One of the biggest reason for children visiting the clinic, is because of flat feet. Flat feet are very common in children, and often causes great concern for parents.
If your child has flat feet, don’t panic! Children are almost always flat-footed when they begin walking. Due to laxity of the ligaments in the foot, the medial arch at the inside of the foot collapses, and the heel may turn outwards. Babies and toddlers also have a fat pad present under the arch of the foot, giving the impression of a very flat foot.
Paediatric flat foot can be divided into two types; flexible and rigid. In a child with flexible flat foot, there will be a normal arch when they aren’t standing and a flattening of the arch when they stand. Rigid flat foot is characterised by a stiff flattened foot, in both standing, and non-standing positions.
Most children with flexible flat foot will have no symptoms. They will require no treatment, and can participate in normal physical activities and sport. However, this is not always the case. A small percentage of children with flat feet will develop symptoms including pain, tenderness and/or cramping in the feet of the legs. The child may seem to be lazy, or to withdraw from sports and other physical activities that may be causing pain in the legs and feet. If your child is complaining of pain or discomfort due to flat feet, then seek help from a Podiatrist. Treatment includes the use of special medical insoles (orthoses), stretching exercises, footwear advice and activity modification.
Children who suffer from rigid flat foot may require assessment from an orthopaedic surgeon as conservative treatment often fails; however, this quite is rare. If you are concerned by your child’s flat feet, or your child is complaining of foot or leg pain associated with flat feet call today to book an appointment.