My Child Has Flat Feet. Now What?

My Child Has Flat Feet. Now What?

Feet can be as personalized as the individual —larger, smaller, wider, narrower. Some can also lack the typical arch which results in flat feet. While this is not always a problem, it is important to get them examined by a medical professional especially when it occurs in children as in some cases treatment may be necessary.

At Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center in Prescott, Arizona, Dr. Todd Cox offers a wide range of care for feet and ankles. With state-of-the-art diagnostic testing capabilities and treatments for everything from ankle sprains to flat feet and more, we are a convenient one-stop shop to meet all your needs.

Flat feet

Flat feet — where the foot lacks an arch resulting in the middle of the foot touching the ground — is very common in babies and lasts into childhood. This is due to several reasons, including flexible bones and joints which flatten the feet when standing, along with a pad of fat on the inside bottom of the foot that masks the arch.

Arches typically appear by the time children are six years old and the feet become less flexible. Ten to 20% of kids, however, do not have an arch form and retain their flat feet as adults.

Symptoms

Some children may not experience any problems with flat feet especially if they are still young. However, there are a number of symptoms that may occur.

These can include pain in the arch, heel or ankle as well as potential discomfort in the legs, hips or lower back. Problems with walking, like getting tired easily, stumbling often, having an awkward gait, or rolling the ankles inward (overpronation) can also occur. Finally, specific foot problems could develop like bunions and plantar fasciitis.

Diagnosis and treatment

Flat feet can be due to different causes and therefore need different kinds of treatment. Diagnosis is often made by discussion with a medical professional along with an examination.

If flat feet are not causing any problems, usually no intervention is necessary. However, if tight tendons or a bone problem is the issue, there are a number of options. These can include special shoe inserts that can provide added support for the arch, physical therapy, specially-designed exercises, and activity modification. Very rarely, surgery may be needed.

Flat feet can cause discomfort for some children or be a hindrance to them leading an active lifestyle. If your child is experiencing symptoms, call our office at 928-445-4898 or click here to book an appointment today to get a proper diagnosis and begin a personalized treatment plan.

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