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How are flat feet in children diagnosed?

When you first have an appointment about your child's flat feet, the pediatric orthopedic surgeon will conduct a physical examination of the foot and will observe children standing, sitting and walking. These specialists are well versed in the bones and structure of children’s feet, and they know best how arches should develop and function.

If flat feet are present, the doctor will likely order an x-ray. Occasionally, additional imaging and tests are needed to determine the severity and details of the flat feet.

After diagnosis, treatment options can vary. Children with asymptomatic flat feet—when there’s no pain or difficulty walking—typically only need periodic checkups. Children with symptomatic flat feet, however, may need surgical intervention and additional care.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.