Rigid Flat Feet

Did you ever check your foot prints out? What do you notice a curve between your forefoot and your heel? Is curve indicates the arch of the foot. Flat feet is a problem of either partial or total loss of the arch of the feet.

Symptoms of Flatfeet

Pain across the arch, ankle, heel or along the side of the foot.
A slightly turned in ankle
Heel is tilted towards the outside
The forefoot and toes point outwards
General weakness and fatigue in the foot/leg.

What are Rigid Flat feet?

Rigid Flat feet are those that do not change the shape when the feet become weight bearing. This means that the foot doesn’t go through the excessive motion of pronation.

Diagnosis of Rigid Flat Feet

In order to check if the patient has rigid flat feet, the doctor asks the patient to stand tip-toed so that the mobility of the hindfoot is assessed. If the foot forms an arch on the tip toe it is flexible. If not then it is rigid. To doctor will also suggest you to get Radiographs in standing, AP, lateral and oblique positions.

Causes of Rigid Flat Feet

The most common cause of rigid flat feet is the incomplete seperation of the tarsal bones during fetal development. The two common types of coalition is calcaneonavicular and talocalcaneal coalition. If the tarsal coalition is not the cause of rigid flat feet, other possible causes could be congenital vertical talus, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis involving the subtalar joint, osteochondral fractures of the subtalar joint or neuromuscular conditions.

Treatment of Rigid Flat Feet

The primary goal of the treatment for Rigid Feet is to achieve a pain free, asymptomatic foot. Approx 75% of the patients with tarsal coalition are asymptomatic.

Frequently, the onset of pain coincides with the transition of the coalition from a fibrous or cartilaginous junction to a bony bar. Nonoperative treatment consists of applying short leg walking cast for 6 weeks followed by use of a molded orthotic. This results in a resolution of the patient’s symptoms in a large number of patients. For patients who do not respond to casting treatment or for whom the symptoms recur, surgery is indicated. Operative treatment usually consists of excision of the coalition along with interposition of fat, muscle, or tendon to prevent recurrence.