Flat foot (Pes Planus)

A flat foot (pes planus) is a foot in which the arch is lower than normal, or sometimes even absent altogether. Children’s feet naturally change shape as they grow. To have flat feet in infancy is normal but by school age most children have developed an arch, although children develop at different rates.

Most children with flat feet have flexible feet. This is a normal variant in which the foot is flat when standing but function normally and seldom cause problems. No treatment is usually required. A small proportion of children develop pain in the ankle or knee due to severe or stiff flat feet, sometimes due to development of a tarsal coalition. This may require treatment with orthotics (insoles) or occasionally surgery.