Flatfoot refers to a condition where there is a complete or partial collapse of the foot. In infants and toddlers, prior to walking, flat feet are normal because the arch is not developed. Most feet are flexible and the arch appears once children begin standing on their toes, and continues to develop through childhood.
When flatfoot occurs in children, the condition is referred to as “pediatric flatfoot.” Varying forms of the condition which are more serious are tarsal coalition and vertical talus, also called “rigid” flatfoot. The term “flexible flatfoot” is used when the arch shrinks or disappears when standing, but reappears when seated or standing on tiptoes.
Many children with flexible flatfoot outgrow the condition as they walk more, because walking helps the foot’s soft tissue to tighten, progressively shaping the arch. General recommendation is to initiate treatment by age 3 or 4 if flatfoot persists. Some children may require additional treatment for flexible flat foot if symptoms cannot be controlled with shoe changes or orthotic supports. The staff and doctors at North Texas Foot & Ankle near Irving, Texas are dedicated to improving your child’s quality of life and getting them back on their feet! Contact North Texas Foot & Ankle if your child has been exhibiting the following pediatric flatfoot symptoms:
In cases where painful symptoms are present, treatment for flatfoot is required. Treatments include activity modification, shoe gear, stretching exercises, anti-inflammatories and arch supports. More severe cases of flatfeet may require custom functional orthotics or physical therapy. Surgery is an option for children who have severe difficulty walking and running who have already undergone other aggressive conservative treatment. Contact North Texas Foot & Ankle to schedule an evaluation for your child’s feet today by calling 214-574-9255 or request an appointment online.