Flexible flatfoot is common in children. If you notice when your child stands the arch of his or her foot disappears, he or she may have flexible flatfoot. When your child is sitting or on his or her tiptoes, the arch usually reappears.
Quick facts about flexible flatfoot in children
Flexible flatfoot rarely leads to permanent deformity or disability. In fact, the condition is painless and does not interfere with walking. Most children outgrow the condition.
- Most children are born with a very little arch in the feet. As children grow and start walking the soft tissues along the bottom of the feet eventually tighten and shape the arches.
- Children with flexible flatfoot do not typically develop an arch until 5-years or older; some may never develop an arch.
- If the child never develops an arch and he or she is experiencing pain along the bottom of the foot, make an appointment with an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist.
To determine whether your child has flexible flatfoot, an orthopedic pediatric physician will ask you for a complete medical history, have you describe your child’s symptoms and when you first noticed it and conduct a physical examination.
Can you correct flat feet in children?
Treatment for flexible flatfoot is unnecessary unless your child is experiencing discomfort. Nonsurgical treatment includes:
- Stretching exercises
- Shoe inserts
- Physical therapy
In extremely rare conditions, flexible flat foot surgery is necessary if the child is inconstant pain. An orthopedic foot and ankle specialist will determine the best surgery and recovery option depending on the needs of the child.
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