A flat foot deformity, AKA pes planus, is a condition where the arch on inside of the foot is flatter than normal. Flatfoot deformity can present itself from birth until adulthood. When your foot is flat/pronated it will put added pressure on the ankle, knee, hip and low back.
Although you may hear that some children out grow a flat foot, this is not the case. Children with flat feet do not outgrow the condition as we age and develop, but the real question is do children who have flatfeet have pain and find it difficult to walk or perform activities. For the children or adults who do experience pain or problems with walking, they should be evaluated by a foot and ankle specialist to determine what treatment is needed.
During your consultation a family history is discussed because there is a strong genetic component to your foot type. The foot is then examined in the nonweight bearing and weight bearing positions. X-rays taken while standing are helpful to visualize the bony structure and complete the overall picture. After studying hundreds of flat feet at the Foot, Ankle and Leg Vein Center we’re able to determine the reason for your flat foot condition and determine a specific treatment plan that provides the best correction.
If a child has a mild flatfoot deformity and no symptoms, then generally no treatment is indicated except supportive shoes. However if the child has a mild to moderate flatfoot deformity then custom molded orthotics and stretching exercises would be indicated. Orthotics made at the Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center are custom molded to the patient’s foot. Using a plaster mold your exact foot is replicated. From the plaster foot mold, an orthotic devise is specifically made to accommodate the individual’s problem areas. This traditional method is provides the most accurate prescription for the orthotic device. Another treatment is stretching with calf muscle exercises. This is recommended because one of the main deforming forces on a flat foot is the Achilles tendon complex.
When a child has a severe flatfoot and conservative care did not alleviate their pain then surgery is indicated. At the foot ankle and leg vein center we have a lot of comprehensive experience in helping pediatric patients. Both Dr. Gold and Dr. Schoenhaus have treated numerous pediatric conditions and individualize their treatment plan based off the individual patient. Not all flatfeet are equal and it’s important to individualize treatment plans.