18 answers

Flat Feet

My youngest daughter has flat feet when she stands up strait her ankles bow in like )( that. Should I worry or have her checked? It dosent seem to bother her but she does tip-toe alot.

What can I do next?

More Answers

all babies are born with flat feet, and all children have them until they are around 4-5 years old.
there is no arch as such in the foot until then.
thats not to say youre child may not have a problem. if the rolling in or "pronation" is really marked it can be a sign of a condition called ligamentous laxity - used to be called double jointed. being flat footed can also be hereditary, and usually does not cause problems - it used to be thought that it would cause hip and knee pain, but now it is know that the other joints in the body will "compensate" for the flat feet and to try and correct the condition will actually cause pain in other joints - there are other neurological conditions which will cause flat feet, and they are usually accompanied by what is called a slapping gait, or a lack of control over placing the feet on the floor.
do other joints in her body seem abnormally flexible?
toe walking (technical term is ankle equinus) is another problem - and if she does that a lot it should definately be checked out - habitual toe walking can shorten the calf muscles and lead to long term problems, and can be an indicator of neurological problems.
so when you say tip toes a lot - do you mean all the time, or just sometimes.
if your daughter has any of these signs you should take her to a podiatrist and have her evualuated.

hope this helps (podiatrist for 12 years)

2 moms found this helpful

My son was born with club feet, so we've spent some time with orthopedists. I would say yes, you need to have her at least checked out. Let the doctor decide what steps if any need to be taken. I do know that there is a window of opportunity...young bones and ligaments are more easily fixed.
tess

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.! My husband and both 12 & 8 yr-old girls have flat feet. When my 12-yr old was 6, she toe-walked and complained of leg cramps. Her pediatrician referred her to a podiatrist who made custom arch supports which easily insert in her shoes. The arch supports provide support to her arch, foot, heel, leg and back, and help to eliminate the bowing and minimize the cramping and toe-walking caused by the "rolling" of the legs when walking, running, etc. The podiatrist also showed us important leg stretches she should do on an almost daily basis. Toe-walking, over an extended period of time, especially during major growth spurts, can cause shortened calf muscles. He recommended tennis shoes with the higher arches inside, the heavier the shoe, the better. Best not to wear: flip flops, sandals, minimal arch shoes or go barefoot.

After visiting the doctor recently, my husband had to start wearing store-bought gel supports in his shoes due to back and leg pains. His flat feet were "rolling" in or "bowing" due to lack of arch support. This bowing becomes a lifelong habit, hard to break, with painful and lasting results on the muscles, bones and joints, and "walking like a duck" as my husband sometimes does.

I would highly recommend you address the bowing and toe-walking issues while your child is young, and not dismiss them as just a phase. While adult supports can be bought over-the-counter, children's supports should be handled through a podiatrist. Hope this is helpful. :~)

1 mom found this helpful

YES!!!!, get it checked out, it is not a big deal when you take care of it, but not taking care of it now can cause real problems later.
My daughter started "falling' one second she was walking next to me the next she would be on the floor. The doctor said it was due to flat feet, her knees ankles and hips all play a part in keeping her on her feet. the Orthopedic specialist at the brace shop said her next step would continual sprains and possibly broken ankles. The solution is easy she wears specially molded inserts in her shoes. The hard part is that she is a girlie girl and loves shoes. now she can only wear athletic shoes with good support, she's getting used to it, and we have been able to find some cute athletic shoes, and sometimes you can take out the shoes insert and replace it with hers. Since her feet are still growing she will need new inserts every time her feet grow.
get it done soon, and don't take no as an answer from your doctor.
My husband also has flat feet and he ended up having very painful foot surgery, he could not even touch his toes to the ground for 12 weeks....they had to break the bone in his foot, take part of it out, and replace it with screws, now he can't jump or hardly run for fear of breaking the screw.
not taking care of it can cause problems with her knees, ankles, and hips later on.

1 mom found this helpful

My foster brother has this problem when he came to live with us at 16...and had to have both knees done (knee replacement surgery)at 16 yrs old. He had special inserts made to go in his shoes to give him an arch. I would get your girl evaluated by your pediatrician and then see what they suggest. Stop future issues now. {{{{hugs}}}}

1 mom found this helpful

I must agree with both previous posters! I have a friend with flat feet, and she has constant knee and ankle problems!

My suggestion is both of what the previous posters have said... use StrideRites (expensive but worth it!) and at the next appointment/well-check mention it to your doctor and see what they can do to help.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,
I agree with the two previous posts and I would just add there are some ways to exercise the feet which a pediatrician should probably know about (or send you to a special "feet" doctor). Also it is recommended to wear good supportive shoes at home as well since walking barefoot on the flat surface is not helping the feet. Introducing cute Stride Rite sandals as house-shoes is what I have done. A great exercise for feet is walking barefoot in sand for example, too bad we don't live close to the beach... I wish you good luck, I know we all want our kids to be perfect.

Have a great day.
L.

1 mom found this helpful

I would probably get it checked. It may be nothing, but these type of things are much easier to correct the earlier you start, and only get worse the longer they go on. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would have it checked out. I didn't have flat feet, but I did tip-toe when I was young, and am now sitting here in a cast because it caused my achilles tendons to be very short and one of them tore several weeks ago. So, just to be safe, have her Dr. check it out.

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest has flat feet and it runs in my family. You should take her to a foot doctor because she may need to wear orthotic inserts in her shoes. My son wore them for a while and now he doesn't have to but I have to take him back to get him checked on from time to time. She shouldn't wear flip flops or sandals as they make it worse. You need to pay attention to the arches in her shoes too. The doctor will tell you all of this. My next two children have a tendency towards it so I try to have them avoid sandals too. It isn't easy with girls, I know.

1 mom found this helpful

My sons, husband, and even my dad have the same problem, except that their legs bow in the opposite direction, and they do experience pain from time to time. I did take my son to an orthopedic doctor when he was 2, he said that it could be his age and if he sat on his legs alot, so i have stopped that but it still continues, they also took xrays on his legs and saw that his legs were different sizes (everyones is, but his is more so). He told me that if it continued to bring him back, because they dont really like to do anything on children that young, unless needed so i have to take him back to the ortho dr to see whats next. I know that isnt too much help, but maybe you could talk to her dr and get her an appt with the ortho doc and if things need to be corrected to do it now before she gets too much older and it really starts to bother her. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I have flat feet, so I don't believe it's anything to worry about. If you have a concern, the next time you take your child to the doctor, ask him/her about it. But, frankly it's not an issue.

1 mom found this helpful

I myself have flat feet and I only hope that my children don't inherit it. Having flat feet does make the ankles bend in some which in turn also messes up the knees. (I have both of these wonderful issues) The best thing that you could do right now is always put her in good supporting shoes. This will put her foot in the proper position (with an arch) which will in turn help support her ankles. I have heard that Striderites are the best but I don't know first hand. Always make sure that a shoe has a good arch in in.

This is not something that you have to rush to the doctor for, but I would definitely bring it up the next time you go for a check up just to see what his/her recommendations are.

1 mom found this helpful

I would ask the pediatrician about it. My three year old son has the same thing and we are watching him closely. As he grows, it should get better but if it does not, we will take him to a pediatric orthopedic. I was advised that the ortho does not like to do anything about it if they are not in pain but since she is a little older than mine, I would get your pediatrician's or an orthopedic's advice.

1 mom found this helpful

Please have your daughters feet checked flat feet can lead to knee problems with time and there are things that can be done.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,
Well, I am a mother of 3 and my advise to you is, if you are concerned enough about it that you are asking others, you should ease your mind and have it looked at. I have a great Chiropractor that I would HIGHLY recommend. My 14 year old is pretty flat footed and has some back pain now...so check it out. Trust your instinct. Take care, K.

1 mom found this helpful

My youngest son, now 33, has flat feet, too. He was about your daughter's age when I took him to an Orthopedic doctor. They put orthotics in his shoes and he's worn them ever since. Orthotics are hard, usually plastic inserts for shoes that give some arch support to the foot they have to be changed as the foot grows. He says that they make his back feel better. I guess flat feet makes your back hurt. He has always been very athletic and runs, etc. I believe the orthotics help that. I'd take her to a doctor and see. Perhaps the advice has changed in the last 25 years.

1 mom found this helpful

Also remember, there is a difference between a fallen arch and flat feet. I have been told that all children have flat feet until they are two or three, but that is very incorrect. I have a 2 year old son who has truly flat feet and my best friend has a daughter 3 months older than he is. She has a VERY pronounced arch that is very noticable. My older brother has a fallen arch, which can generally be helped, but flat feet run in my family for generations. I have them, my mom, my grand and so on. I am going to get help for my son's feet now while he is still young and his bones are still forming and soft enough to be corrected or helped some. The best person to ask about this is your child's pediatrician. They will be able to tell you what is going on, what is necessary and how to proceed and if you need to contact an Ortho. Living with flat feet makes a lot of things difficult especially if its a girl, because wearing high heels is almost always out of the question. Just continue to stay on top it and work with your Pediatrician.

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