Flat Feet

Flat Foot / Flat Foot Surgery

When you look at your foot, the inside should be naturally arched. If it isn’t, you might have flat feet. For thousands of people, flat feet pose no problem at all, but for those who experience pain, surgery can be very effective.

If you have flat feet and are experiencing symptoms, contact the experts at Starrett Podiatry in one of their six New York offices today. You can find them in East Harlem and West Harlem in New York City; Brooklyn, New York; and Mott Haven and Belmont in Bronx, New York.

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What are the signs and symptoms of flat feet?

Some people have no symptoms at all, while others report that flat foot affects their quality of life daily. The most common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue in the affected foot or feet
  • Aches and pains near the arch and heel
  • Difficulty standing on your toes
  • Chronic leg and back pain
  • Swelling on the inside bottom of each foot

What causes flat foot?

The arch in your foot is created when all of the tendons in your foot are pulling correctly to create tension; when tendons fail to do this, flat foot results.

Many different conditions and factors can contribute to flat foot, including fractures, congenital abnormalities, tendons that are stretched or torn, certain health conditions, diabetes, obesity, aging, and pregnancy.

When should I see a doctor?

If you have flat feet, but they don’t cause any problems for you, there’s no need to see a doctor. However, if you deal with tired feet, aches and pains, leg and back pain, or swelling on the bottom of your feet, make an appointment.

How is flat foot diagnosed?

A podiatrist — a doctor who specializes in foot and ankle problems — will review your medical history and symptoms with you, examine your feet and gait, test your strength and range of motion, and order X-rays or an MRI if they need more information.

Some podiatrists may ask to see your shoes; this allows them to check for certain wear patterns that might indicate flat foot.

How is flat foot treated?

Treatment varies depending on severity and symptoms. Treatment can include:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation to reduce swelling and alleviate pain
  • Stretches and exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Custom or over-the-counter orthotic devices
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Surgery to fuse bones together, remove spurs, reshape bones, or make other changes designed to lift your arch

No two cases are the same; your doctor will likely try conservative treatments before recommending more invasive treatments like injections or surgery. If surgery is required, some surgical procedures can be performed on-site at Starrett Podiatry for your comfort.