If you have flat feet, you don’t have any visible arches. This means that when you stand up, the bottom of your foot makes direct contact with the floor.
Usually, flat feet arises due to genetics, but can also occur following a work or sports-related injury. Though it might not seem like that big of a deal, without prompt diagnosis and treatment, flat feet can negatively affect the alignment of your legs, resulting in knee or ankle problems.
What are the symptoms of flat feet?
Many people with flat feet experience no symptoms at all. If you play sports or lead a physically active lifestyle, you might experience pain in your heel or arch area. As you get older, you might also notice swelling or tenderness along the inside of your ankle.
If you regularly experience foot pain, and it doesn’t respond to conservative treatments like rest, ice, or over-the-counter medication, don’t wait to make an appointment with Dr. Hausenfluke at North Texas Foot & Ankle.
Who is at risk of experiencing flat feet?
Flat feet affect people of all ages, genders, and races. Several factors increase the likelihood of flat feet, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being middle-aged or older
- Having diabetes
- Having rheumatoid arthritis
You’re also more likely to experience flat feet if you suffered a foot or ankle injury.
Children have flat feet that eventually develop arches. If your child’s feet are not developing at a normal rate, schedule a pediatric examination at North Texas Foot & Ankle.
How are flat feet diagnosed?
To diagnose flat feet, Dr. Hausenfluke reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and physically examines your feet, toes, and ankles. He also has you to stand on your tiptoes and looks at the wear pattern on your shoes.
If Dr. Hausenfluke suspects your symptoms are due to an injured ligament or tendon, he might also order a diagnostic ultrasound. Diagnostic ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create detailed images of the soft tissues inside your foot.
How are flat feet treated?
Treatment for flat feet depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your daily routine and mobility. Whenever possible, Dr. Hausenfluke recommends conservative, noninvasive measures such as custom orthotics, Superfeet® insoles, or supportive shoes. You might also benefit from at-home stretching exercises or physical therapy.
If your foot pain persists or gets worse, you might need flat foot reconstruction surgery. During flat foot reconstruction, Dr. Hausenfluke removes your damaged tendon and replaces it. He also repositions your heel bone (calcaneal osteotomy) to provide support for your foot arch.
Don’t let flat feet prevent you from participating in activities you love. Schedule an appointment at North Texas Foot & Ankle today. Book a consultation online, or call the office nearest you to speak with a team member.