Do You Have a Flat Feet?

By Dr. Nargesh Agarwal in Paediatric (Ped) Orthopaedics

Feb 16 , 2018 | 1 min read

Flat feet (also called pes planus or fallen arches) is a postural deformity in which the gap between foot and the floor collapse, with the entire sole of the foot coming into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. Flat feet may involve either one or both the feet of a child. Children with flat feet have abnormal shoe wear and tear. However, the symptoms of flat feet differ from one individual to another. Some children with flat foot do not show any symptoms, whereas others experience pain.

What are its causes?

  • Physiological
  • Idiopathic
  • Hyperlaxity
  • Oblique/Vertical Talus
  • Inter-tarsal bar

Flat foot is normal in toddlers and infants. Most children are even born with underdeveloped arches of feet. The arches keep developing gradually as a child grows.

Are there any Symptoms?

Sometimes it remains unnoticed as children with flat feet do not experience any pain. But there are many children who experience foot pain, ankle pain, or lower leg pain due to flat feet. Hence, often parents find it difficult to identify the symptoms of flat feet precisely. But the parents must get the feet of their child examined by a skilled orthopaedic to identify the symptoms immediately.

Is there any diagnosis available?

Clinical examination is the most important part of the diagnosis. A skilled orthopaedic can easily diagnose flat feet by observing the child’s feet from both front, side and back. One should always check for sign of hyperlaxity and should ask the child to stand on his toes to identify the type of flat feet. Sometimes x-rays give us an idea about pathological flat feet like bar, vertical talus, oblique talus.

Can a corrective treatment be given?

Orthopaedician always try to treat flat feet in the initial stages by making the child wear supporting shoes, perform stretching exercise, and undergoing physical therapy. Also, they alleviate the pain experienced by the child by suggesting custom designed arch supports/shoes. Surgery needed only in case of failed conservative treatment and pathological causes of flat foot.


Q: - What is hyperlaxicity? How can I correct this?

A: - Hyperlaxicity is laxity of joint either because of poor nutrition or genetic causes. Good nutrition and physical therapy can improve it to some extent.