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Educational Resources

Here’s How to Spot Flat Feet in Children Before they Cause Trouble

 

Are you worried that flat feet in children will cause your little one pain? Do you wonder when you need to seek help for your child’s flat feet? Here’s what you need to know!

A Child’s Changing Body

Children are in a constant state of growth and development, so they often require frequent shopping trips to purchase items that will fit their growing bodies. Shoes often fall into this list of necessities. And, while that can be expensive, we like to see every shoe shopping trip as a chance to check in on your child’s foot health!

Children, in particular, are prone to developing flat feet, a condition characterized by an abnormal collapse of the arch while standing. Remember, until they turn two, almost every child’s foot appears to be flat. After that age, your child should start developing an arch.

Signs and Symptoms of Flat Feet

Parents can watch for early signs of the condition, which include: a flat foot arch at age 5 or older, heels that tend to angle outward when seen from the back, clumsiness during activity or early leg fatigue, or foot, knee or ankle pain during or after activity or the middle of the night.

Certain sports and physical activities may become difficult for children with flat feet. For that reason, if your formerly active child stops wanting to play sports or hit the playground, flat feet could be to blame. (The same is true if he or she refuses to walk for long periods. Or just sits down on an outing and refuses to keep walking.)

If you suspect that your child has the condition, speak to Dr. Brad Bachmann, D.P.M. of Louetta Foot and Ankle Specialists, P.A. Dr. Bachmann will answer any of your foot and ankle related questions and attend to all of your podiatric needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet are a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. Standing about 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.

Symptoms:

  • Pain around the heel or arch area.
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe.
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle.
  • Flat look to one or both feet.
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn.

There are two kinds of flat feet: flexible and inflexible. With a flexible flat foot, we can still see an arch in your child’s foot when it’s not bearing weight. But that’s not true with an inflexible condition, making it a bit harder to address.

Treating Flat Feet in Children flat feet in children

If your child experiences pain and stress on the foot, it may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. For that reason, it’s important to address this condition as soon as possible.

To diagnose your child, we’ll begin with a physical examination. We’ll watch how he or she walks both barefoot and in shoes. And we’ll come up with a treatment plan after that.

If your child experiences minimal pain, and the foot is still flexible, we can begin treatment with custom orthotics. For many children, this resolves foot pain. And prevents problems later in life.

But if your child’s foot is inflexible, we may need to take x-rays and explore further interventions. Because our goal is to get rid of your child’s pain. But we also want to make sure that his or her foot develops properly. So that, years from now, new problems don’t develop, causing even more pain.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Spring and Tomball, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all you and your children’s foot and ankle injuries.

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