How a Podiatrist Can Help with Flatfeet in Children

A pediatric flat foot is a condition where the arch of the foot disappears or shrinks when a child stands. The arc reappears upon standing or sitting or tiptoe, this is known as rigid flatfoot. These conditions are mainly seen at birth, but most kids outgrow them on their own before age five. If the situation is causing pain or does not go away on its own, it may be time to visit a podiatrist for help.

Symptoms of Pediatric Flat Foot

The symptoms of flatfeet can vary depending on severity, the type, and the age if the kid. When a kid has a flexible foot disorder, it does not cause any pain or discomfort, and no treatment is needed. Children with a rigid foot disorder may have problems that do need treatment or therapy by a podiatry Adelaide expert. If pain occurs, it is felt in the foot, lower leg, or ankle, and can range from mild to severe. Other symptoms include a change in gait, cramping in the feet or legs, or heel that tilts upwards.

Diagnosing the Problem

Your kid’s podiatrist can provide a diagnosis upon examination. To make the right diagnosis, the physician may ask your kid to sit up, sit down, stand, walk, and stand on his/her tiptoes. If the problem looks severe, the physician may also have an X-ray taken of the foot to determine the extent of the deformity. If the ankle doesn’t move much, the physician may associate the condition with tight Achilles tendon or shortened, which may require additional treatment.

Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatments

When it comes to treating pediatric flat foot, there are both surgical and non-surgical treatment methods. With the help of your podiatrist, together you can determine the best solution for your kid’s condition. Children with flexible flatfeet and without any pain font require treatment. If pain only occurs after activities, a podiatrist may recommend the use of over the counter cushioned arch support pads inserted into supportive sneakers or shoes.

If the issues are associated with a short or tight Achilles tendon, the tendon may need stretching to reduce or eliminate pain. Those with a tight Achilles tendon shouldn’t use hard arch supports, as these can contribute to the discomfort. Rarely, surgery may be needed to relieve pain. Surgery is recommended for kids age eight or older, and those who have a short Achilles tendon that requires lengthening.

Since the appearance of flatfeet is common during the early years of life, it can be difficult to tell if or not the issue will be problematic later on. When the condition cause problems, it can make it challenging for a child to “keep up” with his or her peers, more so during recreational and athletic activities. If you suspect that your kid has this food condition, it is essential to discuss your concerns with a podiatry Adelaide specialist.