Flexible flatfoot is one of the most common types of flatfoot. It typically begins in childhood or adolescence and continues into adulthood. It usually occurs in both feet and generally progresses in severity throughout the adult years. As the deformity worsens, the soft tissues (tendons and ligaments) of the arch may stretch or tear, and can become inflamed.
The term “flexible” means that while the foot is flat when standing (weight-bearing), the arch returns when not standing. In the early stages, flexible flatfoot arthritis is not restricting motion of the arch and foot, but in the later stages arthritis may develop to such a point that the arch and foot become stiff.
Symptoms, which may occur in some persons with flexible flatfoot, include:
- Pain in the heel, arch, ankle, or along the outside of the foot
- “Turned-in” ankle
- Pain associated with a shin splint
- General weakness/fatigue in the foot or leg
Courtesy of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.