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  • 2/8/2013

Treatment for Flatfeet in Children


Most flat feet cause no trouble and do not need treatment. An arch support can help a mild flat foot. An in-shoe orthotic can benefit any child with flat feet. This device never causes harm. Worn from an early enough age, they might actually help the adult position of the foot. All podiatrists and orthopedists can provide you with custom orthotics. If the child is 10 or older, the flexible flat feet can be considered permanent. Long-term use of orthotics will be required to prevent future problems in the feet and spine. This is especially important when one foot is flatter than the other. Asymmetrical forces imposed during locomotor’s activities can eventually result in significant trauma to the foot. Flat feet can cause problems when a child is overweight or athletically active.

If treatment is needed, it includes:

* Arch supports, called foot orthotics. There are three types - rigid, semi-rigid and soft. The type that's right for your child depends on what kind of support the doctor is trying to provide. If your child has foot pain, the doctor may recommend a shoe insert. The arch support does not change the shape of the foot. * Orthopedic shoes, which are only useful to keep the shoe on your child's foot. * Surgery


Very rarely, surgery is performed to remedy flat feet. Children who have an abnormal foot because it has not developed properly may need an operation to straighten the foot. There are two types of surgical procedures. If symptoms cannot be controlled with shoe changes and orthotic arch supports, then surgical procedure is the solution. In the first surgical procedure, a surgeon inserts a small cylindrical plug into the heel bone joint. The procedure to insert the plug takes approximately 20 minutes. The child is able to walk on the foot after a few days using either a short leg walking cast or a removable walking boot. If the foot gets more deformed, first surgery may not be sufficient to correct the flat foot deformity. The second operation is performed to change the shape of the foot with bone cuts, combined with the use of a bone graft. Both procedures are a very successful in the correction of a child's flat foot.


Flat feet are not related with any complications except pain. Some causes of flat feet can be successfully treated without surgery if caught early. Surgery is the last option to relieve pain.

Surgery sometimes does not result in satisfactory results for all patients, sometimes resulting in persistent pain. Other possible surgical complications include infection and failure of fused bones to heal.


Depending on the severity of symptoms, your doctor may advise you to limit your child’s weight-bearing activities while wearing orthopedic shoes or arch supports, and wait for the swelling and pain to subside. You should strengthen the child's lower leg muscles with home exercises. Talk about this with your child podiatrist. Insist the child wears supportive shoes with a stable heel and a strong counter.

Proper shoes are important for the developing foot. A child is going barefoot stimulates proprioceptors and encourages muscular coordination and strength. Shoes should have flexible soles to allow for proper foot joint movement. Constricting shoes stop normal growth and may result in deformity. Frequent evaluation of size and fit is an important concept for parents to understand and accept.

When symptoms have subsided, your child can return to normal activities, including exercise. Cycling and swimming are the best for your child, especially when the child first resumes activity. The doctor may suggest a continued use of orthotics.

Parents need reassurance and appropriate recommendations when their child has flat feet. Most of their child’s flat feet conditions will be resolved during normal growth and development.

Source: rafed.net

Other links:

Causes and Remedies for Stinky Feet

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