New treatment for kids with flat feet

Does your child complain about foot pain or fatigue?

They may have flat feet. If untreated, flat feet can lead to hip and back problems, and even childhood obesity.

In Tuesday night's Just Before Six, Doctor Bruce Hensel has more about the treatment options, and a new procedure that could help.

10-year-old Andrew Veiseh loves to play basketball. But then his foot started bothering him.

"I felt pain in the bottom of my foot, and inside it too,” explains 10 year old Andrew Veish. “I did not know what it was."

A trip to the doctor confirmed, he has flat feet.

"When you have a flat foot, the arch is essentially collapsing," says Dr. Robert Lee.

Andrew is one of those kids who did not outgrow the problem. For him, it just got worse.

Dr. Robert Lee said if flat foot is left untreated it could lead to other problems, such as childhood obesity.

"If a kid does not get out there to exercise cause his foot hurts then obviously that could contribute to those issues," says Dr. Lee.

Further down the line it could do more damage.

"We see a lot of back pain, hip pain, knee pain,” says Dr. Lee. “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 your child are, they complain of foot pain, they are not keeping up with the other kids in school in P.E. and they are wanting to sit more than play with other kids

"Are they wearing the right shoes?” asks Dr. Lee. “Particularly if they are engaging in exercise. And if that's not enough, we will consider an over the counter arch support or orthotic."

In Andrew's case, his flat feet was unusually severe. So they opted for a new type of surgery that takes about 15 minutes.

"It's a minimally invasive technique where we insert a little plug 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," explains Dr. Lee.

After surgery, Andrew returned to school in a week, and now nothing is holding him back on the court.

"It does not have pain anymore and it feels better," says Andrew.

Most kids do outgrow flat feet, but a podiatrist can help you decide if treatment is needed.

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