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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

Flat Feet Identification and Treatment

Flat as a pancake. Flat as a board. Flat as a foot? If the entire sole of your foot touches the ground when you stand, your arches are considered to be flattened or collapsed. Though this condition is typically painless, it may contribute to problems in your ankles and knees. Take a look at your footprint. Do you have flat feet? If you're experiencing discomfort associated with this condition, there is help!

Learn Your Foot Type

The wet test for flat feet

You can determine if your arches are collapsed by performing the wet test. Pour a thin layer of water into a shallow pan and place your foot in the water. Follow this by placing your foot on a brown paper bag or piece of heavy paper, then step off and observe the print. Knowing your foot type is crucial to the health of your feet, ankles, and knees.

Normal or medium arches are the most common. If you can see about half of your arch, your feet are considered to be of normal pronation. This pronation accurately absorbs shock and provides your body with correct support. A flat foot, on the other hand, reveals almost the entire footprint. Flat feet are associated with overpronation (your feet roll too far inward with impact) which results in excessive foot motion and an increasing risk of injury.

Why Are My Feet Flat?

How flat feet affect alignment

Everyone is born with flat feet, but for some, the arch never develops. Children may not complain that their feet hurt, but that they just get tired. Other reasons your feet may be flat include injury, and normal wear and tear of the tendons that run along the foot. If you've experienced trauma to the foot, you may experience a swollen ankle and pain in the heel and arch area. Other symptoms include fatigue of the feet and pain while standing or walking.

Factors that may increase your risk for developing collapsed arches include: obesity, traumatic injury to the foot or ankle, rheumatoid arthritis, and the aging process.

Flat feet are often misaligned, which can cause knee and back pain for a lifetime. Many parents are told that their children will outgrow their flat feet, and adults are often told to simply wear arch supports; meanwhile, misaligned feet continue to cause pain and problems.

If your feet are misaligned—also known as talotarsal displacement or dislocation—you may notice that your ankles appear to rotate inward while your feet rotate out. This can lead to intense pain in your knees, hips, and back as your weight is improperly distributed with every step.

Optimism for Flat Feet

You don't have to avoid the activities you love because of foot pain. If you're experiencing discomfort, there are treatment options at your disposal. Symptoms of flat arches can be combatted with arch supports and custom orthotics, or other supportive devices, however they do not correct the problem. In order to fully treat the foot, the structure must change. Dr. Darren Silvester understands that many patients don't respond well to arch supports and orthotics. He has treated a number of children and adults successfully by exploring a more permanent solution.

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Flat Feet

Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic is a Center of Excellence for the mininally invasive surgery known as HyProCure,  The procedure realigns your ankle with your heel bones with a small titanium stent. In just a few weeks, patients can walk normally, and tendons, ligaments and bones adapt to your corrected ankle position. Click here to learn more about HyProCure. The procedure can be performed at  Olympia Surgery Center.

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If your feet are causing you pain and the wet test has proven that you have flat feet, we can help! Our office can provide you with stretching exercises to strengthen the Achilles tendon, suggest proper footwear, and discuss whether surgery is right for you. Contact Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic in Pleasanton, TX, to begin your road to recovery. Make your appointment today by calling our office at (830) 569-3338 or peruse our website for more information. You can also make an appointment with us online. Give your feet the attention they deserve.