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Foot Ankle Clin. 2003 Sep;8(3):419-30.

Biomechanics and pathophysiology of flat foot.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, P.O. Box 359798, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.

Abstract

When the foot works properly it is an amazing, adaptive, powerful aid during walking, running, jumping, and in locomotion up or down hill and over uneven ground. Dysfunction of the foot can often arise from the foot losing its normal structural support, thus altering is shape. An imbalance in the forces that tend to flatten the arch and those that support the arch can lead to loss of the medial longitudinal arch. An increase in the arch-flattening effects of the triceps surae or an increase in the weight of the body will tend to flatten the arch. Weakness of the muscular, ligamentous, or bony arch supporting structures will lead to collapse of the arch. The main factors that contribute to an acquired flat foot deformity are excessive tension in the triceps surae, obesity, PTT dysfunction, or ligamentous laxity in the spring ligament, plantar fascia, or other supporting plantar ligaments. Too little support for the arch or too much arch flattening effect will lead to collapse of the arch. Acquired flat foot most often arises from a combination of too much force flattening the arch in the face of too little support for the arch. Treatment of the adult acquired flat foot is often difficult. The clinician should remember the biomechanics of the normal arch and respond with a treatment that strengthens the supporting structures of the arch or weakens the arch-flattening effects on the arch. After osteotomies or certain hindfoot fusions, the role of the supporting muscles of the arch, in particular the PTT, play less of a role in supporting the arch. Rebalancing the forces that act on the arch can improve function and lessen the chance for further or subsequent development of deformity.

PMID:
14560896
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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