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  • 2/8/2013

Flat Feet in Children

babies feet

Many parents are worried that their child might have flat feet. This condition occurs when the foot doesn't have a normal arch. Feet that have a low arch or no arch at all are called flat feet, or fallen arches.

Don’t worry if your baby’s foot looks flat, because all babies' feet are flat. Arches form by the time child is 2 or 3 years old. Flat feet at this age rarely require any treatment. Flat feet in children occur with high frequency, and treatment is somewhat controversial. Some pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons will tell you that flat feet are normal and that the child will grow out of flat feet.

Causes

In many people, flat-footedness is just the shape the foot is. It may be a hereditary condition. Flat feet are caused by loose joint connections between the foot bones. When this happens, the arch falls when your child stands up. You should know that the foot is made up of 26 bones held together by 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Lax ligaments can also cause flat feet.

Symptoms

Some children with flat feet feel an ache in the arch, around the ankle or down the outer side of the foot. A small percentage of children have feet so flat that they have symptoms either of pain, or a dislike for physical activities like running.

Children with very over-pronated feet tend to wear shoes out very quickly. Your child may feel foot or ankle pain. If your child is older, flat feet can cause pain in the heel or arch when the child is walking and running. If your child complains of such pain you should them to a doctor. Doctor will look at your child's feet to make sure that the pain isn't caused by a problem in the hip or the knee. The doctor will tell you what the problem is just by looking at your child's feet. Only when the foot is very flat some sort of treatment is required.

How to know if your child has flat feet

Children’s feet come in a variety of shapes, from high arch to extremely flat. When your child gets out of a swimming pool, look at the footprint left on the concrete. If the foot is flat, then the strip is the same width as the front of the foot, creating a footprint that looks like a stretched out pancake.

Take the child’s shoes, and put them on a flat table and view them at eye level from behind. Flat feet will cause more wear on the inside of the sole, especially in the heel area. Both shoes should wear out about the same way.

If you think that your child has flat feet, take them to a doctor. The doctor will perform an examination, observing the feet from the front and the back, and ask the child to stand on toes so he or she can view the mechanics of the feet. When a child between ages 6 and 10 has flat feet, and a flexible flat foot is confirmed, immediate intervention is necessary to encourage normal development of the longitudinal arch, and to prevent spinal postural deformities

To view the interior structure and bones of a child’s feet, the doctor may request imaging which may include an X-ray, a computerized tomography scan or a magnetic resonance imaging scan.

Source: rafed.net


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