Flat feet lack the arch on the inner side of the foot. Without this arch, your entire foot touches the floor when you walk. This can sometimes weaken your ankles, and cause lower back pain, as well as other difficulties when you walk.

Flat Feet Symptoms

For some people, flat feet do not cause any noticeable symptoms, aside from the missing foot arch. For others, flat feet can cause:

  • Pain in the heel or arch area of the foot
  • Swelling on the inner side of the foot
  • Pain when standing
  • Difficulty standing on tip-toe

Flat Feet Care at MedStar Georgetown

If you suffer from flat feet, you will find the most experienced and comprehensive care at Georgetown University Hospital’s Foot and Ankle Center. All of our orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons are fellowship trained and have years of experience treating problems of the lower extremities. We perform 1,500 foot and ankle surgeries each year, and specialize in minimally invasive approaches that offer faster, less painful recoveries. We have expertise treating from the full range of people who suffer from flat feet: professional athletes who subject their feet to the extreme use to the average person who simply seeks relief from the symptoms of flat feet.

At the Foot and Ankle Center, we provide for all of your orthopedic needs, not just the basics of your treatment or surgery. Services we provide to help support your recovery:

  • Radiology
  • Diagnostics
  • Pedorthic and shoe consultants, if you need special orthotics, inserts or customized shoes
  • Durable medical goods, including braces, crutches, and other equipment you may need during recovery
  • Physical therapy

Our staff expertly coordinates all of these additional services for you. This saves you the time and the challenge of managing them on your own.

We also integrate other specialties into our center, and so can provide any additional treatment you may need, such as plastic or vascular surgery.

Flat Feet Diagnosis

The orthopedic surgeons at Georgetown can quickly diagnose flat feet by examining the shape of your feet and your muscle strength. In some cases, your orthopedist may want to examine the alignment of your bones using an x-ray.

Our goal during diagnosis is also to determine the cause of your flat feet so we can treat it effectively. Possible causes include:

Flat Feet Treatment

Treatment for flat feet depends on the symptoms you have, as well as the underlying cause of the flat feet. If you have no symptoms, you do not need any treatment.  If you are experiencing pain, we may recommend:

  • Wearing shoes fit with orthotics or arch supports
  • Taking medication, including over-the-counter pain relievers and/or cortisone shots
  • Wearing a walking cast or brace
  • Physical therapy

If you still experience severe pain after making these changes, we may recommend surgery. Surgery options include:

  • Fusing the bones together, or removing a bone
  • Realigning the bones to a healthy position
  • Lengthening or replacing a tendon

Our expert team of orthopedic surgeons will work with you to determine the most effective surgical procedure for your condition.

Learn more about flat foot surgery at MedStar Georgetown.

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist, call our scheduling line. 

Phone: 202-295-0549

Foot and Ankle Specialists

Paul S. Cooper, MD
Paul S. Cooper, MD
Francis X. McGuigan, MD
Francis X. McGuigan, MD