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Flexible flatfoot is considered a variation of a normal foot. Most children are born with very little arch in their feet. As children grow and walk, the soft tissues along the bottom of the feet begin to tighten. This creates the shape of the arch.
Children with flexible flatfoot often do not begin to develop an arch until age 5 or older. Some children never develop an arch.
The muscles and joints of a flexible flatfoot should function normally. It is usually painless and does not interfere with walking or sports participation.
If you think your child may have flexible flatfoot, you may request to have an orthopedic specialist examine his or her feet. The orthopedist may want to do an X-ray to see the bones of the foot more clearly.
In many cases, special shoes and arch supports are not necessary. Only a few cases of flatfoot may need surgical correction when a child is older, but this is rare.
Your child's pediatrician will monitor the condition over the years if there is any concern that the condition could interfere with your child's ability to walk later in life.
Visit the following online resources to learn more about flatfoot.
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