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Flat Feet

Parents and carers are often concerned about the shape of an infants foot.

Terms often used include "dropped arches" or "walking on the inside of the foot".

This usually causes no problems for the child but may cause shoes to wear quickly.

The height of the foot arch varies from person to person and indeed from age to age. It often reflects the childs flexibility which may be evident in other joints. As children age and become less flexible the arch becomes more obvious.

The presence of the arch can be confirmed by asking the child to walk on tip toes. This will accentuate a flattened arch and confirm if it is actually present.

Using insoles

An insole will not improve the appearance of the arch but may help with footwear if shoes become mis-shapen rapidly due to the shape of the flexible flat foot. 

A medial wedge insole can be obtained from most chemists or from internet retail outlets without orthopaedic assessment. 

Surgery is very rarely required and is reserved for teenagers who have major problems with shoewear.

Orthopaedic assessment for flexible flat feet is advised in those over 6 years of age who have tried medial wedge insoles without any benefit.