Childrens Podiatry

Children with Flat Feet

There are two main types of flat foot deformity and determining which is present is the first and most important step and why it’s important to see a Podiatrist at Elite Foot Care.

Flexible Flatfoot
This is the more common presentation of the two and is determined firstly by checking the amount of movement available through the different joints within the foot.

Aside from joint range of motion, a flexible flat foot may be identified by comparing the arch height when seated compared to when they stand.  

When a child sits in a relaxed position, it will appear as though they have a relatively good arch contour, however upon standing this disappears and the arch looks flat like a pancake.

Another common appearance is that when looking from behind, the child’s ankles may appear to be turning inwards to the ground.

Flexible flat feet may often be genetic; many parents can identify their child’s foot may look like another family members. However, it may also be linked with joint hypermobility, which is where structures such as ligaments, which hold the bones of the foot in position are too stretchy.

Flexible flatfoot may be asymptomatic in some children, however does has the potential to cause injuries and overuse conditions down the track if not properly assessed and treated.

Rigid Flatfoot
Rigid flatfoot is definitely less common, however usually has a more serious background issue arising from abnormal foot development; it is also often painful and frequently requires treatment.

Unlike flexible flatfoot, the joint range of motion through the main joint in rear-foot does not have the correct amount of motion, if any.

In rigid flatfoot cases, when the child stands on their tip toes the heel will not return to a normal position and the arch generally will not change and will remain just as flat as when sitting or standing.

Both flexible and rigid flat feet are commonly linked with other foot and lower limb problems, which is why it is important to assess as early as possible.

If you’ve noticed your child, or someone in your family has a foot similar in appearance to what I have described above, or they are complaining of ongoing pain, it is important they call Elite Foot Care for an appointment and assessment at our Woombye or Sippy Downs Podiatry clinics.