Treating Children’s Flatfoot
The good news for parents is that not every case of flatfoot in children will require treatment. If your child does not have any pain or other symptoms due to the condition, there is not anything that needs to be treated. This is true even if flat feet have continued into adulthood.
However, we will want to monitor your child’s foot development over time to ensure that it is progressing as it should and that no signs of potential trouble arise. Periodic check-ups are a good way to stay on top of this goal.
The flexibility of a child’s developing feet can be used to our advantage if we can catch potential problems early. Treatment responds much more easily at that stage than it does when development is more complete and the condition is more rigid.
Treatment plans for pediatric flatfoot depend heavily on a child’s age, the severity of their condition, and other specific factors. Parts of a plan might include:
- A set of stretches or exercises are prescribed to build strength and condition areas of the feet that may be at higher risk of pain.
- The use of custom orthotics to provide cushioning and corrective support, and properly redistributing pressure across the feet while standing and walking.
- Changes to more accommodating and supportive footwear, which may be made with or without the consideration of custom orthotics.
- Changes to the types and intensities of activities your child performs. We want to reduce impact stresses on the feet while, of course, still allowing your child to participate in the sports and activities they love whenever reasonable.
The vast majority of flatfoot cases can be effectively addressed via conservative methods of treatment such as those above. Surgery is rarely ever necessary.
Keep Your Children’s Foot and Ankle Health on Track
Great foot and ankle care for your child is not just about resolving problems that arise now but making sure those feet and ankles have the best possible future as well. Monitoring pediatric flatfoot is just one way we help parents achieve those goals.