Do Kids Need Orthotics?

orthotics for kids

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are custom-made devices one can wear inside their shoes to support and improve their feet and leg functions. They may be necessary for kids with abnormal foot and leg development. Common conditions that may warrant orthotics include:

High Arches or Pes Cavus

This is a condition in which the arches of the feet are higher than normal. It can cause the feet to roll outward and may lead to discomfort or pain in the ankles or feet. Orthotics can help with this condition by distributing weight more evenly across the feet and providing cushioning to relieve pressure on the balls and heels of the feet.

Flat Feet or Pes Planus

This is a condition in which the foot arch doesn’t fully develop. The abnormal development can cause the foot to roll inward when your child walks or runs. Flat feet can cause pain in the knees, lower back, ankles, and feet. Orthotics can help by offering support and preventing the inward rolling of the feet.

Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute comprises a team of experienced podiatrists who can determine whether orthotics are an ideal solution for your child. We’ll conduct a thorough assessment before recommending treatment to better your child’s future health.

When Do Kids Need Orthotics?

Our podiatrists can determine whether your child needs orthotics by assessing their symptoms. You may need to answer questions regarding your child’s symptoms on their behalf if they can’t communicate. Observe their gait and how they walk or run to be better positioned to answer your podiatrist’s questions. Signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Swelling in the feet after participating in normal activities like walking
  • Limping or dragging their feet when walking
  • Refusing to participate in sports because of foot pain when running
  • Wanting to be carried often (usually more often than other kids in their age group) — this could indicate pain when walking

Our podiatrists can also conduct a physical examination to determine whether orthotics are necessary. This may involve evaluating your child’s feet to look for abnormalities in their arches or moving them around to assess your child’s pain level. Imaging tests like CT scans, X-rays, and MRIs may also prove helpful.

Which Orthotics Are Suitable for Kids?

Our ankle and foot specialists can recommend either functional or accommodative orthotics based on your child’s condition. Functional orthotics are rigid, as they’re made from hard materials like carbon fiber. They may be ideal if your child is experiencing pain in their legs, lower back, and feet. Accommodative orthotics are made of soft materials. Our podiatrists may recommend them if your child only needs pressure relief to walk properly.

Your Ideal Foot and Ankle Institute

Orthotics may be necessary for kids with foot abnormalities like flat feet or high arches. They can relieve the pain and pressure caused by these conditions, allowing your child to participate in regular activities like walking or running.  Consult a podiatrist to determine if these devices are a good solution for your kid.

Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute comprises a team of foot, ankle, and lower leg experts that can improve your child’s quality of life. We can get to the root cause of their foot problems and offer effective solutions. Schedule a consultation now.