Flat foot in children: how to recognize it, what causes it and how to intervene

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Children's flat foot

It is said that parents are often apprehensive (it is said above all of mothers ...) but it is thanks to their constant attention to their children that some problems are identified in time and treated. For example, the flat foot children it may seem like a small thing, yet it should not be underestimated. Let's see together why. 

In this article

  • What is flat foot
  • When to worry about flat feet in children
  • How to notice flat feet
  • Correcting flat feet in children

What is flat foot

flatfoot we mean the flattening of the plantar vault, that is the part of the plant that usually does not touch the ground, often accompanied by the valgopronation of the heel. In young children it is a rather normal condition, especially up to 3 4-years, and usually corrects completely around 6-7 years.

When to worry about flat feet in children

As we said, the flat feet in children it can be a normal condition up to 6 7-years, although it is always worth listening to the opinion of the pediatrician and, if necessary, of the specialist. After this age, however, it is important not to neglect flat feet, which could have other consequences during adolescence and later in adult life. If towards the end of elementary school you realize that flat foot does not return, you need to see your doctor. 

Read also: Clubfoot, what it is and how to cure it

How to notice flat feet

If the presence of the flatfoot or if it seems to you that the child has it, try to observe it in different situations: 

  • when walking barefoot
  • when walking with shoes and the state of wear of these

Also notice if he complains pain on the feet, calves and in general if it seems to get worse when walking or running. 

To have a diagnosis, in addition to the specialist visit, it may be necessary to resort to an x-ray. Sometimes an MRI or CT scan may also be required to study the surrounding soft tissues (muscles, vessels, tendons). 

Correcting flat feet in children

When to the 8 9-years il flatness has not returned, there is no need to worry: in many cases it is possible correct it with physical activity and gymnastics, even non-specific, especially if it were not accompanied by pain. In some cases, it may be necessary to use plantar adequate, especially to limit pain due to incorrect foot positioning. 

At this age, flat feet cannot be expected to go back on their own, so it's really important to get one evaluation accurate with a specialist and intervene immediately. 

Indeed, in the most serious cases and in particular when the child / boy is in pain, it may be necessary a surgical operation which consists of inserting a screw approximately 10mm between the two main bones of the foot, i.e. the calcaneus and talus, making a skin incision. This is an operation that lasts just ten minutes and which aims not only to correct the position of the foot, but also, by reflex, to stimulate a different movement that leads to automatic correction. 

It is important to intervene quickly with one correction, with orthotics or with the insertion of the screw to avoid more serious problems in the future, both related to pains during walking and running, and to avoid other foot defects that could, in turn, have painful consequences, such as the big toe I'm worth. Furthermore, incorrect walking can also affect your back. 

If your child suffers from flat feet, pay attention to sports too: talk to the specialist before choosing the type and frequency of the activity. 

Il flat feet in children it is a common phenomenon that resolves on its own around 6-7 years. But if you see that still at 8-9 the problem has not gone away, talk to a specialist to evaluate what to do. 

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