What You Need to Know About Fallen Arches

Thursday, October 4th, 2018, 2:23 pm

The term “fallen arches” is fairly self-explanatory. It describes a condition otherwise known as “flat feet” and is characterized by smooth soles, meaning your arches touch the floor when you stand.


Infants and toddlers usually have flat feet because their arches have yet to develop, but adults can have the condition, as well. Your feet naturally might not have arched after childhood.

Or, you can develop fallen arches later in life due to a weakened posterior tibial tendon, which runs from your calf to the inside of your foot. This tendon supports your foot and holds up the arch, and if it tears or becomes inflamed, your arch may fall. Factors that contribute to a damaged posterior tibial tendon include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Advanced age
  • Injury
  • Diabetes


You may never have problems with your fallen arches—but it’s possible. Some people experience pain in their ankles, heels, arches, and knees because the condition has altered their leg alignment.


Patients rarely need surgery to correct flat feet, but doctors can perform the procedure if you’re experiencing significant pain. Other treatments include:

  • Arch supports
  • Physical Therapy
  • Supportive shoes
  • Weight loss (if obesity is a factor)

Call the Orthopaedic Institute if you feel pain in your feet or knees that could trace back to fallen arches.

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