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foot and ankle problems

You have flatfeet when the arch on the inside of your feet is flattened, allowing the entire sole of your foot to touch the floor when you stand up. Flatfeet may occur when the arches don't develop during childhood. In other cases, flatfeet may develop after an injury or from the simple wear-and-tear or stresses of age.


A common and usually painless condition. Flatfeet can sometimes contribute to problems in your ankles, knees, hips and spine because it alters the optimal alignment of your legs. If you aren't experiencing any pain, no treatment is usually necessary for flatfeet.


Tests and diagnosis
During the physical exam, we will observe your feet from the front and the back and ask you to stand in order assess the mechanics of your feet. We will also want to look at the wear pattern on your shoes.

Imaging tests
X-rays. A simple X-ray uses a small amount of radiation to produce images of the bones and joints in your feet. It is particularly useful in detecting arthritis.

Computerized tomography (CT scan). This test takes X-rays of your foot from many different angles and provides much more detail than a standard X-ray.

Ultrasound. If your doctor suspects an injured tendon, he or she may request an ultrasound test — which uses sound waves to produce detailed images of soft tissues within the body.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using radio waves and a strong magnet, MRIs provide excellent detail for both hard and soft tissues


No treatment is necessary for flatfeet if you are not experiencing any pain.


Arch supports (orthotic devices)
Over-the-counter arch supports may help relieve the pain caused by flatfeet. Custom-designed arch supports, which are molded to the contours of your feet. Arch supports won't cure flatfeet, but they often reduce symptoms when they are worn.

Stretching exercises
Most people with flatfeet also have a shortened Achilles tendon. Exercises to stretch this tendon may help.

Proper shoe wear
A structurally supportive shoe may be better tolerated than sandals or shoes with minimal support.

Surgery is performed when there are associated symptoms in the ankles, knees, hips or spine.  It is also performed to treat tendon tears and painful arthritis.

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