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Symptoms. Flatfeet

By Editorial Team (A)
November 30, 2021
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Flat feet symptoms

The majority of the time, flat feet don’t cause pain or other symptoms. However, some people with flat feet or fallen arches experience pain, especially in the arch of the foot or in the heel. The inside of the ankle may also become swollen.

When to see a doctor

If you or your child have pain in your feet, talk to your health care provider. He or she can help find what is causing the pain and help you find a solution.

Flat feet diagnosis

Usually, you can diagnose flat feet by yourself. However, you may need a specialist to determine the underlying cause. When you see your doctor for foot pain or flat feet, the healthcare provider will probably check your feet thoroughly from the back and front. For example, you may be asked to stand up on your tip-toes so the doctor can see how the mechanics of your feet are functioning. The doctor may also want to look at your shoes to examine the wear pattern.

Imaging tests

If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may want to rule out causes for your pain other than flatfeet. The healthcare provider may recommend some tests, including:

  • X-rays: An X-ray takes images of the joints and bones of the foot using small amounts of radiation. This test can easily and quickly be used to diagnose arthritis, which can cause pain. 
  • Computerized tomography (CT scan): This test takes X-rays images from different angles and combines them. As a result, a CT scan produces more detailed pictures of the foot than standard X-rays do.
  • Ultrasound:  If a damaged tendon is suspected in addition to flatfeet, your physician may recommend an ultrasound. This test uses sound waves and can produce detailed images of the body’s soft tissues.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): In this procedure, radio waves and a strong magnet provide images of soft tissues and the bones.

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