At Advanced Foot & Ankle Wellness Center, Dr. Wawrzynek diagnoses and treats pediatric foot conditions for newborns, infants, adolescents, and teenagers. The most commonly seen problem with children’s feet is pediatric flat feet. This condition occurs when the child’s foot does not have an arch, and the entire sole of their foot makes contact with the floor.
This condition usually occurs because the child’s foot arch has fallen or has failed to develop. Flat foot in children is a fairly common occurrence, and most children outgrow it by the time they are six. This is because their bones and joints are still extremely flexible.
A flat foot condition might occur due to tightness of the calf muscles or the Achilles tendon. This condition in children does not usually cause any pain or discomfort. However, it can be the cause of unusual fatigue after walking or standing for long periods.
- Some children may experience pain or discomfort in the soles of their feet, the ankle, or the wider foot area during weight bearing, such as walking or running. Other symptoms connected to flat feet can include:
- An outward tilt at the heel
- Awkwardness when walking or change in gait
- Difficulty moving the foot from side to side or up and down
- Pain or tenderness between the foot and knee
- Pain or difficulty when wearing shoes
- Withdrawal from physical activities
- Always wanting to be picked up or complaining they are tired when walking
In most cases, a flat foot in children corrects itself naturally when muscles and soft tissues strengthen. In cases where the flat foot does not correct itself, please do not try treating the condition at home.
A podiatrist with pediatric experience, like Dr. Wawrzynek, has specialized training and knowledge to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment of your child’s flat foot problem. Treatment for flat foot in children can involve:
- Custom Orthotics – Special inserts or shoes that help develop the child’s foot arch may be recommended.
- Physical Therapy – Exercises to stretch and strengthen the Achilles tendon may be helpful. Dr. Wawrzynek may also suggest using Equinus brace stretching to strengthen associated muscles.
- Activity Modification – Changing activities that cause fatigue may be helpful for some children.
Medicines – Inflammation or pain can be treated with over-the-counter medication.