Flat foot syndrome isn’t as bad or uncommon as people might think. It’s primarily seen in children, but some adults also have it. There are both surgical and non-surgical solutions, but is surgery for a flat feet child truly necessary? If your child has flat feet, learn more about the causes and treatment of this issue.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flat foot syndrome is a condition in which the feet have a low or non-existent arch. It can have various causes – from standing too long and injury to genetics, and they can be associated with various other issues.
Is It Normal for Kids to Have Them?
It’s normal for kids to have flat feet. This issue can often resolve on its own as the child grows. Things that help children develop an arch in their feet include sports and regular physical activity.
If your child is active yet still has flat feet, the problem can also be genetic. You don’t need to worry about potential surgeries or treatments until a doctor recommends them.
What Can Lead to Flat Feet in Kids?
Not much can lead to flat feet in kids, as they all have them until they’re around five years old. This is normal since children’s feet need to develop over time; the more they walk, run, and play, the better they’ll get.
About 20% of kids don’t outgrow their flat feet, meaning they don’t develop a natural arch. Things that can lead to this include genetics, hypermobility, and in some cases, diabetes and obesity.
What Are the Symptoms?
Flat feet typically don’t cause any symptoms in kids and adults who have them. However, there are times when this condition does affect people negatively, and surgery becomes necessary.
The symptoms of a (worsening) flat foot syndrome include:
- Pain in the heel and arch area,
- Pain that increases with activity,
- Swelling around the ankles,
- Tight heel cords.
How Can Flat Feet Be Treated?
Most flat feet treatments include non-surgical methods, which are typically used when the pain is minimal and doesn’t cause the child any walking issues. While there are pros and cons to flat feet surgery, it’s better to try non-surgical methods first. They usually include:
- Supportive shoes – kids can wear structurally supportive shoes to improve their foot arch,
- Arch supports – a doctor can prescribe orthotics that relieve pain and reduce symptoms – these can be custom or bought OTC,
- Physical therapy – physical therapists know how to fix flat feet and improve running forms and stances,
- Stretching exercises – learning at-home stretches for the Achilles tendon can help with flat feet,
- Medication – OTC painkillers reduce pain and discomfort caused by flat feet,
- Weight loss – sometimes obesity causes flat feet, and some doctors may recommend diets,
- Resting – high-impact activities like jumping and running can cause pain in the feet. Swimming, walking, and cycling have a similar fitness effect but don’t strain the feet.
Consult Your Surgeon About Surgery for Flat Feet Child
If your child has flat feet, consult a doctor before deciding on adequate treatment. In case of necessary surgery, Luxe Foot Surgery has skilled and professional surgeons in the Miami area.
For information on the procedure and the flat feet surgery recovery time, contact us via email, a free consultation form on our website, or call our office every weekday from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Can Kids Have Flat Foot Surgery?
Kids can have flat foot surgery and other procedures like corn removal. Still, in most flat feet cases in children, surgical procedures aren’t necessary. Non-surgical methods can solve these problems, as kids often recover independently with time.
At What Age Can Flat Feet Be Corrected?
Flat feet are typical in kids below six, but treatment isn’t necessary unless the issue causes complications. In case of pain and walking problems, no matter the age, a doctor should look at them and prescribe therapy.