Flat Feet in Children (Pediatric Flatfoot)

Arch Pain with Pain on Inside of Foot and Ankle

What could be my child’s problem?

Pediatric Flatfoot or Flat Feet in Children

Pediatric Flatfoot, if left untreated, can result in permanent deformity in adulthood.  Flatfoot deformity makes mobility and exercise painful.  Untreated, this condition leads to chronic pain and instability as the child ages into adulthood.

There are two types of pediatric flatfoot:

  • Flexible flatfoot:  a normal arch when non-weight bearing or sitting and disappearance of the arch when standing.
  • Rigid flatfoot:  the arch is stiff and flat when both sitting and standing

What causes pediatric flatfoot?

In either case, flexible or rigid flatfoot, there are a variety of underlying reasons requiring different treatment.

If you suspect that your child has pediatric flatfoot, you should take your child to see a foot specialist when:

  • The child complaints of pain, tenderness or cramping in the foot, leg and knee
  • Parents or guardians may notice an outward tilting of the heel
  • Awkwardness or clumsiness in walking and difficulty maneuvering with shoes on
  • The child is unable to keep up with playmates, tires easily, or voluntarily withdraws from physical activities

What are our treatment options for pediatric flatfoot?

  • Physical Therapy
  • Shoe modifications
  • Custom orthotics to support the structure of the foot
  • In extreme cases, surgical treatment may be the best alternative