Small children may appear to have flat feet but in reality the feet are growing and have the commonly known as ‘flat and fat”. Unless there is evidence of severe pathologies, I avoid treatment of flatfeet for children under four years. I recommend choosing good, supportive gym shoes with appointments every six months to monitor the child’s foot development.
I treat every case individually, with no hard and fast plan for treatment that applies to all children. Severe pain can be an indication of the need to apply at least conservative treatment to get relief for the child.
Conservative treatment for my patients includes evaluation for equinus with a treatment protocol to get relief from the equinus as a place to begin. I will consult with the parents because when they are better informed the treatment plan I’m setting up will make sense to them. Parents need to know that I do take their child’s condition seriously; that not treating the child can have ramifications, but that conservative treatment has potential for success.
We begin with the equinus treatment first using orthoses and braces as needed. Because children grow fast, we monitor the progress on a monthly basis. Using flexible and adjustable braces with optimum times would be the first treatment; progress would determine if the orthoses will be added or if using the brace will be adequate.
Once the adequate progress has been achieved, children who want to participate in sports activity may need continued maintenance treatment with use of the brace at least once a week.
Treating the equinus for pediatric flatfeet, followed by external support will bring improved outcomes which will benefit your patient — the most important part of the deal. I discuss the treatment of pediatric equinus with flatfeet more in a post at Podiatry Today, stressing that we are dedicated to the patient.
If you have any concerns about your child’s feet, please contact Hoosier Foot and Ankle for an evaluation appointment. There are conditions that respond positively to early conservative treatment, meaning we can avoid radical treatment later or have permanent conditions that can only be lived with. You can call 317-660-2115 for an appointment or use the online appointment request option where you can also leave a detailed message about your concerns. That request goes directly to my phone. Someone from the office will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your appointment.