Wednesday, May 24

Waa, Waa Flat Feet, Have You Any Shoes?

Brainy boy has flat feet. Not just any flat feet, but flaaaaat feet. I became aware of this when he was about 4, and my sister snickered as he stepped out of the swimming pool. "What?" I asked realizing that something about my perfect little angel struck her funny. We both peered down at the water-print from his feet. Something about the fact that the print was more like a little triangle rather than a heel print with a skinny part leading to the front of the foot made us giggle. Looking back, I realized that his baby prints from the hospital were pretty much the same, so he apparently was born with this little anomoly. At the next scheduled physical I made a note to ask the pediatrician if this was a big deal, and she assured me that pes planus (the medical term) is actually quite common and generally not problematic.

The next couple of years showed no symptoms, until about two years ago. Suddenly, Brainy Boy, who doesn't carry much interest in organized sports anyway, began to complain even on our treks through the woods, shopping trips or other times we were on our feet for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Lectures on laziness ensued until a couple of game nights in our church gym produced excruciating pain by the time we were getting him ready for bed. I asked for a referral to a physical therapist for custom orthotics as well as some exercises to stretch his hamstrings which are tied about as tight as a violin string. I was a bit smug when I learned that getting the shoe inserts from the physical therapist would set me back a mere $125 rather than the $350 estimated by the local podiatrist.

Well, two more years later, and the pain is still present, persistent, annoying, aggravating even with religious use of the shoe inserts and not-so-religious use of the exercises which require my assistance. Now I will admit that Brainy Boy has an aversion to anything remotely bothersome and so has cajoled me into getting him velcro sneakers rather than big-boy tie shoes, and I'm sure this contributes to the problem of not enough foot support.

BUT, I took the next step and visited a shoe specialist today who did a computer analysis of Brainy Boy's feet, confirmed that he is indeed extremely flat-footed, puts all his weight on the area where his arch should be (thus the hurting ankles) and recommended a trip to the podiatrist. An analysis of the 'bargain' inserts confirmed that they are not adequate and we will soon be spending the $350 on a pair of substantial shoe supports that will last for the next two shoe sizes.

I have been bemoaning the fact that Brainy Boy has stayed exactly the same size for the last two grades (3rd & 4th). Now my luck has run out. I'm sure as soon as we get these feet casted, the orthotics made and put into a new pair of shoes, he will spring into action with a gargantuan growth spurt and soon need bigger pair of $350 foot supports, and then another, and then another. Maybe we should go for the little spring-loaded thingy that you can actually have surgically implanted to severely flat feet. Then not only would it be permanent, I would have the bonus of getting Tigger for a son....boing....boing.....boing.....boing.

8 of Your THINKS:

Anonymous said...

i noticed recently that the outside heals on my shoes wear much faster than the inside. i went to the chiropractor who told me that i suponate (my feet roll out). i then went to the foot dr who casted my feet and offered me the $350.00 inserts. not covered by insurance. looking at my son's shoes, guess what? he appears to suponate too. not the genetic trait i wanted him to inherit.
good luck with your flat footed boy:)
donna

Crystal Breeze said...

Sorry to hear about his foot condition. At least these inserts will hopefully stop his pain and make him want to do more activities. I need a insert to spring me into action. Do they got one for me?

I think one of the Slawta's kids has flat feet and I think that one of them wears a special insert in their shoe too.

Anonymous said...

After he gets his brand new feet into action he's going to feel like a brand new person. Lets just hope those brand new shoe supports last for a very, very long time.

- Debbie Stewart

Rochelle said...

I have a similar problem and saw a podiatrist and have an ancient and much prized pair of the $350 orthotics (which my insurance paid for most of) but in recent years have been able to get by with really good pairs of the 'cheaper' ones in my sneakers...(they are softer and therefore more comfortable..especially for running)

mary ellen said...

Wow - everybody has a story so obviously it is common. My Pediatrician actually told me all babies are born with flat feet, arches form later in life. Michael still has flat feet too and sometimes they give him pain, but his complaining has gotten less as he has gotten older - I don't know if that means he has gotten used to it or maybe his feet are changing, guess I'd better ask the doctor at his next check-up. Rick has very flat feet too so genetics probably plays a role. We haven't had to head for the podiatrists yet but that's not to say that day won't come. At least I know what I'll be paying, it reads as if that is the going rate - yikes!

Anonymous said...

Jenlo, I'd encourage you to ask your podiatrist or orthopod about the implants, because I've heard they are the best thing for growing feet, that if you can get them done early enough, they should actually help his feet to develop permanently in the "correct" more arched position as they continue to grow. Unlike conventional surgical flatfoot reconstruction procedures, it's a simple procedure, and reversible too. The implant may look like a spring, but that's not its function, it's just there to hold bones in place. :-) My feet became flat as a teen (same totally flat footprint as your son's, and it hurt!), and I wish the implant had been available to me then. I got custom orthotics, which you'll find are a good investment in your son's future health--even if you have to grit your teeth as you buy multiple pairs to keep him happy & healthy. The good news is that most of us attain the better part of our adult foot size by about age 14, I think I've heard .

Podiatrist Melbourne said...
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Sonica said...
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