Children's Flat Feet
Conveniently located to serve Artesia and Rancho Cucamonga
Pediatric flat feet are a common and usually a non surgical problem. The main problem with flat feet in children is that they may have pain during exercise and may develop problems with their feet, knees and back. Most of the time conservative therapy is only needed. The conservative therapy measures include: stretching exercises, shoe modification and custom orthotics.
What Causes Children’s Flat Feet?
When there is an interruption of the intricate interlinkage of bones, ligaments, muscles, and nerves within and above the foot, children’s flat feet can occur. Anything that interferes with the coherence of these structures can lead to a collapsed arch, causing symptomatic flat feet.
Disorders such as juvenile arthritis, cerebral palsy, and specific forms of muscular dystrophy may result in children’s flat feet. Inherited diseases affecting the nervous system and some connective tissue may also trigger the development of children’s flat feet. Other factors that may cause children’s flat feet are obesity, muscle damage, and atypical anatomy.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Children’s Flat Feet?
Children’s flat feet can be identified while walking or standing. Children with flat feet manifest an outward tilt at the heel. You may also spot unusual gait or awkwardness when walking. Children with flat feet also struggle with moving the foot from side to side or up and down. Pain and tenderness on areas from the foot to the knee are also present.
How to Diagnose Children’s Flat Feet
Diagnosis of children’s flat feet is done by examining the child’s foot and looking for differences in its appearance when the child stands versus when they sit. Dr. Rabbani will also evaluate the child’s range of motion and assess how they walk.
To find out the underlying cause of children’s flat feet, Dr. Rabbani may also inspect the lower leg and possibly up to the hip. An x-ray or other diagnostic test will be ordered to confirm the severity of the condition.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Dr. Rabbani may prescribe over-the-counter medications to manage discomfort, because children’s flat feet typically result in pain and/or inflammation. Children with flat feet will also be advised to limit physical activities like prolonged walking or standing.
The optimal shoe for children with flat feet depends on their gait cycle, range of motion, and individual foot. A doctor-designed orthotic will also be prescribed for support and better function.
Physical therapy plays an important role in treating children’s flat feet. Dr. Rabbani will supervise special stretching exercises to strengthen the muscles and will recommend the proper footwear.
In certain cases of severe collapse, flat feet may require surgical correction. The type of surgery is dependent on the area of the deformity. In certain cases, a simple implant procedure may be used to correct the arch. Most of the time corrections require repositioning or lengthening of the heel bone to create an arch, in addition lengthening of a calf tendon to realign the foot.
The most important thing is to address the flat foot deformity in order to prevent future arthritic changes. We specialize in the treatment of pediatric flat feet. In most cases, conservative measures are only needed.