About Flat Feet
The arches of your feet are painful, achy, and seem to have collapsed. Dr. Neil Zwiebel, caring podiatrist at Park East Podiatry in New York, New York, treats adult-acquired flat feet so that your foot functions normally and painlessly again. If you have flat feet or fallen arches and live or work in the New York City area, call the dedicated Park East Podiatry staff or book an appointment with Dr. Zwiebel online.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
What are flat feet?
Adult-acquired flat foot — sometimes referred to as fallen arches — is an acquired condition in which the arch of your foot collapses and shifts your foot bones out of alignment. A healthy arch is supported by the posterior tibial tendon, which runs from your calf to the inner side of your foot. When the tendon is injured or weakened, it can’t support your arch anymore.
What causes flat feet?
Flat feet can be present from birth due to conditions such as Marfan syndrome. The tendon damage that leads to adult-acquired flat foot may be caused by:
- Overuse or injury of tendons
- Ligament injuries
- Nerve damage
- Fractured or dislocated bones
- Obesity or pregnancy
- Diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
How can I tell if I have flat feet?
You can test for flat foot by wetting your feet, and then stepping on a flat, light-colored surface. If you see an imprint of the entire sole of your foot — including where the arch should be — you have flat feet.
Symptoms of flat feet include?
- Foot pain, especially in arches
- Redness on inner side of foot and ankle
- Difficulty walking or standing for long periods
- Difficulty moving foot or standing on toes
- Leg pain
- Back pain
If you don’t treat your flat feet, you may develop the following complications:
- Heel bone shifts out of alignment
- Foot turns outward
- Ankle turns inward
- Bone spurs
- Ulcerated foot skin
How do podiatrists treat flat feet?
If you catch your fallen arches quickly enough, you may be able to alleviate pain and avoid complications with simple lifestyle adjustments, such as losing weight and wearing inserts. However, the best and least invasive treatment for flat feet is custom foot orthotics that support your arch and allow your foot to function normally. Dr. Zwiebel uses orthotics made of carbon-based aerospace materials that are credit-card thin, yet strong and flexible enough to support your arches. When flat feet have progressed without treatment, you also may need a walking boot that allows your tendon to heal. An arch brace helps your arch maintain a healthy position. If you have complications, such as bone spurs, fractures, or other severe damage, Dr. Zwiebel may recommend surgical correction. Raise your arches and treat your flat feet at Park East Podiatry. You can call Dr. Zwiebel’s friendly team for an appointment, or just book one yourself online.