Flat Feet: Pediatric Flatfoot
Our Foot and Ankle Services
Flexible flatfoot is one of the most common types of flatfoot.
What is Pediatric Flatfoot?
Flatfoot is common in both children and adults. When this deformity occurs in children, it is referred to as “pediatric flatfoot.” Although there are various forms of flatfoot, they all share one characteristic – partial or total collapse of the arch.
- Pain, tenderness, or cramping in the foot, leg, and knee
- Outward tilting of the heel
- Awkwardness or changes in walking
- Difficulty with shoes
- Reduced energy when participating in physical activities
- Voluntary withdrawal from physical activities
If a child has no symptoms, treatment is often not required. Instead, the condition will be observed and re-evaluated periodically by your foot and ankle surgeon.
- Activity modifications. The child needs to temporarily decrease activities that bring pain as well as avoid prolonged walking or standing.
- Orthotic devices. Your foot and ankle surgeon can provide custom orthotic devices that fit inside the shoe to support the structure of the foot and improve function.
- Physical therapy. Stretching exercises, supervised by the foot and ankle surgeon or a physical therapist, provide relief in some cases of flatfoot.
- Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Shoe modifications. Your foot and ankle surgeon will advise you on footwear characteristics that are important for the child with flatfoot.