schottenstein Center, with locations in Miami and Hallandale Beach, Florida, we specialize in diagnosing and treating pes planus, commonly referred to as fallen arches. This condition, characterized by the collapse of the foot’s arches, affects an estimated 20-30% of the general population, either unilaterally (one foot) or bilaterally (both feet). For some, the arch may never develop, leading to the entire sole of the foot making complete or near-complete contact with the ground.

The Crucial Role of Foot Arch Structure

The architecture of the foot’s arch is vital to the biomechanics of the lower leg, providing an elastic and springy connection between the forefoot and the hindfoot. This structural integrity is essential for absorbing and dissipating forces during weight-bearing activities, safeguarding the long bones of the leg and thigh from excessive stress.

Biomechanical Challenges of Pes Planus

Pes planus can cause significant biomechanical alterations, primarily due to the medial and downward displacement of the talus bone from the navicular bone. Such displacement overstretches the plantar calcaneonavicular ligament, also known as the spring ligament, along with the tendon of the tibialis posterior muscle. This overstretching affects the functionality of the medial longitudinal arch (MLA), a key component in foot biomechanics.

Patients may experience “rigid” flatfoot, where the MLA is nonfunctional in both seated and standing positions, or “supple” flatfoot, characterized by a functional MLA while seated or on the toes but collapses when standing flat. Supple flatfoot, in particular, may be correctable with the use of well-fitting arch supports.

Personalized Treatment at The Schottenstein Center

Our approach to managing pes planus at the Schottenstein Center is comprehensive, addressing both the type and severity of the condition. For individuals with supple flatfoot, we recommend well-fitting arch supports designed to provide necessary support to the MLA, promote better foot alignment, and enhance overall foot function. These devices help redistribute foot pressure, alleviating discomfort and preventing further biomechanical issues.

For patients requiring more than just arch supports, our treatment plans may also include physical therapy exercises aimed at strengthening foot and ankle muscles, thereby improving stability and arch support. In cases of rigid flatfoot where conservative measures are insufficient, surgical intervention might be necessary to correct bone alignment and restore arch functionality.

Early Detection and Proactive Intervention

Recognizing pes planus early, especially in children and young adults, is crucial for effective management and potential correction of the condition. Regular foot examinations at our Miami or Hallandale Beach locations allow for early detection and timely intervention, preventing progression and associated complications. Adults experiencing symptoms or discomfort from pes planus should seek a comprehensive evaluation and a customized treatment plan from our experienced podiatrists.

Understanding the implications of pes planus and exploring available treatment options can significantly improve foot health and quality of life. At the Schottenstein Center, we are committed to providing the best possible care for managing pes planus, ensuring better foot function and minimizing the risk of associated complications.