A common condition in children, flexible flat foot is characterized by absence of the foot arch while standing. When the child is off their feet, the arch reappears. Many children are born with flat feet and they will outgrow it as they get older. This condition always affects both feet and is usually not painful or activity altering. However, children may experience foot pain if this condition does not resolve by adolescence. Painful flatfeet should be evaluated by a doctor.
Your doctor will examine your child’s foot and gait pattern to rule out other conditions such as a tight Achilles tendon or a rigid flat foot. X-rays may be ordered to rule out any bone abnormalities.
Most children will outgrow their flat feet. Recreational activities and sports should not be limited because of this condition. Rarely, surgery to restore foot alignment may be considered if the adolescent has persistent and painful flat feet.