Patients with flat feet can be due to a congenital or hereditary problem, or it can develop later in life due to injuries to the foot.
Nearly all children have flat feet until around the age of 2-3. Gradually over time the arch will form until the age of 13 in most people. Even if the arch doesn’t form fully, many people will not require treatment. However, in cases where there is pain and functional limitation a thorough assessment is required and sometimes treatment needed. In rare cases the cause can be due to the abnormal joining of bones in the foot. This requires investigations and targeted treatment, sometimes including surgery.
In adults the condition can develop due to damaged to tendons and ligaments in the foot or due to arthritis (inflammatory or degenerative). Left untreated it is likely to deteriorate over time, causing disability and reduction in quality of life such as not being able to walk long distances.
A thorough assessment of this foot type is required in people who have pain with their feet as well.