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Living Healthy

Flat foot prevention and treatment tips

BOSTON (WHDH)--10-year-old Andrew Veiseh loves to play basketball. But then his foot started to bother him.

"I felt pain in the bottom of my foot, and inside it too. I didn't know what it was," Veiseh said.

A trip to the doctor confirmed he has flat feet.

"When you have a flat foot, the arch is essentially collapsing," said 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 a flat foot is left untreated it could lead to other problems like childhood obesity.

"If a kid doesn't get out there to exercise because his foot hurts then obviously that could contribute to those issues," Lee said. "We see a lot of back pain, hip pain, knee pain. 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:

They complain of foot pain.

They're not keeping up with the other kids in gym class.

Or they seem to want to sit more.

"Are they wearing the right shoes? Particularly if they're engaging in exercise. And if that's not enough, we'll consider an over the counter arch support or orthotic," said Lee.

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," Dr. Lee said.

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