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Flat Feet
(Pes Planus)

You have probably noticed that when your child is standing, his/her feet appear flat, without an arch. The physician has diagnosed your child as having Flexible Flat Feet or Pes Planus. This is a very common, normal, painless condition, which does not require treatment.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flat Feet, or the lack of an apparent arch when standing, may be due to lax ligaments in the feet or a family history. Babies generally have fat pads over the instep of their feet, giving the appearance of a flat foot. With development, the soft tissues of the foot tighten, creating an arch. Most flat feet disappear by 2-3 years of age.

A very simple test will help determine if your child has flexible flat feet. Have your child stand on his/her toes and observe for the arch to appear. If an arch is not present, your child may have "rigid flat feet".

What Is the Treatment for Flat Feet?

Flexible flat feet require ONLY observation and time to correct. For older children in whom flat feet persist to teens, soft arch supports may be worn. These provide only comfort and do not correct the foot. Corrective shoes and bracing also do not correct the foot. Rarely is surgery ever needed.

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions:

1. Flexible flat feet are a common, painless condition.

2. Corrective shoes or supports are an UNNECESSARY expense and will not improve flexible flat feet.

3. Shoe sales persons may tell you expensive shoes will help your child walk better, but this is not true. Regular, inexpensive shoes may be worn.

4. Flexible flat feet will not interfere with your child's ability to learn to walk.