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Ryan has flat foot ??

April 20, 2007

Last weekend Aunty Flo, Uncle W and Oliver were down for their Easter vacations. They also were in town to oversea the renovation plans to their new place. They noticed that Ryan was flat footed. Uncle W and Micheal  are flat footed. This is new to me as I never knew that.  Anyway since I know this information I have been reading up on this condition and how to help prevent leg/knee injury in Ryan. We may be getting him some flat foot insoles or orthopaedic shoes.  

It has been stated in  the articles that I have read that : Most children are flat-footed until they are between the ages 3 and 5 when their longitudinal arch develops normally.The foot arches do not fully form until about six or seven years of age.

At this website :- http://www.flatfoot.com/WhatAreFF.htm it explained the following

 Possible symptoms and effects over time

SHORT OR TIGHT ACHILLES TENDON
The Achilles’ Tendon and Plantar Fascia (ligament) are both attached to the calcaneus (heel bone). The illustration shows what these look like in a normal arched foot. With age, the Achilles’ Tendon shortens and pulls up on the calcaneus, forcing the arch to flatten out and the foot to elongate (illustration B). When the foot elongates, the Plantar Fascia is stretched much more than normal. The stress on the Plantar Fascia can cause it to tear which leads to Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs.

LOWER BACK PAIN
Lower back pain is usually caused by a strain to the Sciatic Nerve. The Sciatic Nerve starts at the lower back and makes its way down the leg to the foot. Strain on the nerve is often caused by the repetitive shock produced by running and is magified by the improper biomechanical action of over-pronation.

ANKLE TURNED IN
Flat feet tend to over-pronate (roll-inward) which places a lot of stress on the tendons and ligaments of the ankle. This in turn weakens the tendons and ligaments causing the ankle to turn inward.

OVER-PRONATION
Pronation is normal and allows the foot to become flexible in order to adapt to the ground and absorb shock. Over-pronation occurs when the foot and ankle excessively roll inward. In many cases the destructive forces of over-pronation can lead to trauma of the foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back.

INCREASED FOOT SIZE
As the arch falls, the foot gets longer. There isn’t any real growth, but the flattening of the arch lengthens the foot. The foot can also become wider.

SHOE BREAK-DOWN & TREAD WEAR
A symptom to watch for is abnormal shoe wear. People with flat feet typically have shoes that break down the inside wall of the heel counter and outsoles (tread) that excessively wear down on the outside edge of the heel as well as the inside edge of the forefoot.

ANKLE ROCKING
People with flat feet tend to have tired feet & legs due to their muscles trying to compensate for their condition. You will often see people with flat feet rocking to the outsides of their feet and ankles while standing to relieve stress and strain.

BUNIONS
A bunion is a deformity of the big toe that is misaligned at the joint causing it to angle outward 10 to 15 degrees. Bunions can be hereditary or can be caused by other factors like having flat feet. In countries where shoes are not worn, bunions rarely exist.

CALLUSES (thick skin)
As the big toe loses its flexibility, it transfers pressure inward and calluses may develop on the sole of the foot under the second toe.

HAMMER TOE

As the angle of the big toe increases inwards, it slides under the second toe, forcing the metatarsal bone to rise up and create a hammer toe.

On another Q & A website(http://www.pgh.com.sg/news-130405-ST-doctalk.jsp) it mentioned the following

 Everyone is born with flat feet. The foot arches do not fully form until about six or seven years of age.

Some who are loose-jointed may never develop a proper arch. The majority of these are really ‘flexible’ flat feet. By this I mean that, when they stand, the foot looks flat because the inner arch has ‘collapsed’ onto the floor surface.

However when one sits on a chair and dangles one’s feet, the arch is ‘restored’. ‘Fixed’ flat feet are those that have no arches even when dangling their feet.

This condition almost always affects both feet and runs in families. Look at your own feet. Few people (even fewer children) actually complain of foot pain just because their feet are flat. In fact, many painful feet have normal arches.

There is no need to consult any specialist unless your children actually limp when they walk or after light exercise, like PE lessons at school.

In a few children, flat feet cause problems with shoes. First look on the underside of their shoes.

In ‘fixed’ flat feet, the sole will be worn on the inner sides. Some even have ‘knock-knees’, meaning the feet are wide apart when standing straight with the knees touching side-by-side.

This may be most noticeable when children are starting school and should correct to normal, or straight, by nine or 10 years of age.

A common misconception is to assume everyone – child or adult – must have normal foot arches.

It is also common to try to correct this by putting arch insoles bought at a pharmacy or sports shoe shop into their shoes.

If their feet become more painful, then it is not the right way to fix the problem.

The specialists treating abnormal feet are usually orthopaedic surgeons, but surgery for flat feet is extremely rare.

*Checked out the price of the customised insoles. It will cost SGD$150 upwards. However the person said at 3yrs old Ryan is still too young to be confirmed for this condition and to wait till ge is about 5 before there is the need to get insoles done.

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