Accessibility statement

OSTRICH: Orthotics for Treatment of Symptomatic Flat Feet in Children

The shape of a child’s foot changes as they grow, with most developing an arch in their foot. However, when the arch does not fully form or it is flat against the ground, this is called pes planus, or flat feet. Pes planus can result in pain in the feet, ankles, legs, or back, with it being one of the most common conditions seen in paediatric practice. Currently, it is not clear what the most effective management for pes planus is, with it being debated as to whether there should be intervention provided or whether symptoms will resolve without intervention. Common management options for pes planus are orthoses (insoles), which can be custom-made or pre-fabricated, and exercise and advice about shoe types.

The OSTRICH study is investigating the effectiveness of prefabricated orthoses in addition to exercise and advice compared with exercise and advice alone on the physical functioning of children with symptomatic pes planus. We aim to recruit 478 children/young people aged 6 to 14 years of age, who will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio in favour of the orthoses groups (i.e. 239 will receive prefabricated orthoses plus exercise and advice, and 239 will receive exercise and advice alone). The primary outcome is the physical domain of the Oxford Ankle Foot Questionnaire for Children over the 12-month follow-up period.

The study is being coordinated by researchers at the York Trials Unit at the University of York, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Salford, University of Oxford, King's College London, University of Leeds, University of Warwick and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, in addition to input from our patient representatives. The research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme, with Professor David Torgerson as the Chief Investigator.

Two methodological studies are also embedded – Studies Within A Trial (SWATs).

If you would like to find out more about this study please contact: Sarah or call 01904 32 1736

Privacy Notice: How we use your research data.

The images used in the participant information sheets for children and young people were kindly created for the OSTRICH study by Lukasz Adam


Funder (s):

NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

(Project number: NIHR127510)

Trial Sponsor:

University of York

Start Date: June 2019
End Date: September 2023

YTU Staff

External Collaborators

  • Mike Backhouse (Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, University of Warwick)
  • Colin Holton (Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust)
  • Anne-Maree Keenan (Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds)
  • Peter Knapp (Department of Health Sciences, University of York and Hull York Medical School)
  • Jane McAdam (School of Health and Society, University of Salford)
  • Stewart Morrison (School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton)
  • Daniel Parker - (School of Health and Society, University of Salford)
  • Daniel Perry - (Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford and Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool)
  • Tim Theologis - (Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)