Flat feet is a foot condition where the foot does not have a normal arch.  A normal arch can be seen when the heel of the foot is flat feetperpendicular to the level ground when walking, and both the heel and ball of the foot are in contact with the ground.  In a flat foot, the top of the heel bone will be turning in and the bottom of the heel will be turning out; so the ankle appears to be rolling inward over the foot.  This can be problematic for many individuals, and cause foot, leg, and back problems over the course of your life.  This is why podiatrists, Drs. Michael B Stegman and John T Erotas, are here to help.

What are the symptoms of flat feet?

Flat feet aren't usually painful, unless someone is playing sports or doing any sort of walking activity. If shoes wear unevenly, people may experience mild discomfort. Older individuals may develop flat feet; "they had normal or slight-flat feet that suddenly collapse into severe flat feet," according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.

Symptoms of flat feet manifest during late childhood. If a toddler or young child experiences foot pain, you may need to visit your Scottsdale and Sun City podiatrists.

If flat feet are not treated sooner rather than later, they can cause many long term issues. The most common deformities that can be caused by a flexible or rigid flat food can include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciitis
  • Corns and Calluses
  • Tendinitis

What causes flat feet?

Flat feet may be a result of many things:

  • Congenital
  • Acquired flat feet in adults is usually due to tissue breaking down
  • Tendons, ligaments and worn out joints may contribute to the problem
  • Tarsal Coalition- an abnormal fusion of the bones in the rear foot, which then do not allow normal motion of the heel and mid foot. This abnormal motion restricts the proper adaption to the ground and proper shock absorption during the gait cycle.

How are flat feet diagnosed?

Podiatrists use several tools and tests to assess feet.

  • A physical examination
  • X-Rays
  • MRI examination may be needed, but not usually

What are treatment options?

There are several treatment options, some invasive and others less invasive.

  • In-shoe orthotics
  • Physical therapy
  • Custom-molded prescription orthotics, made to relieve pain and provide support.
  • Shoe inserts to walk comfortably.
  • Braces, if simple measures fail to provide relief.
  • Painful flat feet that don't respond to non-operative measures may require surgery.

Flat feet can be a painful and serious foot problem. If you have any questions or concerns about flat feet, you should contact your Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ, podiatrists, Drs. Michael Stegman and John Erotas. They have the expertise to help figure out and treat your foot issue.