Deformities Specialist

Eric J Roberts, DPM -  - Podiatrist, Foot & Ankle Medicine and Surgery


Eric J Roberts, DPM

Podiatrist, Foot & Ankle Medicine and Surgery & Wound Care Specialist located in St. Petersburg, FL

Foot deformities come in many forms, but what they all have in common is the potential for discomfort, embarrassment, and frustration. At Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle in St. Petersburg, Florida, you can find innovative solutions for all types of foot deformities, including bunions, hammertoes, and flatfoot. Talented podiatrist Eric Roberts, DPM, FACFAS, AACFAOM, offers both conservative and surgical care to help you enjoy healthy feet now. Book an appointment online or call the office today.

Deformities Q&A

What is a foot deformity?

A foot deformity is a structural abnormality or imbalance that interferes with your foot function. Foot deformities can be present from birth, but many develop in adulthood due to disease, injury, and external factors. For example, constantly wearing shoes that are too tight or participating in a sport that’s hard on your feet can lead to foot deformities.

Although deformities may be perceived as a permanent problem, that’s not the case with foot deformities. At Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle, Dr. Roberts can correct most foot deformities to give you normal foot function. 

What are some common foot deformities?

Some of the foot deformities that Dr. Roberts often treats at Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle include:


Bunions are large bumps that usually appear on your main big toe joint, the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. A bunion happens when the MTP joint drifts out of its place, pushing your big toe in the opposite direction until it partly or totally covers your smaller toes. 

Bunions are a foot deformity because they change the position of your foot bones and alter the overall foot framework if not corrected. Untreated bunions can cause serious problems, including difficulty walking.


A hammertoe is a joint contracture that happens in the middle of a toe. This creates an upside-down “V” shape in your smaller toes. Usually, hammertoe doesn't affect the big toe. 

With flexible hammertoe, you can straighten your toes with some effort, or if you push down on them lightly. But if you don't treat hammertoe in the flexible stage, it can become rigid hammertoe. With rigid hammertoe, it's not possible to move the joint at all and the misalignment might also be more pronounced.


Flatfoot means that your feet don’t have significant arches. When you have flatfoot, your whole foot (or nearly the entire foot) touches the floor while you’re standing up. Flatfoot can cause foot and leg pain, and may occur along with overpronation (ankles that roll inward). 

At Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle, Dr. Roberts treats these conditions and other foot deformities using individualized treatment approaches. 

How do you treat foot deformities?

Each foot deformity is unique, as is each patient. Dr. Roberts often begins with noninvasive treatment such as bracing, padding, taping, custom orthotics, and footwear changes. 

If your foot deformity doesn’t respond to these conservative approaches, or if your deformity is advanced, you may need surgery. 

Dr. Roberts is board-certified in foot surgery by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons® (ABFAS). He uses state-of-the-art surgical techniques to restore the natural foot framework and full foot function. Dr. Roberts also has hospital privileges at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, should you need inpatient or outpatient surgery at any time. 

For help correcting a foot deformity, call Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle or use the online scheduler anytime.