All About Surgery for Flat Feet: Pros and Cons

Flat Feet Surgery

“Flat feet,” also known as pes planus, are a common foot condition that affects up to one in every four people at some point in their lives.

When you stand upright with flat feet, the arch bones in your feet are low to the ground.

Some people can go their entire lives with flat feet without giving it much thought. Others may experience foot pain and difficulty walking as a result of having flat feet.

Surgical correction is one option for treating flat feet. We’ll go over everything you need to know if you’re thinking about flat foot surgery.

What is Flat Foot Surgery?

Flat feet are a common condition that begins in childhood. The tissues and ligaments in your feet typically tighten together during development to form an arch that supports the bones in your feet.

Because of factors such as genetics, poorly fitting footwear, and certain physical activities, people with flat feet may not experience this “tightening.” These ligaments may loosen with age, resulting in flat feet later in life.

Flat feet can develop as a result of the following conditions:

Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis

The ligaments, tendons, and bone structure in your feet are repaired during flat foot surgery. It reshapes the foot to better support your arches.

The actual surgical procedure may differ depending on:

  • the reason for your flat feet
  • your ankles and feet’s anatomy
  • the symptoms you want to get rid of

What Are the Pros and Cons of Flat Foot Surgery?

Because every patient is unique, consulting with an Orthopaedic Surgeon like Dr. Davis is an important part of your recovery and treatment plan. She describes flat foot surgery in the following terms:

Essentially, when you develop a flat foot, your heel bone moves to the outside of your foot and the arch collapses. Reconstructive options include shifting your heelbone over and then performing a tendon transfer to replace the tendon in your foot that is no longer functioning.

Other options exist, for example, if you develop significant arthritis in addition to the flat foot condition. According to Dr. Davis, this is a “fusion-type procedure.” “Fusing a few of the joints in the foot, basically, positioning the foot in a good position and fusing those joints,” she says. The patient retains foot mobility and ankle range of motion during this procedure.

There are pros and cons to flat feet surgery. 

Pros of flat feet surgery

  • Surgery is a long-term solution for flat feet.
  • It is a medical procedure with a low risk and high reward.
  • There is no need for additional treatment following flat foot surgery.
  • It can help patients regain mobility and resume normal life functions.

Cons of flat feet surgery

  • Complications from surgery, such as nerve damage or blood clots, are possible.
  • Patients are in a cast or a boot while they heal.
  • Recovery can take up to three months.

Who’s a Good Candidate for this Surgery?

Having a diagnosis of flat feet doesn’t mean that you need surgical surgery.

  • A diagnosis of flat feet that has not been corrected by non-surgical interventions
  • Having good overall health and the ability to tolerate anesthesia
  • Consistently feeling pain
  • To adapt to the condition, people’s lifestyles have changed.

What are the Dangers and Side Effects of Flat Foot Surgery?

Major complications from flat foot surgery are rare. There are risks and side effects, as with any major surgery.

Potential side effects of flat foot surgery surgery include:

damage to the nerves or blood vessels

Failure of bones or incisions to completely heal blood clots or infection from bleeding

With this type of surgery, you can expect pain and limited mobility as your bones and tendons heal. These side effects should fade within 6 to 8 weeks of your procedure.

What is the Price of Flat Foot Surgery?

Flat foot surgery coverage is determined by your insurance plan and provider. Medicare and other health plans are required to cover surgeries deemed medically necessary by your doctor.

If your flat feet are interfering with your ability to live your life, you and your doctor may be able to convince the insurance company that the surgery should be covered.

If you do not have insurance or if your insurance does not cover this surgery, your out-of-pocket expenses could range from $4,000 to $10,000.

Even if your surgery is covered, you may still be responsible for hundreds of dollars in co-pays, deductibles, and prescription pain medication prescribed after the surgery.

Related Reading: Flat Feet Surgery Cost

How Long Does Recovery Take After Flat Foot Surgery?

The healing process is the most difficult aspect of flat foot surgery, but patients express how much better they feel after the procedure. Dr. Davis describes the healing process in detail:

“You’d be in a splint for a few weeks until your stitches came out, and then you’d be in a cast or walking boot for another four to five weeks.” Weight-bearing was eventually permitted at the six to eight-week mark, depending on how the bones were healing. Finally, after about three months, I was released from the boot. We would also initiate some motion at the six to eight week mark.”

Patients who have suffered from flat feet pain understand how incapacitating it can be. In many cases, they claim that they had no idea how important their feet were until they encountered the difficulties caused by flat feet. The good news is that a variety of non-surgical interventions, as well as effective surgeries, are available to help many patients heal.

Flat Feet Surgery


Flat foot Surgery surgery can restore your feet’s mobility and functionality. Whether you were born with flat feet or developed them as an adult, these surgeries have a high success rate and are considered relatively low-risk.

This surgery is not appropriate for everyone, and complications do occur. If your symptoms are interfering with your daily life, consult a doctor about surgery and other treatment options for flat feet.