Complications of Flat Feet

Apr 01, 2023
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You may experience discomfort, pain, or swelling as the first noticeable symptoms if your arches have fallen. While these symptoms can indicate flat feet, getting a diagnosis and treatment plan to prevent other foot problems is important.

Your foot’s arch plays an important role in ensuring your stride stays consistent and your weight is distributed evenly. But if those arches are too low, too high, or non-existent, they can lead to multiple other foot problems. 

At Renew Foot & Ankle, LLC, in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, Minnesota, double board-certified podiatrist Eric Gilbertson, DPM, FACFAS, can help you with your flat feet problems. 

Flat feet complications

You may experience discomfort, pain, or swelling as the first noticeable symptoms if your arches are no longer arched properly. While these symptoms can point to flat feet, seeing a professional to diagnose the issue properly is important. Left untreated, the following flat feet complications can worsen over time.

Posterior tibial tendonitis

One of the most common issues of the foot and ankle, inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon running along the foot arch reduces stability and support of the arch and leads to flat feet.

Most people can use orthotics or braces to treat posterior tibial tendonitis without surgery, but if the non-surgical methods don’t offer relief, surgery is an option to relieve pain and resolve the inflammation.


Normally your foot’s arch supports your toes, ankle, and even the entire body, but if you have flat feet, the stress of daily walking and running is placed directly on the joints of the feet.  

Over time, that abuse can cause arthritis in your feet and ankle joints as the cartilage wears away and the bones rub against each other. 

Plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs from the back of your heel to the bottom of your foot. 

It is highly susceptible to inflammation, and flat feet increase the chance of it becoming inflamed through daily use. The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain, which is worse during the morning and evens out later in the day. 

Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects your calf and heel, and flat feet mess with its careful balance. 

When you have flat feet, the Achilles tendon has to work extra hard when you run or walk, and left untreated, can develop into Achilles tendonitis. 

It is essential to rest, ice, and take anti-inflammatory medications to allow injuries to the Achilles tendon to heal and help prevent Achilles tendonitis. Your doctor may also recommend that you have a splint placed on it to support it further as it heals. 

At Renew Foot & Ankle LLC, in Bigfork and Grand Rapids, Minnesota, we know how important it is to have pain-free feet. If you have flat feet or another foot complication, call your nearest office or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Gilbertson.