Parents keep a watchful eye on their children as they grow and develop, making note of any sign of a potential problem. One issue that we as foot and ankle surgeons like to address early on is pediatric flatfoot, a condition that, if left untreated, can result in permanent deformity in adulthood. Flatfoot deformity can make mobility and exercise painful, increasing the risk of reduced cardiovascular health and obesity. Fortunately, there are easy-to-spot signs that your child may have flatfoot.

Here's what to look for:

  • Pain, tenderness or cramping in the foot, leg or knee
  • Outward tilting of the heel
  • Awkwardness or clumsiness in walking
  • Difficulty with shoes
  • Inability to keep up with playmates
  • Tiring easily from play
  • Voluntary withdrawal from physical activities

If your child is experiencing any of these issues or you have other concerns with your child's feet, make an appointment with our office for a thorough exam. Pediatric flatfoot can usually be treated with stretching exercises, a soft brace, physical therapy, shoe modifications, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation, or an orthotic device that fits inside the shoe and supports the structure of the foot. In some cases, surgery is the best alternative.