Anything out of the ordinary with a child's foot can be cause for concern from a parent. When it comes to pediatric flatfoot, not all worry is necessary. Actually, there are times when flatfoot is completely natural.
If you’re a new parent, you might notice that your child doesn't have any arch in his or her feet. You may think that this is unusual—human feet are supposed to have arches, after all—but that’s not the case. At this time, your young one’s arches are obscured underneath fat pads.
Once a child reaches the age of 3, arches will usually have begun developing and may be visible. If you aren’t seeing them in your son or daughter, it’s still not necessarily a reason to worry. Arches continue to strengthen and develop over time – they don’t reach peak maturity until around the age of 8.
Let’s say now that you have a 9-year-old with flat feet. This still might not be worth worrying about. Why not? Well, because there are two kinds of flatfoot, flexible and rigid. If your child doesn’t have any pain, it’s likely he or she has the flexible variety, which is not as troublesome. The primary concern in this case is overpronation (excessive rolling motion during the ground portion of a step).
Rigid flatfoot is the less common variety, and can cause pain and disability. It is typically a result of complications with the tarsal bones. Whereas foot arches in flexible flatfoot can be observed when feet are not bearing weight, this is not the case for rigid cases.
If your child is experiencing flatfoot pain, there’s really still no need to worry too much. All you need to do is call us to schedule an appointment and we will work to create a treatment plan and resolve the problem. Typically, conservative treatment options work quite well. (So the odds are rather high you won’t even have to worry about your child needing surgery!)
In all likelihood, we can find success through ice therapy, stretching exercises, medication, and shoe inserts or custom orthotics. Our treatment plan will be catered to your child’s specific situation and may include a combination of those options.
If you would like to have your child’s feet examined by an experienced medical professional, come see us here at Richardson Podiatry Center. We can determine exactly what is happening, and then take appropriate measures to address any issue. Contact us today online or by calling (972) 690-5374 and one of our staff members will be happy to assist you.