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Flexible Flatfeet

Flexible flatfeet are noted when the arches of the feet upon standing. The arch reappears while your child stands on their tip toes or the toes are hyperextended.

Typically, flatfeet do not cause any pain or discomfort. This condition also does not cause any disabilities or limitations in activities he or she would like to participate in. Your child should grow out of this mild deformity by the age of seven. If the child has some residual flatfeet after the age of seven, this will not impede any activities the child would like to participate in later in life. Families tend to worry needlessly since this mild deformity does not leaf to any permanent problems.

How are flatfeet diagnosed?

The physician will take a full history, including any family history of flatfeet. The doctor will also need to know of any known neurologic or muscle diseases. As the physician performs an orthopaedic exam, he or she will evaluate your child for any signs of other abnormalities such as a tight heel cord or rigid flatfeet. These problems would require some form of treatment. The doctor will evaluate the motion of the foot and inspect for any deformities. If your child is noted to have flatfeet while standing, but is able to correct his/her arch when toe walking, this means that your child’s flatfeet are flexible.

What is the treatment for flatfeet?

Typically, no treatment is required for flatfeet since cases are not symptomatic. If the family notes that the child is fatigued or complains of painful feet after activities, stretching exercises can be prescribed.

For the occasional persistent pain, inexpensive arch supports may be used to help balance the load of pressure on the feet. Surgical treatment is very rare. This form of treatment may be requires for the cases of flatfeet that become rigid instead of spontaneously improving over time. Surgery may involve removal of an accessory bone or an abnormal bridging of bone.