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Flexible Flat Feet

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Flexible Flat Feet

Flexible flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot shrinks or disappears upon standing. Upon sitting or when the child is on tiptoes, the arch reappears. Parents and other family members often worry needlessly that an abnormally low or absent arch in a child's foot will lead to permanent deformities or disabilities. Most children eventually outgrow flexible flatfoot without any problems. The condition usually is painless and does not interfere with walking or sports participation.

Causes of Flat Feet

Painful flat feet in children may be caused by a condition called tarsal coalition. Tarsal coalition is a condition where two or more of the bones in the foot fuse together, limiting motion and often leading to a flat foot. Flat feet can also be caused by fallen arches. Years of wear and tear can weaken the tendon that is responsible for shaping the arch. Fallen arches can also be caused by injury such as inflammation of the tendons in the foot.


A flexible flatfoot has normal muscle function and good joint mobility and is considered to be a variation of normal. As the child grows and walks on it, the foot's soft tissues tighten, shaping its arch gradually. Flexible flatfoot often continues until the child is at least age 5 years or older. If flexible flatfoot continues into adolescence, the child may experience aching pain along the bottom of the foot. A doctor should be consulted if the child's flatfeet cause pain.

Authored By : DR. DAVID V RAJAN

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