Children often exhibit flat feet. Flexible pediatric flatfoot occurs when the arch of the foot disappears when the child stands and then reappears upon sitting. Most children with this condition are born with it and will usually outgrow it by age 5.
Rigid flatfoot is rarer and the arches will not reappear when the child sits down.
Most children with this deformity have no symptoms, but some will feel cramping in the feet or legs or foot pain. The heels may seem to tilt outward and you may notice a change in walking. Walking may cause pain and so the child may withdraw from physical activities and sports.
Rigid flatfoot may cause more serious symptoms
Treating Pediatric Flatfoot
Children outgrow pediatric flatfoot without treatment in most cases. However, if your child is experiencing pain, we can recommend a custom-fitted orthotic device that fits into your child’s shoe to help support the arch and ease pain. Older children may benefit from stretching exercises and physical therapy.
In rare cases, surgery can help rigid flatfoot and chronic pain.