Flat Feet Specialist

Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine

Podiatry & Sports Medicine Physicians located in Kirkland, WA

If you have foot pain, trouble standing on your toes, or swollen feet, you could have fallen arches, also called flat feet. At Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine in Kirkland, Washington, expert podiatrists design custom-made orthotics that support your arches so you can walk, run, and move comfortably again. Headed by expert podiatrists Lawrence Maurer, DPM, and Peter M. Vincent, DPM, Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine keeps your feet healthy and functional for life. If you live in the Kirkland, Washington area and suspect you have flat feet, contact the podiatrists at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine for an evaluation by phone or using the online scheduling form.

Flat Feet Q & A

Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine

What are flat feet?

Most babies are born with flat feet, but as they grow the tendons and other tissues in their feet tighten, so that they form arches on the inner side of your soles. Usually, your arches are fully formed by the time you’re about 2 or 3. However, sometimes arches never develop.

Flat feet can happen in adulthood, too. If the tendons that hold your muscles and bones together loosen, your arches can collapse.

What causes flat feet in adults?

Pressure on your foot or overuse of your tendons can cause flat feet. Being overweight or even pregnant is a risk factor for developing flat feet.

Medical conditions associated with flat feet include:

  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Marfan syndrome, a genetic connective-tissue disorder
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, a group of inherited connective-tissue disorders
  • Tarsal coalition, a painful bone-connection disorder in the foot

Foot injuries and irritated nerves can lead to loosened tendons and collapsed arches. The wear and tear of aging is sometimes enough to cause flat feet.

How can I tell if I have flat feet?

The easiest way to tell if you have flat feet is to wet your feet and then stand on a cement sidewalk. A normal footprint curves away at the inner part of the sole. If you have flat feet, you’ll be able to see the entire imprint of your foot on the cement.

Your flat feet might also cause symptoms such as:

  • Painful feet
  • Painful arches
  • Swollen feet
  • Reddened inner foot and ankle
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Difficult flexing or moving your foot
  • Leg pain
  • Back pain

Untreated flat feet can lead to complications, such as a turned ankle or bone spurs.

How do podiatrists treat flat feet?

If you suspect you have flat feet, getting an evaluation by the Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine helps you decide what to do. Dr. Maurer or Dr. Vincent can recommend simple lifestyle adjustments, such as wearing inserts in your shoe to better support your arch.

When you have painful symptoms, or if your flat feet could cause complications, your podiatrist can custom-design orthotics to help your feet maintain a healthier alignment. Your Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine expert might also prescribe a walking boot that takes tension off your tendons so they can heal or an arch brace for extra support. In the case of complications, such as fractures, your expert might advise surgical correction.

For a  flat feet evaluation and treatment, contact the podiatrists at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine. Use the online form or call the friendly staff today.