Pediatric Orthopedics

Flat Foot (Pes Planus)

Flat foot (pes planus)

What is a flat foot?

When the inside arches of feet flattened and entire sole contact with floor, it is called flat foot deformity. It become more obvious when child stands. Many parents are concerned about whether their child has flat foot. The incidence of the deformity is over %90 among children among 2 years, whereas only 4% in  the age group of 10 children.

Is it necessary to seek medical attention for flat foot ?

Many children has flexible type and improves over time. However, children who are suspected of flat soles, orthopedic examination should be done for  differential diagnosis. Rigid flat foot, a short heel cord, valves foot and tarsal coalition are the some of the problems may require treatment.

Which type of pes planus will improve in time?

The child may have a flat sole when he or she is standing, however, if inner arch of foot is formed when he/she is on tip toes, it is called flexible flat foot. Another key point, the heel should be in neutral position when standing and the heels are expected to be inverted on tip toes. Most flexible pes planus deformities will be corrected iby the age of ten years. .

Treatment of flat feet in children

Flexible flat foot deformity described above do not generally require any treatment. However, flat feett secondary to short heel cords, spastic peroneal muscles, and tarsal coalition need to be treated.

Do we need to wear custom made special shoes?

We do not recommend any special custom made shoes for flexible pes planus. Studies have shown that 95 % of children with flat feet grow out of it by the age of ten regardless of treatment. Yet we recommend these children to walk barefeet at home.

When do you recommend to wear special shoes with orthotic supports?

If the children complains about foot or calf pain and get tired easily, orthopedic shoes may be suggested following pediatric orthopedic evaluation.

Does surgery have a role in treatment?

If the deformity is rigid and/or severe causing pain,fatique and shoe fiiting problems, surgical treatment may be necessary. There are several surgical ways to correct the deformity depending of the severity and underlying pathology

Recurrence after surgery?

We do not anticipate any recurrence once the appropiate technique is selected and performed.

About the author

Prof.Dr. Seref Aktas