Don’t Ignore Falling Arches


At Texas Foot Specialists, we see many adult patients with flat feet. Adult acquired flat foot can be brought on by a number of reasons:

  • Aging

  • Heredity

  • Weight gain

  • Arthritis

  • Trauma or injury

However, the most common reason for adult acquired flat foot is a condition known as Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (or PTTD for short). With this condition, the posterior tibial tendon, which is one of the key supporting structures in the foot, begins to change and its ability to support the arch of the foot diminishes.

Trouble Signs

In addition to noticeable flattening of the arch, you may see your ankle beginning to role inward. You may have pain on the inside or outside of your foot. You may also notice swelling along with heat and redness in the affected area. Left untreated, the pain will increase and there is the possibility of arthritis developing in the foot and/or ankle.

Treatment Options

Overuse of the tendon is frequently the cause of PTTD, and you may notice an increase in pain after activities such as walking, climbing stairs, hiking or running. Resting from activities that cause pain is recommended. In fact, immobilization in a cast or boot may be one thing our podiatrists, Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Gregory Mangum, recommend. Other treatment options include:

  • Medications—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication can reduce pain and inflammation

  • Shoe modifications—choose shoes with good arch support

  • Orthotics or bracing—a custom orthotic that fits in your shoe can help give your foot the arch support it requires or an ankle brace to help position your foot

  • Physical therapy—to rehabilitate the muscles and tendons

If these treatments do not bring relief, you may require surgery. Treated in its earliest stages, however, you may be able to alleviate the symptoms and even halt the progression of this disorder. If you have any symptoms of flat feet, make an appointment at our Sugar Land (281-242-4448), Pasadena (281-991-0600) or Houston office (713-664-6677) today.