Flat feet change the shape of one or both feet of a child. The child with flat feet does not have normal arch in standing position. Some children with flat feet even find it difficult to wear shoes comfortably. However, the symptoms of flat feet differ from one individual to another. Some children with flat foot do not show any symptoms, whereas others experience pain.
Flat foot is normal in toddlers and infants. Most children are even born with underdeveloped arches of feet. The arches keep developing gradually as a child grows. But arches of some children do not develop as they grow. The underdeveloped arches cause flat feet. At the same time, flat feet can also be caused if the tendon is weakened due to injury or wear and tear.
Some children with flat feet do not experience any pain. But there are many children who experience foot pain, ankle pain, or lower leg pain due to flat feet. Hence, often parents find it difficult to identify the symptoms of flat feet precisely. But the parents must get the feet of their child examined by a skilled orthopaedic to identify the symptoms immediately.
A skilled orthopaedic can easily diagnose flat feet by observing the child’s feet from both front and back. Also, he will ask the child to stand on his toes to identify the type of flat feet. However, the orthopaedic recommend imaging tests if the child experiences pain due to flat. The physician will diagnose the deformity based on X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound reports. Hence, the orthopaedic diagnose flat feet through both observation and imaging tests.
Normally, the experienced orthopaedic do not treat flat foot if the child does not experience pain. But they try to treat flat feet in the initial stages by making the child wear supporting shoes, perform stretching exercise, and undergoing physical therapy. Also, they alleviate the pain experienced by the child by suggesting custom designed arch supports. The experienced orthopaedic treat flat feet surgically only if the initial treatments fails. They perform surgery to correct the flat foot and related problem.
The child with flat feet has to wear supporting shoes or perform stretching exercise for specific period. But the orthopaedic has to observe and examine the flat feet regularly to assess the effectiveness of the initial treatment. The orthopaedic will require the child to rest his foot for a specific number of days after performing the surgery. However, many doctors avoid performing surgery and continue initial treatment for a prolonged period.