Flat feet is an aptly named condition in which your feet lack proper arches, which may be a life-long issue or one you acquired as an adult. For experienced care of your flat feet, rely on the team of board-certified podiatrists at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle. From conservative care to a surgical correction, the providers offer a wide range of solutions for flat feet. To learn more, call the Decatur or Roanoke, Texas, location, or click on the scheduling button to set up a consultation.

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What causes flat feet?

When you’re born, your feet don’t have arches — they only form once you start to gain mobility. In some cases, you may never develop arches, which leads to a lifetime of flat feet.

In other cases, your arches can fall due to wear-and-tear and age. In fact, adult-acquired flatfoot is a fairly common condition that’s brought about by a dysfunction in your posterior tibial tendon, which stretches from your calf muscle to the bones on the inside of your feet. If your posterior tibial tendon weakens, it can lead to the collapse of your arches.

There are certain factors that put you more at risk of developing adult-acquired flat feet, including:

  • Age
  • Carrying extra weight
  • Placing added stress on your feet (sports or jobs that keep you on your feet)
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension

Rounding out the list of contributors to flat feet is arthritis, more specifically rheumatoid arthritis, which can break down the soft tissues in the joints in your feet.

What complications stem from flat feet?

Many people with flat feet function perfectly normally with the condition. Others, however, experience problems with:

  • Overpronation, which can affect your ankles, as well as your knees and hips
  • Pain and swelling in your feet
  • Uneven distribution of your body weight, which causes balance issues
  • Bunions and hammertoes

If your flat feet are problematic, it’s a good idea to visit with a podiatrist at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle.

How are flat feet diagnosed and treated?

After examining your feet, your podiatrist at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle orders in-house digital X-rays to get a closer look at the internal structures in your feet. Once they determine the extent of the problem, they typically start with conservative therapy, including:

  • Changes in footwear
  • Orthotics
  • Stretching exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Activity modifications
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Icing

If you don’t respond to conservative treatments, your podiatrist may recommend a surgical correction to relieve your pain and improve the function of your foot. These surgical techniques may include:

  • Tendon lengthening
  • Tendon transfers
  • Cutting and shifting bones
  • Fusing your joints
  • Implants

Your podiatrist selects the right procedure(s) based on the level of your deformity, your age, and your activity level. In most cases, your recovery period ranges from 3-6 months.

To learn more about your options for treating flat feet, call North Central Texas Foot & Ankle or use the online scheduling tool.