Pes Planus

There are 3 main foot types’; normal, flat foot and high arch. In this blog we shall discuss briefly flat foot (pes Planus) and high arch (pes cavus).

Pes Planus

This is a condition commonly known as flat feet or fallen arches and it is commonly seen in infants and toddlers. It occurs due to a postural deformity as the tendons holding the joints in the foot are loose, hence causing the arch of the foot to reduce. Patient suffering from this condition will notice their entire sole of the foot coming into complete or near complete contact with the ground.

Flat feet can also develop in adults due to injury, illness, prolonged stresses to the foot caused by defective biomechanics and the normal aging process.

Patients, who are either diabetic, obese or suffer from hypertension, are more prone to this condition. If the condition develops during adulthood then the patient is likely to remain flat footed permanently. The condition may be flexible or non- flexible.

Pes Cavus

This condition is commonly known as a high arch or high in-step and occurs when the arch does not fall flat when bearing weight upon it. Pes Cavus can be the result of many things, including a fixed plantar flexion of the foot. Plantar Flexion is the movement of the ankle, pointing the toes away from the shin. Although there may be specific causes of a cavoid foot, it is often congenital.

Some possible symptoms caused by Pes Cavus foot type include:

  • Pain under the metatarsal heads (ball of the foot) and heel
  • Lateral ankle sprains
  • Instability
  • Hammertoes
  • Pain while walking or standing in the foot
  • Stiffness in the lower limbs and foot joints

Whist it can be a gross over simplification to catagorize feet in this way it is a starting point before more detailed biomechanical, gait and neurological assessment can be undertaken.

Blog authored by Anuj Soni and David Good, Podiatrists at The Footcare Centre, Weybridge, Surrey UK.

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