Thursday, April 1, 2010

Myth: All babies have flat feet

There is nothing more important for parents than the health of their child. While visits to the pediatrician are common, the wellness of those tiny feet and toes are often overlooked.

When a young child starts to first walk at about the age of 9-15 months of age, the foot has a fat or chubby appearance where there is a less bony architecture apparent in the foot. At this point in the development of the foot, it is very difficult to evaluate whether the child will have future problems with a flatfoot deformity.

At the ages of two and three, the child's foot starts to show more of its characteristic shape since the foot is less fat and the bones are more prominent. If the child has flat feet at the ages of two to three, then it is wise to have the foot examined by a foot specialist such as a podiatrist. Early detection of foot ailments can eliminate a lifetime of pain.

Children with flat feet are known to have foot pain and if left untreated, the pain may lead to future foot ailments and possible joint pain. Children typically do not grow out of having a flat foot, but if detected early children’s flat feet can be corrected simply through special braces, shoes, or with insoles. Treating a child’s flat foot not only aids in the prevention of future foot pain. Early detection can allow for permanent correction of foot deformities.

Things to watch for:
Since flat feet deformities causes instability of the foot while walking, children with flat feet may complain about discomfort in the foot arch, heel, or ankle pain. The discomfort is often aggravated with increased standing, walking, or running activities. However, since the excessive rolling inward of the arches may also make the leg and knee more turned inwards, children with flat feet may also complain of pain in the low back, hip, knee, or leg due to the abnormal mechanics of the foot which is created by the flat foot deformity.

If you think your child may have flat feet see a podiatrist.  Some thing that seems so trivial can potential save your child from years of grief. To learn more about flat foot deformities check out our link foot deformities

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