Corrective shoes and inserts as treatment for flexible flatfoot in infants and children

Dennis R. Wenger*, Donald Mauldin, Gail Speck, Dean Morgan, Richard L. Lieber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We performed a prospective study to determine whether flexible flatfoot in children can be influenced by treatment. One hundred and twenty-nine children who had been referred by pediatricians, and for whom the radiographic findings met the criteria for flatfoot, were randomly assigned to one of four groups: Group I, controls; Group II, treatment with corrective orthopaedic shoes; Group III, treatment with a Helfet heel-cup; or Group IV, treatment with a custom-molded plastic insert. All of the patients in Groups II, III, and IV had a minimum of three years of treatment, and ninety-eight patients whose com-pliance with the protocol was documented completed the study. Analysis of radiographs before treatment and at the most recent follow-up demonstrated a significant improvement in all groups (p < 0.01), including the controls, and no significant difference between the controls and the treated patients (p > 0.4). We concluded that wearing corrective shoes or inserts for three years does not influence the course of flexible flatfoot in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-264
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Traumatology, Orthopaedics and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • corrective shoes
  • flexible flatfoot
  • inserts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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