Flatfeet Specialist in Phoenix, AZ

Foot + Ankle Specialty Centers
Podiatrist located in Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa & Phoenix, AZ

Flatfeet, or fallen arches, can cause you pain and lead to more serious health and foot issues if not properly addressed. Luckily, we have excellent solutions available at Foot + Ankle Specialty Centers. Our article aims to inform you about the symptoms, treatments, and flatfeet exercises.

Flat Feet Specialist in Phoenix, AZ

Flatfeet Definition

The flatfoot deformity happens when the arches of the feet collapse. Causes of flatfeet make the entire sole of your foot come into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. This condition can be present at birth or acquired over time due to factors like aging, injury, or obesity.

Can Flatfeet Cause Knee Pain?

Yes. The lack of an arch affects the alignment of your legs leading to bad positioning of the knees. This misalignment often results in added stress on the knee joints and pain.

Can Flatfeet Cause Back Pain?

Yes. The altered posture and gait resulting from this condition can affect the spine’s alignment. Over time, this misalignment leads to chronic back pain because of the uneven weight distribution and increased strain on the lower back.

Different Types of Flatfeet

There are several flatfeet types, including:

Flexible Flatfoot

The arch appears when you sit but flattens when you stand. It often starts in childhood, caused by loose ligaments and tendons.

Rigid Flatfoot

The arch is absent whether you sit or stand. It can start in adolescence or adulthood. It is often due to bone problems like tarsal coalition.

Adult-Acquired Flatfoot

Also known as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), it happens when the posterior tibial tendon weakens or tears. This causes the arch to fall. Conditions like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure can cause it.

Flatfeet Symptoms

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the arch, heel, or ankle
  • Swelling along the inside of the ankle
  • Difficulty standing on tiptoes
  • Foot fatigue and tiredness
  • Uneven shoe wear

How are Flatfeet Diagnosed?

At Foot & Ankle Specialty Centers, we diagnose flatfeet with these steps:

  1. We see your feet and assess your gait to see if you need a flatfoot reconstruction.
  2. We may use X-rays, MRI, or CT scans.
  3. We watch how you walk to understand the impact.
  4. We check the height of your foot arches.
  5. We assess the flexibility of your feet and ankles.

Flatfoot Test at Home

To perform a simple flatfoot test at home, follow these steps:

  1. Stand on your toes and see your feet in a mirror.
  2. Check if an arch forms. If not, you may have the condition.
  3. Pay attention to any pain or difficulty in maintaining this position.

Another simple way to test for flatfeet at home is the “wet footprint test.” You need to wet the soles of your feet and stand on a flat surface like a piece of paper. If your footprint shows a complete outline without an arch, you likely have the condition.

How are Flatfeet Treated?

At Foot & Ankle Specialty Centers of Arizona, we offer different treatment plans for flatfeet based on your condition and symptoms:

  1. We provide custom arch supports, like custom-made insoles, to alleviate pain and improve foot function.
  2. Our experts will guide you through exercises, such as calf stretches and heel raises, to strengthen the muscles and tendons in your feet.
  3. We may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce pain and swelling.
  4. We recommend supportive shoes best for flatfeet, such as motion control or stability shoes, to provide better arch support and comfort.

Our specialists and podiatrists will create a personalized treatment plan to help you find relief and improve your foot health.

Flatfeet Surgery

In severe cases, surgery might be necessary. At Foot & Ankle Specialty Centers, we will determine the best surgical method based on your specific condition. Here are some of the surgical options we offer:

  • Tendon Transfers: We may transfer a tendon from one part of your foot to another to help support the arch. For example, transferring the posterior tibial tendon to improve arch stability.
  • Osteotomies: Our surgeons may perform bone cuts to realign the foot. This could include cutting and repositioning bones in the foot to make a more normal arch structure.
  • Arthrodesis: In some cases, we may fuse joints in your foot to improve stability and reduce pain. This involves joining bones in the foot permanently to correct severe deformities.

Flatfeet Before and After Surgery

Before surgery, you might experience:

  • Significant pain in feet, ankles, and lower back
  • Difficulty walking or standing for long periods
  • Frequent swelling in feet and ankles
  • Visible deformities such as flat arches and bunions
  • Tiredness in the feet after minimal activity
  • Poor posture and misaligned legs
  • Uneven shoe wear

After surgery, most patients experience:

  • Significant pain relief
  • Improved ability to walk and stand
  • Reduced swelling
  • Corrected foot structure with a visible arch
  • Increased activity levels
  • Better posture and alignment
  • Balanced shoe wear

Flatfeet Recovery Time

Recovery time after flatfeet surgery varies but typically ranges from six weeks to several months. You usually need to wear a cast or boot and undergo physical therapy to regain strength and mobility.

Pain Management for Flatfeet

Effective pain management includes:

  • Rest and ice to reduce inflammation.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Orthotic inserts for better support.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises.

Best Shoes for Flatfeet

When choosing shoes for flatfeet, it’s important to look for specific features:

  • Shoes should have built-in arch support to help maintain the foot’s natural arch and prevent overpronation.
  • Look for shoes with a firm midsole and heel counter to provide stability and reduce excessive foot movement.
  • Enough cushioning and padding in the heel and forefoot areas can help absorb shock and reduce pressure on the feet.
  • A wide toe area allows your toes to spread naturally and prevents cramping and pressure on the front of the foot.
  • Shoes with motion control features help control excessive rolling of the foot, providing better alignment and support.
  • Shoes that can accommodate orthotics are beneficial for adding extra support tailored to your foot’s needs.
  • A durable and supportive outsole provides traction and helps maintain proper foot positioning during movement.

Flatfeet Treatment Near Me in Arizona

If you’re looking for flatfeet treatment in Arizona, Foot & Ankle Specialty Centers is here to help. With five convenient locations in Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, and Phoenix, Arizona, our expert team is ready to provide the care you need. Call us at (480)812-3668 or schedule an appointment online and learn more about our services.


Can it be corrected?

Yes, it can often be corrected or significantly improved with the right treatment, including orthotics, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

Can it be prevented?

While congenital types cannot be prevented, acquired types can sometimes be prevented through proper footwear, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular foot exercises.

Is It a disability according to SSI disability?

It alone are not typically considered a disability by SSI standards unless they cause severe pain and functional limitations.

Are flatfeet permanent?

It can be permanent, especially if they are congenital. However, treatment can manage signs and improve foot function.

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