Flatfoot is a condition that can affect both adults and children. In children, it is called “pediatric flatfoot.” When a child has pediatric flatfoot, the arch of the foot shrinks or disappears when he or she stands. The arch reappears when the child sits or stands on tiptoe. This is called flexible pediatric flatfoot.
Most children who have pediatric flatfoot are born with the condition, though it may not appear for a few years. Children will usually outgrow pediatric flatfoot on their own by the age of five.
A second, more rare kind of pediatric flatfoot is called rigid flatfoot. With this condition, the arches do not reappear when the child sits or stands on tiptoe.
What are the symptoms of pediatric flatfoot?
Most children with pediatric flatfoot have no symptoms. A parent or caregiver usually notices the condition.
Symptoms children may experience include:
Pain, tenderness, and/or cramping in the feet or legs, especially along the bottom of the feet
Heels that tilt outward
A change in walking
Pain or discomfort while walking
Parents may also notice their child withdrawing from sports and other physical activities that may cause pain in their feet and legs.
If your child experiences any of these symptoms, you should consult with your pediatrician.
Children affected by rigid flatfoot may experience more severe symptoms. Those affected with tarsal coalition, an abnormal joining of two bones in the feet, may begin to experience symptoms at preadolescence.
Children with a condition called congenital vertical talus, which causes a rigid rocker bottom appearance, may begin to experience symptoms at walking age.
How is pediatric flatfoot diagnosed?
Your pediatrician can usually diagnose pediatric flatfoot. In this case there is a simply and quickly examination for locate in real time the problem and is very indicate because it’s a diagnostic non invasive examination indicate for baby, pregnant and old people. It’s Baropodometric Examination.
Baropodometric test is very common used by doctors, orthopedic traumatology specialized, sports medicine and orthopedics technicians. It’s a new technology in the non-invasive medicine field and it’s possible diagnose several pathologies such as: flat feet, claw-foot, diabetic foot, equine foot
The foot pressure recording and gait analysis system the test, allows the pressure distribution on the human foot to be captured and displayed quickly and precisely, while standing or while walking.
The test show information on the pressure between the foot’s surface and the land, assess in scrutinized way the step.
Many clinical issues concerning the objective and quantitative analysis of pressure distribution, pressure peaks, and asymmetries movement as well as the rollover behavior are recorded to help diagnose foot malformations or functional limitations of the lower extremities.
The direction of travel can be set in the software along one axis to allow for time-saving dynamic measurements in two directions.
The high-frequency measurement of the body’s centre of gravity provides additional information about neurological issues and extends the range of application to sports.
The test develop in two phases:
The patient walks barefoot on the platform, the pressure permit to verify the weight movement during the walk.
The patient standing on the platform. In phase we identify the body’s centre of gravity and analyzed the foot’s surface.
How is pediatric flatfoot treated?
In most cases, children outgrow pediatric flatfoot without treatment. Unless the child is experiencing pain, your physician may recommend a wait-and-watch approach. You will be asked to bring your child for periodic re-evaluations.
If the child is experiencing pain, the physician may recommend hard or soft shoe inserts to support the arch. He or she may also create a custom orthotic device to fit into your child’s shoe to help support the arch and relieve the pain. In older children and adolescents, stretching exercises and physical therapy may provide relief.
In rare cases, surgery may be needed to treat pediatric flatfoot. This is more common with rigid flatfoot and in children who continue to experience pain despite non-surgical approaches. Several different types of surgery can be done, depending on the child’s age, type of flatfoot, and the degree of his or her deformity.