Untreated Flat Feet Could Lead To Childhood Obesity And Adult Pain Issues

By Emma Koch

April 10, 2013 Updated Apr 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM EDT

UNITED STATES (www.nbc33.com) -- If a child complains about foot pain or fatigue, it could be a sign of flat feet. Most kids outgrow flat feet but in some cases suffers should seek medical help.

If untreated, flat feet can lead to hip and back problems and even childhood obesity. Doctor Bruce Hensel has more about the treatment options and a new procedure that could help.

A flat foot means the arch is essentially collapsing. Dr. Robert Lee said if a flat foot is left untreated it could lead to other problems such as childhood obesity since exercise may cause the child’s foot to hurt.

Lee says “we see a lot of back pain, hip pain, knee pain. It will expose that individual to a lot of overuse syndromes. Stress fractures, tendon ruptures, other deformities which later in life can lead to major surgeries."

Signs that flat foot may be a problem for a child:
- They complain of foot pain
- They're not keeping up with the other kids in school in P.E.
- They're wanting to sit more than play with other kids

Parents want to make sure their children’s shoes are the right ones for their feet, particularly if they are engaging in exercise. If that’s not enough, consider an over the counter arch support or orthotic.

In more severe cases, a new minimally invasive surgical technique can be the answer. A little plug is inserted into a little cavity. The implant provides more stability, changes the architecture of the foot, and when done at an early enough of an age, it can change the maturation and development of the bone.

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