Our practice has extensive experience recognising and providing treatment for this extremely common condition. Before the age of seven, many children’s feet are still growing, and may have a flatfoot as the arch is still developing. This means it can be a normal part of development requiring no intervention to correct. However, when a child has a severe flatfoot or one due to a congenital deformity such as a tarsal coalition, they may require treatment even at a young age.
In cases where there is a loss of flexibility, or the flatfoot is particularly severe, parents are encouraged to bring their child for an appointment with our specialists. This would allow us to assess if intervention is beneficial or if there are any underlying congenital issues.
After about seven years of age, the arch in many children should be developed enough for us to make an assessment. As children become older they may experience aches and pains in the arch during periods of increased activity, and in these cases an insole may be beneficial. Where the insole is insufficient to correct the symptoms or deformity, surgical intervention may be an option.
Traditional flatfoot surgery in children
The traditional means of correcting a flatfoot in a child would involve an osteotomy or cutting of the bones for realignment to form an arch. Sometimes, a bone graft needs to be harvested from the child’s hip to correct the foot. Post-operative rehabilitation in many cases would need a cast and a relatively long period of not being able to weight bear on the foot. This has made traditional means of correcting a flatfoot in a child relatively unpopular.
Arthroereisis (minimally invasive flatfoot correction)
This is a procedure that has been used since the 1980’s in Europe for the correction of flatfeet in children. It has more recently been introduced into Singapore. It involves the insertion of a small titanium implant into the sinus tarsi region of the foot. The device acts like an internal splint to the foot and ‘creates’ an arch in this manner. As the child grows, the implant allows the ligaments to rebalance and a natural arch to form. This has the advantage of being minimally invasive and allows fast rehabilitation post-operatively. There is also no need for an osteotomy or cutting of the foot bones and does not need bone graft to be harvested from the child’s hip. Please see our media article/release on day surgery correction of flatfeet.
If you’d like to learn more about this condition or require a consultation, please get in contact with our clinic on 6734 8168 or send an email to email@example.com.