man with flat foot fitting for orthotic | Experienced Idaho PodiatristA variety of foot problems can lead to adult-acquired flatfoot deformity (AAFD), a condition that results in a fallen arch with the foot pointed outward. Most people, no matter what the cause of their flatfoot, can be helped with orthotics or braces. In patients who have tried these treatments without any relief, surgery can be an effective way to help with the pain and deformity.

At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, our experienced team of board-certified podiatrists has the knowledge and resources to provide comprehensive care for adult flat feet.

Causes of Adult Flat Feet

Adult flat feet come from a range of problems, including:

Damage to the tendon that holds up the arch and supports you when you walk.

If the tendon becomes inflamed or torn, the arch will slowly collapse.

Inflammatory arthritis.

This condition may lead to flat feet by affecting the back of the foot or the middle of the foot—both of which can result in a fallen arch.

An injury to the ligaments in the foot.

This can cause the joints to fall out of alignment. If the ligaments are torn, the foot may become flat and painful.

Diabetes or nerve problems.

People with diabetes or with a nerve problem that limits normal feeling in the feet can have arch collapse. This type of arch collapse is typically more severe than that seen in patients with regular feeling in their feet because patients do not feel pain as the arch collapses.

Symptoms of Adult Flat Feet

Depending on the cause of an adult flat foot, you may experience pain or swelling on the inside of the foot and ankle, pain that increases with activity, pressure on the outside of the ankle from the shift of the heel bone, and discomfort while wearing shoes.

Other common symptoms of adult flat feet include:

Visible flatness.

The arch of the foot can appear flat when standing or walking.

Tired feet.

The strain of holding up an arched foot can lead to fatigue and discomfort.

Reduced range of motion.

The foot may not be able to flex or push off as easily due to the lack of arch support.

Diagnosing Adult Flat Feet

Adult flat feet are typically diagnosed with a physical examination. Your podiatrist will check for swelling, tenderness, flexibility, and other signs of the condition. In some cases, X-rays may be ordered to check for any structural abnormalities.

Ultrasound imaging can be used to see if there is fluid buildup or any damage to tendons or ligaments in the feet. If needed, an MRI scan can be used to look at the soft tissue structures around the foot.

Treating Adult Flat Feet

At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, our podiatrists provide comprehensive care for adult flat feet. Our team will work with you to determine the best treatment plan that fits your individual needs and lifestyle. Recommended treatment options may include:

Stretching exercises.

Your podiatrist may suggest exercises to help with stiffness, tightness, and muscular imbalances in the feet.


Corrective devices used to support arches and cushion feet while walking can help provide pain relief.

Supportive footwear and arch supports.

Your podiatrist can recommend shoes to help distribute weight evenly across the foot. 

Physical therapy.

In some cases, physical therapy can help with strengthening muscles and reducing inflammation and stiffness.


In severe cases, flat foot reconstruction surgery may be recommended to correct any structural abnormalities or damage.

Are You Suffering With Adult Flat Feet In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?

If you're suffering with adult flat feet you owe it to yourself to speak with our experienced podiatrists as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!

Dr. P. Roman Burk, DPM
Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.