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Children’s Flat Feet and Poor Performance

Many foot and postural disorders such as flat feet, bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs and degenerative knees, hips and lower backs begin with a faulty foundation that is inherited in our feet, foot type-specific because they widen, flatten and lengthen as we age.

Even if they are not painful, flat feet in children need to be addressed and not “watched” as recommended by many pediatricians. This is because there are non-operative and minimally invasive interventions (The EOTTS Procedure) that can be used in early stages of arch and vault collapse rather than wait into adulthood when only heroic surgery that often fails is the only option. (see photo).

Flat feet also cause predictable poor performance in sports, dance and daily life. It should be easy to understand that a weak and imbalanced foundation pounded 10,000 steps a day cannot be a good thing.

If bunions and foot pain, knee, hip and lower back issues run in your family your children may not be far behind because foot types that flatten over time are inherited. If your child would rather sit and play video games than be active. If, at any age, your child has pain, tiredness, weakness or cannot perform sports and other activity with his/her peers, you owe it to him/her to get a consultation with a Foot Typing Podiatrist practicing biomedical engineering of the feet and lower extremity (The BEFLE Program).

Functional Foot Typing can diagnose where, how much and what treatments should be intervened in order to overcome collapse, weakness and imbalance of the feet even at a very early age. At worst, this will help prevent the predictable collapse of the feet and posture at a faster and more problematic pace.

Some feet have problems in the back (rearfoot), some in the front (forefoot) some in both areas, and some in neither. Using two simple U.S. Patented Tests developed by Dr Sha, our medical director, children can be foot typed and subgrouped in order to offer targeted treatments that reshape the vault (arch) of the foot higher making it a better functional unit.

Nonsurgical treatments are applied on a case to case basis that keeps the foot better posed. To accomplish these Foot Centering strappings, pads and orthotics are incorporated as temporary props that hold the foot in a more vaulted or arched position. This makes the muscle engines whose primary job is to hold the bones of the foot in place more trainable. Once trained and holding the foot more optimally, the straps, pads and orthotics can be weaned away or continued to be used as needed (see photo).

In extreme cases where the foot needs more than the noninvasive care can deliver, a minimally invasive surgical procedure called EOTTS is utilized. In this 10-15 minute procedure, a titanium stent is placed in the pinky toe side of the back part of the foot as a spacer designed to keep the bones of the foot from collapsing. This implant is only used for advanced cases of collapsed flat feet diagnosed as The Flexible Rearfoot, Flexible Forefoot Foot Type.

It cannot be overemphasized how important it is get a consultation for flatfooted children to determine whether or not to intervene with treatment in order to reduce or delay a lifetime of pain, suffering and poor performance from developing.

Email: drsha@lifestylepodiatry.com with your questions.

Lifestyle Podiatry is a podiatry practice tailored to the needs, coverage & pocketbook of every foot. All our doctors accept many different kinds of medical insurance. If one does not, we will accommodate you by allowing another doctor to treat you. Please call us if you have any questions about a particular insurance, as we most likely accept it.

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Call our office at (212) 343-3668 to schedule an appointment. Special arrangements can be made for some procedures & emergency cases.

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