Children’s Flat Feet

Pediatric flat feet are a common and usually 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. The most common treatment conservative treatment options are stretching exercises to decrease stiffness and stress on the foot and to use custom molded orthotics for added stability and decreased stress on the abnormal regions of the foot.

In certain cases of severe collapse, flat feet may require surgical correction. The type of surgery is dependant on the level of deformity and the differing position of the deformity. The most common corrections require repositioning of the heel and lengthening of a calf tendon to realign the foot and increase the arch height. In certain cases, a simple implant procedure may be used to correct the arch much like an internal orthotic.

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X-ray showing a flat foot in a child. Notice the collapsed arch.
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X-ray showing the use of the implant that stops the rotation of the joint that flattens the arch.
Notice the increased height of the arch with the implant in place.

In other cases the outside of the foot can be lengthened by adding length to the heel bone to raise the arch. A cut is made into the heel bone and a bone graft is placed into the heel bone.

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Picture showing a flat foot of the right foot and the corrected left foot. Picture showing the flat foot on the right foot and the corrected left foot.