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Pediatric Flatfoot

By October 4, 2012No Comments


Pediatric flatfoot occurs when there is a partial or total collapse of the arch of the foot.

Most children have some degree of flat feet at birth and most who present to a podiatrist do not need treatment.  However, some conditions progress and do require intervention.  There is also a difference between a ‘flexible’ and a ‘rigid’ flatfoot.  A flexible flatfoot is noted when the arch seems to collapse while the child is standing and the arch is visible when not standing.  The diagnosis of a rigid flatfoot is made when the arch is not present whether the child is standing or not.

Children often present with the following symptoms:

  • Pain when walking, running or after running
  • Outward position of the heel while standing
  • Pain in shoes

Your podiatrist will examine the child while standing and take x-rays to determine the severity of the condition.

An asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic foot may not require treatment.  Sometimes a custom orthotic may provide enough support to decrease symptoms and prevent the development of potential problems.

Surgical treatment is rarely indicated for a true flexible flatfoot.  There are a variety of techniques to treat the painful pediatric flatfoot, depending on the foot type and degree of deformity.