Pes Valgus, commonly known as Flat fleet, is a physical deformity wherein arch of the foot crumples allowing the entire sole of the foot coming in contact with the ground. Interestingly, both, adults and children suffer from this medical problem. In case of children, the same condition is referred to as 'Pediatric flat foot'.
As per a rough estimate, about 20-30 percent of the total population suffers from this type of foot deformity. This percentage covers both, people suffering from both, partial and total collapse of arch.
Formation of Pediatric flat foot is quite common in infants owing to baby fat which apparently conceals the developing arch. Moreover, diagnosing flat foot at a young age is quite difficult. Hence, parents and elders are advised to keep their eyes open and personally examine their wards from time to time if they see them complaining of pain in foot region consistently.
On the other hand in case of adults, flat feet is mostly the result of an injury, illness or continuous state of stress on the foot. Flawed biomechanics is another possible reason cited for flat feet in adults by medical experts. Women, especially during pregnancy are most susceptible to this form of foot deformity.
The most effective way of detecting flat feet in both adults and kids, is by wetting the foot. This traditional wet footprint test sees the candidate standing on a smooth surface for some time. After he /she leaves the place, the footprint is examined. The degree of foot flatness is determined by the contact area of his/her sole with the surface.
In case if the child is showing no symptoms of it no surgical treatment is required. However, the condition needs to be periodically assessed by surgeon. In cases where the child is showing Pediatric flat foot symptoms, treatment is needed. However in such cases focus is chiefly on alternative and non-surgical form of treatment. Some of these form of treatments have been explained below:-
Footwear selection: Right footwear always helps in overcoming Pediatric flat foot problems. As a parent or elder if you are finding it difficult to spot the right footwear for your child, you can consult a foot and ankle surgeon.
Physical therapies: Various therapies like stretching and others, provide instant relief when done correctly in supervision of experts like physiotherapist or foot-ankle surgeon.
Medicines: Cases of Pediatric flat foot can be easily treated by administering oral medicinal treatments. Medicines like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can prove to be a handy solution to treat pain and inflammation.
In addition to it, Orthotic devices and activity modifications are also suggested.
The treatment in case of flat feet (adult) is more or less the same, only the doses of medicines and the level of exercises is slightly on the higher side.
Surgery, for sure, is the last option reserved to treat the worst cases (where it is extremely important to correct the foot function). However, it entirely depends on type of flatfoot and of course, the level of deformity.