Podiatrists servicing the Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale and Phoenix, AZ areas

Arizona Foot Health

Podiatrists located in Phoenix, AZ

When your flat feet cause you pain and make it difficult to get around, it may mean you need surgery to correct the issue. Ryan Golub, DPM, and Zachary Flynn, DPM, AACFAS, at Arizona Foot Health in Phoenix, Arizona, have extensive experience in the treatment and surgical correction of flat feet. To schedule a consultation, call or book one online today.

Flat Feet Q&A

Flat Feet

What are flat feet?

Flat feet is a condition of the tendons and ligaments that make up the arch of your foot. Healthy feet have an arch created by the ligament and tendons. 

When tendons, ligaments, or bones of the feet are deformed or damaged, the arch flattens out. This places too much tension on the structures of the feet, creating further damage and pain. 

Being flat-footed is common for children, but usually, the condition resolves by adulthood. When it’s not resolved, it can cause significant pain and altered mobility. 

You may walk on the inner side of your foot, putting you at risk for other foot, ankle, and lower leg conditions. Surgery may be required to relieve pain and restore your ability to walk normally.

What are the symptoms of flat feet?

Ankle and arch pain often result from flat feet due to strained muscles and connecting ligaments. You may also feel pain in your:

  • Calves
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Lower back
  • Lower legs

Your provider performs a thorough evaluation of your gait and may order screening tests, such as an MRI or X-rays, to determine whether flat feet or another disorder is causing your pain.

What causes flat feet?

Flat feet may develop from:

  • Birth defect
  • Stretched or torn tendons
  • Damaged ankle, heel, or leg tendons
  • Fractured or malformed bones
  • Nerve conditions
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

You may also be at a greater risk for having flat feet if you’re pregnant, obese, or have diabetes. 

How are flat feet treated?

Once the cause is determined, your provider creates a plan of care that will help resolve your flat feet. Usually, treatment begins with nonsurgical options like:

  • Rest
  • Immobilization
  • Shoe inserts
  • Physical therapy
  • Specialized braces

When these treatments don’t resolve the pain or improve mobility, surgery may be indicated. 

What are the surgical interventions for flat feet?

Depending on the cause of your flat feet, you may undergo surgery to repair ligaments and tendons. Flat feet may require complete surgical reconstruction, especially when the arch is collapsed but still flexible. Options for surgery include:

Medializing calcaneal osteotomy

This procedure is used when the heel bone has shifted out from underneath the leg.

Lateral column lengthening 

This is performed when the foot outwardly rotates.

First tarsal-metatarsal fusion 

This procedure, also known as a medial cuneiform dorsal opening wedge osteotomy, helps when the arch collapse leads to the big toe side of the foot being raised above the ground.

Tendon and ligament procedures 

These procedures correct a stretched and dysfunctional posterior tibial tendon.

Double or triple arthrodesis

Your provider may recommend this procedure in the later stages of flat feet, when the deformities are inflexible and arthritis may be present. It involves the fusion of one or more of the foot joints.

For expert treatment for flat feet and pain relief, call Arizona Foot Health or book an appointment online today.