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Flat Foot

Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Ankeny serving greater Des Moines, IA

If the soles of your feet touch the floor when you stand, your arch looks flat and not rounded, you may have a condition called flat foot. While many flat foot conditions don’t require treatment, sometimes flat foot causes pain and requires orthotics and shoe modification or surgical treatment. Contact Mindi Dayton, DPM, MHA, and Paul Dayton, DPM, MS, at Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa in Ankeny, Iowa, for a flat foot consultation. Call the practice or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

Flat Foot Q & A

What is flat foot?

Flat foot is a condition of the feet that involves the flattening of the arches. For many people, having flat feet is a symptom-free, painless condition that doesn’t require treatment, but over time, flat foot can cause problems in your ankles or knees due to the misalignment of your legs. Some people with flat feet experience pain in the heel, arch or ankle area that worsens with activity.

What causes flat feet?

Babies are born with flat feet as the arches develop over time during the normal growing process. If a child’s arches never develop, they have flat feet. Many children outgrow flat feet without problems.

Adults may have regular arches but experience the flat foot condition over time, as a result of wear-and-tear and weakening of the tendons running along the inside of your ankle. You’re at an increased risk of developing flat feet if you:

  • Have a tight achilles tendon
  • Are obese
  • Have rheumatoid arthritis
  • Injure your ankle or foot
  • Have diabetes
  • Are pregnant
  • Have failed or injured tendons

Older adults are also at a higher risk of developing flat feet, as years of putting weight and pressure on the feet cause the arches to disappear over time.

How is flat foot treated?

If your flat feet don’t cause pain or other symptoms, there’s no treatment necessary for the condition. If you do experience pain or other conditions as a result of flat feet, your doctor may suggest orthotics or surgical treatment.


Orthotic devices such as arch supports inserted into your shoes can relieve the pain caused by flat feet. If necessary, custom-designed arch supports mold to the contours of your feet to reduce symptoms of flat feet.

Surgical treatment

Surgery can be used to treat flat feet that have symptoms even with orthotics, good shoes, and activity change. Other potential issues caused by flat feet that may lead to surgical treatment include:

  • Knee, hip, and lower back pain
  • Abnormal walking pattern
  • Inflammation of soft tissues
  • Leg fatigue
  • Shin splints
  • Arthritis

If your flat foot condition is causing symptoms and discomfort, call Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation today.