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What are Treatments for Flat Feet?

Flat feet treatments range from supportive shoes and orthotics to stretching exercises and physical therapy. In severe cases, surgery may be considered. Each approach aims to alleviate discomfort and improve foot function. Curious about how these solutions can be tailored to your needs? Discover the possibilities with our in-depth exploration, complete with visual guides. Ready to step towards relief?
Garry Crystal
Garry Crystal

Flat feet is a condition in which the arch of the foot drops down. The condition is sometimes referred to as fallen arches. Flat feet may not be a problem in itself, but it can lead to pain and other ailments throughout the body. Although there is no real cure for this condition, there are a few treatments available.

Insoles are very common in the treatment of flat feet. There are a number of different insoles available, or they can be custom made. Insoles are designed to protect and support the arch of the foot. The supports can relieve the pain that affects many people with this condition.

Shoe insoles are one of the most common treatments for flat feet.
Shoe insoles are one of the most common treatments for flat feet.

Flat feet may cause many types of pain to appear throughout the body, most commonly in the legs, hips and ankles. There are medicines that can relieve the pain, including anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids. However, these medicines cannot treat the underlying cause and are not a satisfactory long-term solution.

Many doctors recommend therapy to strengthen the damaged ligaments or tendons that may have caused the condition. Therapy treatments can include prolotherapy, which is designed to naturally strengthen the damaged tendons over a period of time. The use of inflammatory healing stimulates the body into repairing itself. This type of therapy is thought to be a permanent solution to flat feet.

For many sufferers, the pain associated with this condition is long term. Some people can live with the pain without any form of treatment. For others, the pain is so severe that surgery is required.

If surgery is used to treat flat feet, it will include cleaning and repairing the damaged tendons. In very extreme cases, fusion of the joints is required. Fusion corrects the position of the joints within the feet and ankle area.

Surgery can be a successful option, but it may not work for everyone. There may also be some complications, such as infection, and the fusions may not heal as expected. The pain throughout the body may persist after surgery.

The earlier flat feet are treated, the better. If treatment is started early enough, there is a good chance the causes can be repaired. Successful treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the associated pain.

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Discussion Comments


Everyone's a doctor when it comes to other people’s problems. My advice is go to your doctor and try to avoid taking other people’s advice as being the answer you’re looking for.

All remedies and solutions won't work on everyone; we're all different. For people to say this will work for you is something of a misleading statement. As for users of these forums saying that they disagree with what doctors have said or recommended, that’s’ their opinion. Doctors are doctors for a reason. You’re seeking advice on forums like this for a reason: you’re not a doctor.

My flat feet cause me some discomfort to my feet, knees and lower back so I can understand people’s concerns when they look for answers online but, maybe you should ask for advice from a doctor?

If you do insist on looking on forums for direction, ask your doctor his or her opinion and inform them of what you have read. Your doctor will know what’s best for you as long as you have described your symptoms as accurately as you can. They can only advise you on what you have explained. Examinations take time and cost money, so surely you can understand their position.

My recommendation: I don't have one. I didn't write this reply to preach my solution. I have always stood by my view of a diet being a lifestyle change and not a short term solution to a long term problem, but this can be taken to the extreme and turn into eating disorders or obesity.

Exercising excessively can cause all sorts of problems and looking at people’s responses most of which are flat feet.

I eat healthy and exercise when I can. This works for me, along with a positive mental attitude. These have been changes I've made to myself for myself. I have also stood by the thought that we are a product of our environment. If I had gone down the same route as my parents, I would be dead by now.

Everyone wants to put their penny’s worth in, but I don't care for that. Draw your own conclusions. Do yourself a favor and go to a doctor for medical advice.


Four months ago, I started experiencing pain on the bottom of my foot where the arch runs. I have no problem with the toes; I just noticed I had started limping.

I have always had flat feet. I am much older now, and it takes me 15 minutes and extremely hot water, to be able to stand and walk, at night depending on how I move my foot, extreme sharp pains shoot through the foot. It's not plantar fasciitis. Right now I have a walking boot on and there is relief sometimes during the day, but the shooting pain at night remains.


The previous post has one good point made and that is barefoot is the best way to strengthen the feet, however as there are no muscles in the feet that pertain to the arch, the factor of developing an arch in previously flat feet has to do with strengthening the posterior tibial muscle, which lies in the calf of the leg and it's tendon extends into the "arch region" of the foot.

The premise that this barefoot walking technique will work for everyone is basically false. I have totally flat feet and have since childhood (I'm now 55) and I have been a "barefooter" all my life and there are no arches in my feet as they are of the subtalar valgus variety and there is no "cure" for that. It would behoove the one who posted the previous report to not be so promising that his/her "cure" is going to work with everyone with flat feet. It can't. Chances are his brother was going to spontaneously develop arches without any intervention and while going barefoot is better than worthless orthotics, most people will never have arches in spite of any efforts applied.

As for the brother playing football, that is well and good, but arched feet are not going to be better for him than having flat feet. Arched feet are subject to metatarsal stress fractures much more readily than flat feet, which are naturally less frequent because of the "mid-tarsal break" has the talonavicular joint (the "arch joint") resting on the supportive surface and helps redistribute the force vectors more evenly along the sole. In arched feet, the force vectors are on the metatarsal heads and the metatarsal(s) may fracture where they join with the cuneiforms (tarsal bones) and that can be temporarily disabling.

Perhaps the individual who believes that arched feet are somehow superior to flat feet should do some real research where the tests are performed with the necessary control groups to clearly establish a more scientific study as the efficacy of "treatment modalities" as he has "prescribed" to all who may read his post and think they can "get rid" of their flat feet by merely walking barefoot, or in Vibrams. Foot exercises are actually futile as there are no arch muscles. The muscles of the plantar foot act only upon the toes and that's a basic anatomical fact. One can have better balance, especially with one foot or the other in stance, with barefoot exercises, but no arches can be developed this way. Exercising the posterior tibial muscles through resistance exercises can, if it is to be, help in arch height increases. But there are no guarantees that anything like that can work for everyone.


I read through all the comments and decided to add what I know about flat feet. My younger brother has terrible flat feet, some of the worst I've ever seen. He wants to be a pro football player when he's older, so I knew it would be imperative for him to have proper functioning feet with a proper arch. Through tons of research and actually testing my theory out on a human, I have improved my brother's arch! No surgery, no bullcrap. My brother's arch is not completely fixed yet, but within the next six months I believe it will be completely fixed. My brother does see and feel improvement and constantly thanks me for what I opened his mind to.

The cure, but first, what you are about to read may shock you, and will change one way you think about this world we share. I've dealt with many people who tell me that my cure is not real, it doesn't work and they literally will do whatever they can to prove me wrong. At the end of the day the proof is in the actual experiment. I have no reason to lie about this to any of you; it would be a stupid waste of my own time. It wouldn't be a waste of my time if I can at least help one person seeking true treatment. After seeing my brother's results, I need to share this info with those who are wondering how to get rid of their flat feet.

And the cure is: Barefoot walking. Obviously, it isn't very easy to go barefoot in the society we live in today, so here are your options. In my opinion, barefoot is the way to go. That's how I do it and I have strong arches (just saying). You do not have to go barefoot ever for this to work (if you don't want to). One very good option is to buy shoes like vibrams. If you wear vibrams for about a year, depending on how flat your feet are, you will regain a natural arch in your foot completely. You may be asking how does that work? Vibrams have a thin sole and give your toes better ability to flex rather than with thick soled shoes. I don't really want to go into details about the science behind it; you can research that yourself. The point is, this works.

One thing you might all be mad about is the price of vibrams. They are expensive and tend to go from 80 to 120 dollars. One option, if price is a factor (which it shouldn't be since this is for better health), you can go to your local r.E.I. and ask when their next scratch and dent sale is. The downside is that you will have to wake up early in the morning to line up for the sale, and most of the shoes are slightly used (I've gotten pairs that look brand new before, though). The upside is that you can pick up multiple pairs that day so you will never have to go back to the horrid sale again. Also, you will only have to pay between one and twenty dollars per pair, instead of $100.

There are also many other options of shoes that could help in the treatment of flat feet, just search. You want to buy anything that has the least amount of arch support possible, and something similar to vibrams will work.

The following is a list of tips and tricks when starting treatment.

1. You must get used to landing on the ball of your foot instead of the heel. You don't have to for walking but it will make the process go quicker. When running in vibrams or barefoot you must land on the ball of your foot – just trust me, must! If you continue to walk and run with a heel strike, the process will go slower.

2. Start slow. Your muscles aren't used to this new way of walking/running. For example, the first week, don't do any running in them -- only walk. The second week, try going for a jog one day. The third week, jog two days, etc. However you want to start, just slowly add more and more to the routine until you are at a comfortable plateau.

3. Running and jogging is fully encouraged because it will make the process go way faster. Running works out the muscles of the arch faster than just normal walking by a long shot. Results and relief will come much sooner.

4. Give it time! You will start to see and feel results within the first two months but you can't stop there. Wear the vibrams for about a year, or once you feel and see your arch is healthy. Once your arch is cured, you can start to wear regular shoes again, as long as you maintain the arch by running in them (whenever you run and jog, always have on vibrams) and occasionally wearing them.

5. If at first it hurts, give it some time. Many people feel more pain than normal when they first start wearing vibrams or walking barefoot. You are literally using a muscle you have rarely ever used. It will feel especially sore the first two weeks. The good news is that soreness equals progress. Basically all I'm saying is that, if it hurts a lot initially do not stop the treatment. You will get better. Hope this helps.


flatfootboy1 has a good idea. Dr. Ralph Dye, a podiatrist, developed the low-Dye and high-Dye wraps to control excess motion of the foot/ankle and there is also the Louisiana wrap. Taping and wrapping are, however, a bit inconvenient for every day, so maybe flatfootboy1 should consider snug-fitting western-style boots to help him with his problem. They should help control excess ankle laxity so he can go about his business without having to "tape-up" each day.


I have flat feet. My left foot is not really that flat; it has some arch support, but my right foot is extremely flat and to give you an idea of to how flat it is, I can take my foot, wet it and suction it to the ground, and because of this my knee pops all of the time and my ankle kills me.

I recently learned about a cheap and effective way to make the pain end, and it's just regular athletic tape. Wrap it around your foot once and and then put another strip just on the side of your foot and just before your big toe and wrap it around your ankle, then go back to the same spot, and if you still do not understand what I'm talking about, look it up on YouTube. Believe me, I know it sound stupid, but it is instant relief.


I have to take objection to what is a most egregious example of false information from a video featured here from a podiatric surgeon (whose name I'll refrain from mentioning)in that this "practitioner" clearly stated that 75 percent of people have flat feet to some degree. This is not true at all and he should know better than to lie through his teeth about it.

Only about 20 percent of people have flat feet and if he is including those with low arches as being flat-footed, then just where did he "learn" his profession?

Like I had stated in an earlier post, there are a lot of charlatans out there and this DPM is, in my observation, clearly one of them and I wouldn't hesitate for one second to call him just what he is right to his face. He, apparently, is a "knife-happy, money hungry" so-called doctor and I wouldn't seek any advice/treatment from him, ever. Caveat emptor!


I'm here to challenge the status quo. "Treating" flat feet with the above procedures as orthotics and surgery in order to "cure" them is a fallacy.

My exhaustive research on this matter from articles offered by world-renowned orthopedists clearly state this fact. And subjecting young children to undergo these iatrogenic (medically harmful)processes to satisfy some vain and frivolous desires of parent's of flat footed children is especially wicked.

Taber's medical dictionary even states that flat feet do not necessarily interfere with the normal function of the foot. What more information do you need?

If you have always had flat feet and they don't cause pain, just live with them. And for those with pain from their flat feet, then maybe they should condition their feet to not hurt as much if anymore with stretching exercises and not try to disrupt what nature has provided them.

Surgery usually results in poorly functioning feet as that approach generally cannot provide the proper spring action that the arches are to perform. Rigid arches are not functional ones. So take it from there.


According to Dr. Harry F. Hlavac, the author of the book, "THE FOOT BOOK: Advice for Athletes," page 8: "Orthotics do not correct flat feet. They correct gair." Dr. Hlavac is the founder of the Sports Medicine Clinic at the California College of Podiatric Medicine at San Francisco and was associate professor of biometrics at CCPM and he is one of, if not the only, really honest DPM out there who isn't trying just to sell orthotics for purposes they are not intended, like "curing" flat feet. So, those who seek some sort of "cure" for their flat feet with orthotics will find themselves out of luck.

Also, if the neutral position of the foot/feet is flat, then nothing needs to be done with/to them, according to Dr. Hlavac. So essentially, I have seen many posts about how orthotics didn't help their flat feet. No wonder. The best thing to do is learn to live with flat feet and if they hurt, then try to condition them so the might not anymore. It just makes sense.

And surgery usually is to the detriment of the foot/feet functionality, according to Dr. Hlavac. Do you really want someone cutting on your feet for something as minor as flat feet?


I don't know if anyone else would be willing to give this a try to help with painful flat feet, but what I do to condition mine is to do foot stretching exercises to stretch out the inter-osseous ligaments so they relax when I am standing/walking and my feet are then comfortably maximally flat with no pain. I stand barefoot with the foreparts of my feet on the rear of flip-flops with the heels on the hard floor for half-hour periods every so often so that my foot ligaments stretch and the inner parts of my "arches" become so flat that they rest firmly on the floor so there is no more strain.

I don't mind having the "flat-foot appearance" as I find flat feet, especially "rocker-bottom" feet, to be aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. And I love the "flat-footed feel" I get when my feet are on hard floors. It sounds counter-intuitive to do this, but I find that conditioning my flat feet to be at their flattest allows me to stand for hours like I did for my previous occupations (I'm now retired) with no discomfort whatsoever. This might not work for everyone with flat feet, but it sure works for me.


There are descriptions of the efficacy of the HypoCure stent "side effects" on the Podiatry Arena website concerning that. You can arrive at your own conclusions. Personally, I wouldn't have one installed due to the potential of what is described there as the painful "door-stop effect" that usually results in having those stents removed later. Do you really need these, anyway? Why?


Has anyone tried HyproCure for flat feet? I am hearing only good things about the procedure.


Instead of relying on the hearsay from other readers, why don't you conduct some research of your own on the internet? I have read up on practically all options of foot surgical procedures for supposedly "correcting" flat feet and I will keep my conclusions to myself. You can look up all kinds of surgical interventions of the feet just by doing a "search" of them.

Just remember, only you can make the right choice for yourself. Keep in mind that there are a lot of creeps out there with "M.D." (and DPM for that matter) after their name, just seeking more ways to line their pockets with your money. Be wise!


I have flat feet but unfortunately I broke my right foot four years ago, but my recovery was fine. Then I broke the same ankle two years ago and basically the cartilage is worn away.

I have received three cortisone shots in the last nine months which included a cat scan guided one. I have gone for 16 opinions split between podiatrist and orthopedists. I had one doctor that does hyprocure recommend it to me however another doctor said it wouldn't help.

I have a third opinion for just that procedure on monday. My only other choice is to do a fusion which was supposed to be done in June but I have changed my mind after hearing about the nightmare recovery and the problems after. Anyone have feedback regarding either of these options?


According to Arthur Steindler's "Kinesiology of The Human Body Under Normal and Pathological Conditions," rotation of the legs outward with the feet on the ground pointing forward will raise the arches if arches are possible (my feet are naturally archless).

The arches are maintained by ligaments, not muscles, so exercises of the foot muscles are futile. Those muscles are for controlling the toes only (gripping and spreading them). Also, flat feet will not cause scoliosis, as the previous post claims. That condition is congenitally acquired and is usually genetic in nature. Mechanical malfunction of the feet cannot and will not cause scoliosis.


I am 20 years old and have flat feet my entire life. I have had custom orthotics since I was able to walk on my own. My feet have not improved at all. Since becoming a teenager all I wear for shoes in the summer are flip flops. Now that I'm 20 I wear a lot of heels.

If I don't wear the orthotics I end up doing what I call a "duck walk" (I got called a duck for walking like one in middle school) where I walk basically on the inside of my ankles. I feel as though my feet have become so dependent on the orthotics. But, if I don't wear them the pain becomes unbearable after 10 minutes.

I am constantly in pain. My back hurts, along with my hips, knees, ankles, feet, and the muscles. My flat feet are causing scoliosis, which progressively gets worse each year. I've had to wear a back brace at one point but it was so uncomfortable I stopped. I feel like, for a 20 year old, my feet are holding me back.

Walking and standing hurt so much that I end up sitting most of the time. After one shift at work I spend the next two days lying down with ice. My podiatrist had talked about surgery when I was little but he wanted to wait until I was done growing because he didn't want to make matters worse. I feel like at this point in my life I need to find something to fix the problem. My boyfriend says I have the body of an 80 year old and inside it hurts that I can't go for a hike or a walk with him.

I was wondering if anybody has had the surgery and what they would recommend. Also, where they got it done. About five years ago, my podiatrist said he wasn't licensed to do the surgery or something like that. Any information helps at this point.


I don't know what all the fuss is about. I have extremely flexible, profoundly flat feet and I've never had any problems with them whatsoever. That's probably because I go barefoot at all times except in public, where I wear soft moccasins. I'm 54 and have been a "barefooter" all my life, so I think most peoples' flat-foot problems are from wearing shoes most or all of the time. For them, maybe, it might be too late for this method.


Thank you all for your comments. My little girl is set for foot surgery and as a person that had it done, I understand the pain and negative results. I was assured that kids will heal better. Sounds like that is not the case; I will not be doing the surgery.

Thank you for the website. If she gets worse, we’ll go from there, but I do not want to do more harm then good in the effort of getting her help. Thank you all.


take a look at Hyprocure or similar inserts. I've talked to a dozen doctors all over the country. Of the ones who were aware of this procedure, they were all proponents of it for the right person. Don't take my word for it, read about it and ask as many doctors as you can.


I'm 16 years old. I'm pretty sure that i have flat feet but i have never seen a doctor. i wear normal shoes without special orthotics and my feet have never really bothered me. very seldom when i stand still for a while my back and feet hurt but if i start walking it goes away. i plan to enlist in the marine corps and hoping this won't affect me.


I'm 17 years old and i have flexible flat feet. i underwent a procedure called Arthroereisis (hyprocure) they placed a titanium implant my foot. they have corrected the problem but my feet remain sore so the doctor is thinking about removing them. don't know what the best option is.


Yikes! Another article suggesting those awful arch-support inserts. They make the problem worse. Wonder why people who use them are never cured? Yeah, thought so. The simple solution that helps my flat feet is go barefoot. Forcing your foot to support itself will gradually raise your arch naturally.

Wearing an arch support will make your body think it doesn't need to adjust its arch and that everything is dandy. Go barefoot as much as possible and wear the flattest shoes you can find when you must wear them. This will pretty much cure your flat feet over time. Personal experience.

If you wear high-heels, you have no right to complain. Just keep using your inserts to relieve the pain, because your arches will never fix themselves.


I'm female and seventy, and I was born with flat feet. As a child, my parents made me wear orthotic supports and ugly oxfords. Naturally, that plan blew up when I hit my teens. From then on, I was like all the other girls: barefoot on the beach, pumps at work, high-heels in the evening. How I loved my designer shoes! Now I'm paying the price; I can barely walk and I'm too old for surgery. Whatever you do, stay physically fit and fix your problem feet while you are young.


You know I honestly don't think the medical profession realize how much this condition *can* cause such serious pain, at least from my experience.

I have worn insoles for 2 years. I wear slippers in the house with my second pair of insoles because taking even 10 steps without insoles will cripple me for two days. That said, I've spent more time off my feet over the past few months than I have on them anyway.

I've had problems for 8 years. It took 6 for someone to realize I wasn't making it up. I'm waiting for my fusion operation on both feet and in the mean time I'm just given a free rein on Tramadol after I became immune to Dihydracodiene.

If the fusion operation does not work I will be insisting on a double amputation as this will be far better than almost constant severe pain. My point is this isn't a question of asking the medical profession for advice, it is a matter of insisting at the first instance for specialist attention.

If I don't have pain in my feet I have pain in my knees and hips as a result of habitual over compensating in my walking habits. I'm very proud and admittedly will walk miles the first day my pain has gone again. After having to give up sports and snowboarding, I need to do anything I can to prove I'm able to beat the pain. (I can cycle too, low impact.) But truthfully I find it difficult to cope.

If you're here asking questions about a new pain in your foot then listen to me, don't waste any time and don't allow anyone to suggest it isn't worth investigating.

Good luck all. Regards, Ben


I have had flat feet all my life but the past ten years the pain has become unbearable. I have had physiotherapy and various orthotics but nothing has helped. The orthopaedic surgeon told me that surgery is a last resort.

I got two second opinions and they both advised me against surgery, saying that the success rate wasn't high and I could end up making it worse. I am in so much pain and not sure what to do. It is now affecting the right side which wasn't as bad as the left due to my right side over compensating. It is also now affecting my lower back, hips, knees and I keep getting numbness in my big toe because I am always trying to keep my balance.

I am so distressed with this condition. It is making my life hell. To make it worse, I have even got a blue badge now as I cannot walk far.


I have been having pain with my knee, ankle and hip since i was around 11 years old. I am now 17 and the pain is getting progressively worse which is due to my flat feet which is much worse on my left side.

I have had three different six-week sessions of physiotherapy but it has never work plus i have used foot orthotics. I am now having difficulty walking normally and its making life very difficult to me. I am worried surgery is my last option. Anyone have any advice?


It's all about shoes! The continuous wearing that is. Shoes restrict one's toes from developing the little muscles in the feet which helps to build strong feet which ultimately is your strong foundation. Without a strong foundation, your alignment is messed up which explains the pains in the knees and ankles. Orthotics could assist with the re-alignment. k


I'm 11, almost 12, and have a collapsed arch there is immense pain by my ankle plus a part of my foot has a 'dent' and walking to the bus stop to get home from school is a nightmare.

my feet hurt even when I'm not walking (sometimes). Please give me advice. Can you please state any prices British pounds?


I need help. this foot is killing me. i work, and when i get home it just hurts. i jump around on one foot because i just can't stand up on my left foot. I've been a flat-footed person since a very young age, and now at 17 when i am working, it hurts! it's only if i stand for too long. At school, or anything else its just fine. i don't know what i should do. My parents keep telling me to stretch it, but that's not helping. after like a day and half, the pain is gone, and off i am to work, and it starts again when i come back. someone please help me.

Jesse James

I'm 21 and in the navy finding out i have flexible flat feet. I wear combat boots mon-sun with the exception of running shoes during physical training.

Mar-Aug i was doing vigorous PT on numerous surfaces and sometimes in combat boots with the occasional marching. In August of 2010 i was transferring to another command and reported to medical i was having pain in my legs. They took x-rays and found i had bilateral stress fractures. Took me out of the combat boots and put me in the moon boots. Light duty and no PT.

It's december now and the docs have tried everything. Taping my feet, orthodics, physical therapy, moon boots, crutches and they are just getting worse.

I've had numerous x-rays, a bone scan, about to have a MRI. I have a nutritional back of four years. Eating a clean, non-processed diet every two or three hours. Supplementing minerals, vitamins, protein shakes, heat, ice, compression, eight hours of sleep. Nothing is working. The podiatrist wants to insert IM rods in both legs. I don't know what to do.


I also have flexible flat feet. I further injured my foot and went to a specialist who recommended a "flat foot surgery", triple arthrodesis (fusion of three main joints in the foot). I did a lot of research and found that after 10 years you will almost definitely get arthritis in the other joints that have taken over for the fused joints. Also, since these joints are fused you will lose the side to side motion of your foot and have difficulty walking on uneven surfaces.

If you have a tendon transfer, they usually use the tendon controlling your toes so either you will have less or no control over moving your toes. Additionally, you can lose up to 50% of tendon strength in the moved tendon (it can come back). A calcaneal osteotomy is when your heel is cut and rotated into a "normal" position and held in the new position with screws.

I believe all these "flat foot procedures" only work with flexible (foot can be manually put into a normal arch position when non weight bearing).

So, after scaring myself with all the online research, I found something that seems much easier/less invasive. As someone previously mentioned here, Hyprocure. I hope to have this procedure later this month. As there is not much in the way of patient experiences, I will list them in the next post. This may not be the answer for all, but it is a 15 minute procedure, has much less downtime, doesn't require hardware (outside of the titanium implant, which is held in place by your own scar tissue), possibly a 1/2" scar, and can be removed if necessary without any permanent damage. It's worth a look!


Anybody had surgery by doctor Edgardo Rodriguez of Chicago Foot and Ankle Deformity Correction Center?

I have flexible flat feet and he's suggesting a mid foot osteotomy, calcaneal osteotomy, tendon transfer for my arch tendon, and a gastrol dissection or something like that it's called. (calf muscle lengthened).

Has anybody had this before? If so, please reply. i am struggling with what to do mightily. I am very athletic but the more active i am the more pain i'm in.

I'm not as bad outside of work but have horrible pain at work. I drive stand-up fork lifts for 12 hours a day. Getting a different job isn't that easy either.

I've tried an AFO on the right foot, horribly pronated and ugly, and a ucbl on my left, and many, many different store bought orthotics but nothing custom made. Any advice? Or experiences?


I'm 26 now but i have surgery to treated my flat feet and bunions (15 age). I really can't remember how bad it was before but honestly my feet and ankles hurt.

Most of the time it's just dull pains in my ankle joints. Also around my big toe where the screws are at (for bunions).

If you can treat your flat feet without surgery, I'd say go for it. use surgery as the last option. I might have been flat footed but i don't remember having this much pain. Also it affected my balance and walk. i mean over time it gets better.

I really wish i had my balance though, but hey, my family thought it would be a good idea to have the surgery on my feet, then whatever, right.


I've had flat feet my entire life, even my father has flat feet. I have been active in many different sports and usually had my feet and ankles tapped by the sports med.

Earlier this year I saw a foot specialist, he suggested treating my feet (which I've had no abnormal pain). He told me to change my shoes and attend physical therapy and for the first time in my life I have unbearable pain!

I stopped attending the physical therapy and switched back to my old shoes. Regardless if I do the therapy/wear the shoes or not, I can't step one foot without severe pain. It's so bad I can't take more than 50 steps without screaming! Now I need to wrap my feet daily just to get out of bed.

For those who have flat feet, if it works for you don't let anyone tell you different.


I am 13 and I don't know what kind of flat feet I have. I know that it looks like I have an arch but when I stand up they flatten. My fleet hurt really bad sometimes on the bottom and I have ankle, knee, and back problems because of this. I am a ballerina and I have not been allowed to go on pointe because of my condition. Does anybody know good exercises? Thank you for your time.


I am a 23 year old male who has had flat feet as long as I can remember. In the last few years the pain has increased substantially and I now have sever pain in my knees. Oddly enough, the worst pain is when I am barefoot in the morning.

I recently bought those vibram "barefoot" shoes, simply because I am an avid outdoorsman, but i am considering wearing them a lot more and see if the arch strengthening techniques work.

Surgery has been noted as an option in the past, but I currently have no health insurance. My question is, why do we need shoes with arch support? I don't think humans were created to wear shoes, and studies have shown that cultures in the past and currently that go shoeless have far better feet than cultures like ours. Food for thought I suppose, but could be an easy fix to just go barefoot.

Anyhow, responses would be cool! Thanks! -Zach


i was born with severely flat feet and had the reconstructive surgery with bone fusion on both of them when I was 23.

The results turned out very well; I no longer have any pain in my feet and my feet do not have that deformed, slouchy, pronated look. They look much, much better and I actually wear 1/2 shoe size smaller than I did before surgery. It has been about seven years since my surgery, and the pain has not resurfaced.

However, on a downside, the arch in my right foot is not as pronounced as it was during the first two or three years after surgery. My right foot still has perfect alignment, almost no slouchy pronation, and no pain, but it has returned to a "flat foot" state. The left foot still maintains a decent arch and feels strong. I highly, highly recommend the surgery.


I'm 15. Unfortunately surgery is my only option. Without surgery my feet will get progressively worse. I will not be able to walk without this surgery.

I have flexible flat foot. My toes go numb because of it. Walking is becoming unbearable. Luckily it's only my right foot that is really bad. I'm having surgery in a few short weeks. Anybody else have this procedure? What tips/advice do you have for me? Thanks.


I'm 13 and have extremely painful feet. I believe my arch has collapsed because of playing goalie in hockey. I have quit because my parents got worried. I have tried foot insoles that are very pricey ($400), but after six months, nothing seemed to change.

After a hard day at school, my feet become very veiny and sore. I don't know what to do. Will surgery fix my messed up ankle and relieve the pain i cannot withstand anymore? I don't know what to do in the future since i cannot even stand for two hours straight without wincing in pain. Thanks for your time.


I'm 15 years old and i have flat feet since i was born. My case is different as i have a small stone in my foot which should have been moved but unfortunately it's down. This is what provokes (at least in my case) this problem!

It's hereditary as my father and my grandmother have the same feet problem! i want so much to have surgery and i have met so many doctors whose opinions are controversial.

I don't know what to do but i surely don't want to have flat feet for the rest of my life! Please, if anyone has had this surgery, I'd like to know how beneficial it was or if there were problems afterward.


I am 14 years old. I have flexible flat feet. It is not that painful but I have become a laughing stock at school because of my odd gait. What's the suitable therapy? and I am thinking of making a internet group for flatfooted people.


I'm 21 and I have flat feet. I have been suffering from pain in my left foot since last year. I went to the pediatrician to get my foot checked and he told me that I needed some very expensive insoles to relieve my pain.

I paid him 400 dollars for that stuff and after six months of wearing them I didn't notice any change in my condition. Afterward, I went to a orthopedist to see if he had a better alternative. He gave me some very strong anti inflammatory medicine but the pain remained.

In my desperation I have bought vitamins, collagen pills and an electric therapy machine to see if my pain subsides but nothing seems to work!

I don't want any surgery done (it seems those screws are a horrible alternative) but I don't have any idea of what to do.

The last thing I've tried is doing some exercises that supposedly strengthen the tendons in the foot. I found some good info in some web page (seems I'm not allowed to mention it here). Those exercises seem to have helped a little and there I learned some very interesting things about the anatomy of the foot.


I have flat feet just like my father. I get back and knee ache/pain. My father got plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and has tried orthotics and insoles. I am going a different way.

I have bought a pair of "barefoot" shoes, because I believe the cause of my flat footedness and backache is wearing stiff shoes with raised heels.

The barefoot shoes have a very thin sole, and allow my feet and muscles to feel the ground and flex like they would if I was walking barefoot. But an advantage over barefoot is that the thin kevlar soles protect me from glass and other horrible street mess.

To start with, my feet ached like hell and felt like they were breaking out of ice blocks! The muscles in my arches also ached at the end of each day - in my opinion if muscles are aching they are being worked and they will get stronger. Which I reckon they are. After a few weeks the aching went away.

After six weeks of wearing the shoes all day at work and also for running one mile, three times a week (taking it gently, and using a forefoot strike - not a heel strike) my feet feel harder, and more solid and supportive instead of flimsy. They also becoming more reluctant to overpronation and arch collapse, and my lower backache has gone.

Before opting for anything so drastic as surgery, give Vivo Barefoot, Feelmax - or if you're more quirky - the five-toed glovelike Vibram Five Fingers shoes a try for three to six months or so. I think it's worth it.


I just want to say to everyone: don't do the screws that the doctors put in for flat feet! i did it and it just made everything else worse! i had to go though three surgeries to get them out! just don't do them!


I'm 13 and in the past three years i have been going though foot surgery and nothing has worked.

This new doctor I'm going to wants to do this hard surgery on me and i will have to stay in the hospital for a while and i won't be able to walk for three months.

i am scared to do it but the pain right now is so bad and i have tried everything and nothing seems to work! and i always have a bad backache and it's so painful and i don't want to live on pain pills my whole life. and my feet are always swollen and red. i am just feed up with everything. i wish they can find how to fix it fast!


I'm 19 and i just recently figured i have flat feet. does anyone know how i can stop the pain? Thanks.


I'm 17 and play football. I guess my case of flat feet because people constantly stare and I don't even wear shorts anymore. I got orthotics six months ago and they work great. But i don't want to buy orthotics for the rest of my life. I think surgery may be option to consider. but I'm still unsure.


I have flat feet. It hurts to stand for more than three minutes. Isn't it nice to rest your feet?


I am thirteen! My physical therapists says that I don't have a severe case of flat feet but my feet are telling me a different story. it hurts so bad that I just want to cry. Insoles are so expensive and my mom stopped buying them. I am a dancer and the pain becomes unbearable!


I have flat feet and it never really bothered me until I was around 20 years old. i am now 26. I wear combat boots M-F, 40-plus hours a week with arch supports from my doctor. It helps tremendously but the ache in my arches still hurt.

Massages make me feel great, but only last so long. I am very interested in the surgery and advice!


I have flat feet. my parents don't really care and I'm only 13 years of age. they have bothered me since fourth grade. i have been on crutches four times, two times on both ankles and feet I'm wondering if i can get surgery but my mom and dad think it won't help. Should I?


I've had flat feet for all of my life and never gave much thought about it until recently. I connected all the dots and realized the long term back and hip pain is associated with my flat feet.

My husband encourages me to seek help, i.e. medical intervention, as flat feet run in my family and my mother has two collapsed discs in her back. I would hate to be in her shoes. I've tried orthotics made by my physician and they are painful and uncomfortable.

This is what I came to find out what's available out there: HyProCure Sinus Tarsi Stent. I haven't gone for consultation yet since I live in Switzerland for the time being, but as soon as I am back in the states I will be scheduling appointment with my orthopedic surgeon to discuss the possibility of having the procedure done.

Good luck to all of you and let's keep searching for solution together. If anyone has done this procedure or knows of someone please post.


I am 14 years of age, and i have flat feet. i've always thought that flat feet was all right until i started getting severe pains in my hips and around me ankles. i just want to know whether it is safe or if there is any surgery that can cure flat feet?


I'm a 19 year old female. After complaining of recurring back pain after standing/walking around for more than two hours, a doctor immediately pointed out my flat feet and "sinking in" I call it.

One is worse than the other and I'm now so conscious of it. I have looked in the mirror from behind and know how like abnormal it looks. my boyfriend actually has a foot fetish (anyway) and he thinks it's terrible too.

I just want to have strong arches. It makes your feet and ankles look better too. I've tried insoles but found it just had large red spots where it was pushing my foot up and it just became very sore and almost started making callouses.

I'm wondering if anyone has ever been able to go from my situation to having strong arches again? (by the way the doctor said it's because i always wear thongs which has not support whatsoever, have for years).


Some of us "flat feet" should make a website for people like us. I want to undergo surgery to fix my flexible flatfeet. But I don't know what kind of surgery will be best. I overpronate. Do some of you out there have experience with surgery?


I recently found out that I have flat feet. today when I was rollerblading I started to get intense pain along the inside side of my arch. I also have lower back pain nightly. I'm only 17. is it possible that my flat feet are the cause of these two things? What can I do to fix it?


Hi, my sister's son is merely 19 months old and has flat feet. After examinations from a few orthopedists, the suggestion was for him to wear a special kind of shoes. Although he can run and walk he keeps on falling more frequently.

Please suggest what treatment or exercise can help him cure this disability since he is too small, so the earlier actions can do wonders. Is it so? Advice please! Shilpi


I am 51 years old and have had flat feet all my life. I tried plastic soles at 15 but the pain of the soles was too severe. The doctor said I wouldn't be able to walk by the time I was 18. He was wrong. I run with no problem. My only reason for concern is I take Twaekwondo and my balance is bad and my back spinning kick is awful. I think my flat feet hinders me with my balance and kicking but I'm afraid the surgery will make my feet hurt.


Should all pediatricians check for flat foot as part of the child's annual check-up? My son was already 10 years old when my husband and I noticed it because he was in pain playing soccer.


I have flat feet. my flat feet are 80 percentflexible and 20 percent rigid. Even though there is no pain or need, can a person get flat feet surgery only to have a good look or to make the feet beautiful? how much money will be needed?


I recently went to a foot doctor because I was experiencing extreme pain so severe that i could not even walk. once i stood up in the morning and when I am able to walk it still hurts so bad like someone was stabbing my feet. when i went he told me i had Plantar fascitis. i was given a shot in both feet and a steroid to take daily. Neither helped with the pain. I've tried insoles and therapy and still experience extreme pain. Would surgery be right for me?


Hi, i have flat feet perhaps developed those when i was young given harsh physical training. but as highlighted in your article, i do not experience any sort of pain in rest of the body except for the ankle pain, which i thought was because of frequent playing and running around (yes i still do that, i am 27 years old).

i have used insoles recently for few years but has not helped much except for making me look taller :) do you think i need to pay any immediate attention to this problem, although i don't feel any discomfort in my body? thanks for your time...

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