Surgery To Repair Flat Feet: What You Need to Know

Not only is having flat feet in convenient when it comes to purchasing shoes but some people actually develop long-term pain in their feet or knees due to this condition. While some choose to live with it, there is a surgical possibility to correct the arch and to relieve the pain that is associated with this condition.




Can You Have Surgery To Correct Flat Feet?

There are many different options to correct flat feet. However, with a severely flat foot, the arch may require surgical intervention. There are some things that you may be required to try before qualifying for surgery, depending on how severe the damage to your arch is.
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Before determining if surgery is the best option, your doctor will take x-rays of your feet to determine how much damage the arch of your foot has sustained.


What Causes Flat Feet?

Flat feet are caused by a flattening in the arch of your foot. As a child, having flat feet does not really cause severe impairment. However, as an adult it can begin causing pain in the feet, the knees and the hips. However, not all people are candidates for surgery correct the arch depletion.




Flat Foot Surgery

The goal of corrective surgery for a depleted arch is to improve the quality of life. It corrects the alignment of the foot as you are standing and walking. The surgery repairs the ligaments or the tendons that create and support the arch.
If the problem is persistent, or has been existent since childhood, it may be necessary to surgically correct the bones and ligaments to properly align the bones and ligaments that are affected.


Is the Flat Foot Surgery Always Necessary?

Not everyone is a candidate for the surgery. However, there are other options besides surgery that may be tried before surgery is an option. The other options that may be included are:






Physical Therapy




Post Surgery

Most people who have surgery to correct a collapsed or flat arch may have to stay overnight at the hospital. They can expect to be placed in a split or cast to protect the area. They will need to care for it just like any other injury.

Other care procedures would be:


  • Keeping the foot elevated
  • No weight bearing for 10 to 12 weeks
  • Transition to a boot when weight bearing can be accomplished

Surgical Options
There are many different surgical options to repair flat feet. Your doctor will choose the one the is right for you and your specific situation.


    • Medializing Calcaneal Osteotomy
    • Lateral Column Lengthening
    • Medial Cuneiform Dorsal Opening Wedge Osteotomy or First Tarsal-Metatarsal Fusion
    • Tendon and Ligament Procedures
    • Double or Triple Arthrodesis


Each one of these surgical interventions are used to treat specific cause of being flat footed.

When You Should Avoid Surgery

There are some people who should avoid having surgery, even if being flat footed interferes with their life. Those who have diabetes should not have this surgery, unless their primary car physician has determined that it is in their best interest.

Patients who smoke or are obese should not have the surgery because they are at higher risk of developing blood clots after surgery. Also, anyone who cannot follow the aftercare instructions should avoid surgery if possible.