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September 2018


My son was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 11 years, he has flat feet and out-toeing noticed by the physician who diagnosed him. What are treatment options? Is it too late at this age to correct?

- Kimberly - Ohio (Parent)



It is not uncommon for kids with cerebral palsy to have flat feet. What matters is whether the feet are painful, or whether they are so flat and deformed that his foot can no longer fit in a shoe, or whether his feet are starting to become so “rigid” that they are stuck with his toes pointing to the ground, which your surgeon may call “equinus”. If his flat feet are flexible, meaning his ankles move well, and not painful, then simple bracing with “AFOs” aka “ankle-foot-orthoses” can help. If his feet become rigid and painful, or simply rigid and affect his quality of life, the surgeon my recommend surgery. Every child’s foot is different, and your surgeon will tailor the treatment to what your son needs. But flat feet don’t automatically equal surgery, and 11 years old is certainly not too old to operate, but again, that may or may not be what your son needs. If you are unsure about what the physician/surgeon recommends, please seek a second opinion from a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon.

- Jaysson Brooks, MD


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All information on OrthoKids is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment, consult a fellowship trained, board certified pediatric orthopaedist.