The most common flatfoot condition we see is the flexible flatfoot. Flexible flatfoot presents itself when your child’s arch disappears when standing but reappears when sitting or on tiptoes.
Although parents often worry that flatfeet will lead to a permanent disability, the fact is that many children with flexible flatfeet will eventually outgrow them—and for those children who do not outgrow them, most will never have any pain or problems with activities such as walking or sports.
In some children there may be aching pain in the bottom of the foot, especially during adolescence Treatment for a painful flexible flatfoot is required only when there is discomfort. Some common recommended treatment options include:
- Specific stretching exercises
- Special shoe inserts
- Physical therapy
Rarely, surgical treatment is necessary to address persistent pain.
A less common form of flatfoot is the rigid flatfoot. This differs from flexible flatfoot in that the arch does not reappear when sitting or on tiptoes. Several abnormalities in the joints of the hindfoot can lead to a rigid flatfoot, and an evaluation by a pediatric foot specialist is recommended.