The natural history and pathophysiology of flexible flatfoot

Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2010 Jan;27(1):1-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cpm.2009.09.002.


The frequent occurrence of flexible flatfoot raises the question of its pathologic status. There may be cultural overtones resulting in the consideration that flat feet are always pathologic. Parents may believe that their own flat feet were successfully treated when they were children and wish the same for their offspring. Few studies attempt to answer the question of the natural history of this condition. This article reviews the available literature dealing with the natural history, comorbidities, recommendations for treatment, expansion of biomechanical theory, and classification of flatfoot. Issues associated with imaging of flatfoot and the design of studies to validate the effects of treatment are also reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Flatfoot / diagnosis*
  • Flatfoot / pathology
  • Flatfoot / physiopathology
  • Flatfoot / therapy
  • Foot / pathology
  • Foot / physiopathology
  • Humans