Pediatric Flatfoot: When Do You Treat It?

In recent years, there has been much discussion over what criteria should prompt the treatment of pediatric flatfoot and when one should not treat it. This author discusses the consequences of pediatric flatfoot, the pathomechanics of the condition and recommendations for when one should treat it.

Perhaps the most controversial current topic in pediatric foot care is the debate over how to decide when treatment is warranted for pediatric flatfoot. The controversy rages most loudly when the flat foot in question is without classic symptoms such as pain.

It is easier to get agreement that a child with a symptomatic flatfoot should receive treatment. No one thinks a child in pain should be left untreated, especially given the myriad of options we have to relieve that pain. In that subgroup, the controversy is often over what type of treatment — off-the-shelf devices or custom orthoses — the child should receive.