What’s causes a pediatric flat foot?
A pediatric 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. The ankle, knee hip and lower back will have added pressure when the foot is flat/pronated.
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.
Diagnosing pediatric flat foot
Your foot type has a strong genetic component and usually a parent has a flat foot also. Examine the foot in 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.
Conservative treatment of your child’s feet
No treatment is recommended except supportive shoes, if a mild pediatric flat foot deformity is present and no symptoms are present. 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. Your foot is replicated using a plaster mold. 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. The Achilles tendon complex is a main deforming forces on a flat foot.
Surgical treatment of pes planus/flatfeet
When a child has a severe pediatric flat foot 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.