What is it?
Flat foot is a partial or total collapse of the arch and can be classified as symptomatic or asymptomatic. Although usually painless in young children, flatfeet in older children can be painful. Sometimes pain occurs during or after sports and other physical activities and is easily noticed. However, children often exhibit more subtle signs such as changes in walking, difficulty with shoes, reduced energy or withdrawal from physical activities.
In addition to a thorough foot and ankle examination, your doctor will provide a gait analysis. The child’s walking pattern and range of motions of the foot as well as the knee and hip need to be examined.
If the child has no symptoms, immediate treatment is often not required or orthotic devices may be considered. The child will be observed and re-evaluated periodically by your doctor. When the child has symptoms, treatment is required. This can include temporary changes in activity, shoe modifications, use of custom orthoses and bracing, physical therapy or medications. For some cases, surgery is necessary. The procedure(s) necessary for your child will be recommended by your doctor on an individual basis.