Flat Feet Specialist

Portland Foot & Ankle Institute -  - Foot & Ankle Surgeon

Portland Foot & Ankle Institute

Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Portland, OR

Flat feet are normal in young children, but if this condition persists into adulthood, it may lead to foot pain and ankle instability. Nationally recognized foot and ankle surgeon Michael A. Gentile, DPM, FACFAS, and his team at Portland Foot & Ankle Institute diagnose and treat flat feet in Portland, Oregon. If flat feet are causing you problems, call or book an appointment online today.

Flat Feet Q & A

What does it mean to have flat feet?

Flat feet occur when the arches on the insides of your feet are absent. This causes the entire sole of your foot to touch the floor when you stand barefoot.

There are two main types of flat feet: flexible and rigid. Flexible flat foot is the most common type. This condition occurs when you have an arch when your foot isn’t bearing weight (standing). Rigid flat foot means your foot has no arch, whether bearing weight or not.

What causes flat feet?

All babies and toddlers have flat feet. Most of the time, an arch develops after age three. Flexible flat feet occur when the arches fail to develop. This condition is usually first noticeable in childhood and persists into your adult years.

Sometimes, arches can collapse due to injuries, like fractures or tendon injuries. Ear-and-tear damage of arthritis can also play a role in the development of flat feet.

When should I see a doctor for flat feet?

Flat feet usually don’t cause pain or symptoms. You should schedule an appointment at Portland Foot & Ankle Institute if you experience any of the following:

  • Foot pain during sports or physical activities
  • Foot fatigue or pain that occurs while standing
  • Difficulty moving your heel or standing on your toes

You should also seek treatment if you have a medical condition, like rheumatoid arthritis, that’s contributing to your flat feet symptoms.

How are flat feet diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Gentile reviews your medical history and asks you to describe your symptoms. He performs a thorough physical exam and observes your feet, ankles, and legs while you stand and sit. He also orders X-rays to assess the severity of your flat feet.

Then, he recommends the best course of treatment for your particular needs. Treatment usually begins with nonsurgical methods, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotic devices like arch supports or bracing
  • Supportive shoes

If you have foot pain or symptoms of flat feet that don’t resolve with conservative treatment, Dr. Gentile may recommend surgery. You may also need surgery if your arch collapsed due to an injury like a torn or stretched tendon.

For expert care of flat feet, call Portland Foot & Ankle Institute or book an appointment online today.