See a Flatfeet Specialist in Chattanooga
Find out the right treatment for flatfeet or fallen arches. Our podiatrist accommodates Spanish- and English-speaking patients in the greater Chattanooga area. Book your visit now.
Patients will be treated by our board-certified foot and ankle doctor, Dr. Maria Pacheco, DPM, who has over 9 years of experience in treating patients with flatfeet in and out of Chattanooga.
Our team genuinely cares for our patients. Recognizing that flatfeet affect almost all aspects of your life, we’ll prescribe a treatment plan that mitigates the symptoms and help you get back on your feet.
Dr. Pacheco is certified with the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. Flatfeet rarely needs surgery, but if your condition requires it, Dr. Pacheco is also certified with the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. If you have other podiatric issues apart from flatfeet, our physician will treat them, as well.
Learn more about your podiatrist.
Dr. Maria Pacheco
“Everything that I have heard bout Dr. Pacheco is true – she is professional and very kind and interested in your condition!”
Flatfeet: Your Condition Explained
Normal feet have arches inside their feet. In contrast, flatfeet have no arches, and their entire sole touches the floor when they stand. It affects either one foot or both feet.
For the most part, flatfeet is not a cause for concern or a sign of anything serious. In some cases, however, flatfeet affect the way people walk and cause pain in the legs and foot.
Everyone had flatfeet when they were born, and only formed foot arches are around age 6. But in some children, the arches didn’t develop, and the flatfeet remained until adulthood. Some people, meanwhile, developed arches but lost them as they aged.
Types of Flatfeet
Flatfeet falls into four categories, depending on how it was acquired.
- Flexible Flatfeet. This is the most common type of flatfeet. As its name implies, the feet are not fully flat at all times. The arches appear when the patient sits down or doesn’t put weight on their feet. However, the arches disappear once they stand or put weight on their feet.
People with flexible flatfeet didn’t form arches during childhood. The condition usually progresses over time.
- Rigid Flatfeet. In contrast with flexible flatfeet, rigid flatfeet don’t have arches even if the person stands or sits — the feet remain flat. The condition develops when the child doesn’t form arches, and it progresses as the person ages.
- Fallen Arch. Also known as adult-acquired flatfeet, this condition occurs when the arches collapse. The person has developed foot arches, but due to certain conditions, like arthritis or an injury, the arch falls.
- Vertical Talus. Some people are born with vertical talus, a rare deformity where the talus, a small bone in the ankle, is positioned in the wrong direction. As a result, the baby has extreme flatfoot.
Flatfeet rarely causes problems, but some people experience pain. Because of the structure of flat feet, weight isn’t distributed properly, and some parts are overworked.
- Pain in the Foot and Ankles. You may experience pain that may worsen after high-impact or intense activities. Painful areas include:
- The area where the arches supposedly are
- Outside and inside the ankle
- Toe Drift. The front part of the foot and the toes point outward.
- Leg Cramps. The extra strain on the muscles may lead to cramps.
- Abnormal Walking Patterns. The absence of arches affects your gait.
Flatfeet may also make you more prone to other podiatric conditions, like:
- Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
Apart from problems that may have been present at birth, several issues can cause flatfeet.
Arthritis causes inflammation and breakdown of your joints, which in turn causes problems in the cartilages and ligaments. These issues could contribute to a fallen arch.
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
The posterior tibial tendon connects a calf muscle to the bones in the feet. This tendon provides support to the foot as you walk. Problems with this tendon can cause the arch to collapse slowly, leading to adult-acquired flatfeet.
Injuries to the ligaments can affect the alignment of bones and joints in the foot, which may lead to a fallen arch.
Factors that make you more prone to developing flatfeet include:
Visiting Our Podiatrist
Flatfeet don’t usually cause any problems, but we recommend seeing our podiatrist if:
- You feel pain or weakness
- You developed flatfeet in adulthood
- Only one foot is flat
- You have flatfeet and often get injuries or have issues with walking or balance
During your appointment, Dr. Pacheco will examine your feet to determine the type of flatfeet and, by extension, the proper treatment. Tell our podiatrist about:
- Any existing conditions that may affect the foot, like diabetes and arthritis
- Family members who also have flatfeet
- Recent injuries that may have affected the feet
As part of the examination, the doctor may:
- Check for wear patterns in the patient’s shoes
- Ask the patient to sit, stand, and stand on tiptoes
- Examine the Achilles tendon and calluses on the heels
In some cases, our podiatrist may order tests (x-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans) to rule out other problems and determine the proper course of action.
If your condition requires treatment, our podiatrist may prescribe therapy, conservative treatments, or surgery. Please take note that this list comprises general information and doesn’t constitute medical advice. Please see our podiatrist to determine the proper treatment for your case.
- Orthotics. Custom orthotics or shoe inserts to provide additional support to your feet.
- Medication. Our podiatrist may prescribe medication to help with the inflammation and pain.
- Healthy Weight. If you have excess pounds, getting rid of them will ease your feet’s workload.
A physical therapy program and exercises help strengthen the muscles and tendons, increasing flexibility and mobility. Our podiatrist explains the right treatment for the type of flatfeet you have.
Surgery is rarely needed surgery to treat flatfeet. However, if Dr. Pacheco determines that surgery is the appropriate treatment method, our team will explain the entire procedure in detail, including preparations and recovery.
Find Out the Right Treatment for Your Flatfeet
Will you need orthotics? Or will home remedies and lifestyle changes do? Schedule a visit with Dr. Pacheco to get the appropriate medical care for your flatfeet.
About Our Chattanooga Clinic
Patient Age Range
Years of Experience
Feedback from the people we have had the privilege to help:
"She truly care for her patients! Dr. Pacheco takes her time with each patient, as if she has all day! She is very thorough in her work, always has a smile on her face!!"
If she had not diagnosed my Charcot Foot, hospital would have sent me home. I could not walk and my bones were breaking. Thanking God for sending her our way.
"Awesome staff and doctor. They take time time and care for their patients. To explain to you they way that you understand"
Dr. Pacheco is always professional. She is knowledgeable, friendly, and explains things in a way the average patient can understand.
Dr. Pacheco is an intelligent and understanding doctor. She improved my problem in a short amount of time. She is very nice and friendly.
Years of Experience
9 Years of Experience treating foot and ankle ailments of all types
We look forward to helping you next!
The goal of our clinic is to build a comfortable and relaxing condition where patients can feel at ease. It’s not easy to perform daily activities with flatfeet, which is why we do our best to minimize our patients’ stress.
Advice for Patients
Our medical team stays updated on the latest developments in foot and ankle pathologies, including flatfeet. We provide our patients with the right medical care for their conditions.
Rehabilitation of Foot and Ankle
Foot problems affect almost all aspects of a patient’s life, so our clinic aims for effective and fast recovery. Our team also explains every part of the treatment plan.
Empathy for Our Patients’ Condition
Chattanooga Foot & Ankle Clinic practices empathy, no matter the severity of your condition. Our staff treats everyone with kindness and upholds transparency at all times.
Alleviate the Issues from Flatfeet
Speak with Dr. Pacheco today to get the appropriate treatment for your flatfeet.