Flatfoot in children: anatomy of decision making

Ital J Anat Embryol. 2012;117(2):98-106.


Concern about a child's foot posture is a common reason for frequent consultations for an array of health care professionals; sports medicine specialists are often the first to recognize and advise on foot pathology. In the decision making process, it is essential to distinguish between the different types of flatfoot deformity: paediatric or adult, congenital or acquired, flexible or rigid. Although flatfoot in children is a common finding, evidence for the techniques of the reliable and reproducible assessment of the foot posture is scant. This general review presents the factors involved in the forming and supporting of the foot arches, discusses the protocols useful in the evaluation of the foot posture, and indicates how to differentiate between flatfoot cases needing treatment and cases that need only reassurance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Child
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Flatfoot / diagnosis*
  • Flatfoot / physiopathology*
  • Flatfoot / therapy
  • Foot / anatomy & histology*
  • Foot / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foot / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Radiography