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What Are the Different Treatment Options for Flat Feet?

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If you have flat feet, which means you have no arches underneath your feet, you might be dealing with pain and discomfort. Without arches, the soles of your feet touch the ground entirely when you're standing or walking. Over time, this can lead to intense cramping and other sources of pain. It can also be hard on your knees and ankles. Here are some treatment and foot care options for flat feet.


You may need to adjust the types of shoes you wear and wear orthotic devices. This helps to reduce the pressure on certain parts of your feet, and it can help reduce pain and discomfort in other parts of your body. Talk to a podiatrist about the flat feet problem and request custom orthotics. These are similar to insoles, but they are custom-made to fit the shape of your feet properly and support your arch area. You may need to get special shoes that fit the devices. Shoe modifications may also be recommended by your doctor.

Pain Reduction

There are some nonsurgical treatments that won't improve the flat foot condition but that can reduce any pain you are experiencing due to the condition. For one thing, it helps to lose weight if you are currently overweight or obese. Any extra weight you are carrying around can cause too much pressure for your arches. You should also take anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation. Also try physical therapy to learn stretches and exercises for proper pain relief.

Surgical Correction

Flatfoot surgical correction is an option if nonsurgical treatments aren't helping you reduce the pain or discomfort from the condition. These are usually only done when you have certain deformities that make it hard to handle daily tasks, including standing or walking.  There are a few different techniques doctors use for flat foot surgery, including the medializing calcaneal osteotomy, lateral column lengthening, medial cuneiform dorsal opening wedge osteotomy, and various tendon and ligament procedures.

Presurgery Procedures

If your doctor decides that surgery is your best option, they will first take a number of imaging tests. These help to diagnose the severity of the flat foot condition. Some tests that may be performed include x-rays to see the bones and joints, a CT scan to look at more details and angles, and MRI to see both soft and hard tissues. After getting imaging tests, the doctor will recommend a special surgical technique and procedure.