To avoid potential long term issues treatment is key.
As a Podiatrist one of the most common questions I get asked by parents is
‘My child has flat feet, but they will grow out of it, right?
The simple answer is no.
There is no evidence that given time childrens feet magically correct themselves. Research actually shows that failure to intervene will result in symptoms getting worse.
The majority of flat feet are correctable in early life. Early intervention can prevent and reduce lower limb conditions. Orthotic therapy can be a short to mid-term intervention, not all patients require lifelong orthotics.
Justin Greisberg MD, orthopedic surgeon and chief of the foot and ankle service at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, said
‘the most important treatment for the adult flatfoot is prevention. If the at-risk foot can be identified, early intervention might prevent the deformity.’
To simply monitor flat feet in children is a clinical mistake which may result in limited or no corrective treatment possible in later life.
There are no long-term studies to support the view that flat feet spontaneously resolve. There is however published data that suggests children’s flat feet get flatter with time and eventually lead to painful adult flat feet.
Children with flat feet also have a higher body mass index (BMI) compared with their peers. They are also limited in their ability to participate in sports or activities that require dynamic movement.
Early intervention is key to preventing long term consequences of poor foot and ankle mechanics. Just in the same way we correct childrens eyesight with glasses and straighten teeth with braces, clinicians need to identify those feet that require timely intervention to improve patient outcomes in the future.
At Dungannon Foot Clinic we offer a full paediatic gait analysis and musculoskeletal assessment to identify which feet need orthotic managment. We have a range of insoles/ orthoses to meet the needs of each individual child. If you have any concerns regarding your childs feet we are here to offer you expert advice and treatment.