What is a flatfoot deformity?

A flatfoot deformity occurs when the arch of the foot starts to flatten or drop towards the ground. It can also be called ‘fallen arches’.

A flatfoot deformity can develop slowly over time because of the weight of the body pushing down on the bones of the foot. Some people are born with flat feet but do not experience problems. A flatfoot deformity is only a problem if it causes pain when walking or standing. A flatfoot deformity can make you start to limp.

What can I do about my painful flatfeet?

  • Use an arch support in your shoe. Arch supports can be purchased at a pharmacy or shoe store, or an orthotic can be made specifically for your feet.
  • Work with a physiotherapist to learn how to do exercises that make the muscles and tendons in your foot and lower leg strong and flexible.
  • Talk to your health care team about getting a brace for your ankle.

Can surgery help my flatfeet?

Surgery may be suggested if the options listed above do not help your pain.

Surgery is performed to fix the position of the foot and possibly repair the injured tendons. Surgery may help but the recovery time can be long.