Pediatric Foot Screening Specialist Questions and Answers
Is your child experiencing foot problems? There are treatments available for foot abnormalities. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online. We have 3 Convenient locations for you.
What are children’s foot problems?
Children can develop and suffer from many of the same foot conditions that impact adults, although they may develop different symptoms or characteristics because their bodies are still growing and developing. They can experience plantar warts, ingrown toenails, heel pain and flat feet, the same as any adult would. In children they can also be more common. Plantar warts can be found on the bottom of the foot and are a skin lesion brought on by a virus. They usually form a small circular area with thick skin. Although they look harmless, they can cause discomfort when weight is put on the affected area. Ingrown toenails are thought to happen in kids due to their indoor shoes being too small, causing the edge of a toenail to grow into the skin beside the toenail. Heel pain could be caused by plantar fasciitis or by Sever’s disease. Plantar fasciitis happens at the bottom of the heel, whereas Sever’s disease causes pain along the growth plate that is found in the back of the heel. Flat feet in children is very similar to flat feet in adults and can be supported and corrected using orthotics or support for the arches.
What are the main pediatric foot abnormalities?
In most cases of pediatric foot abnormalities, the child is born with the deformity. The most common foot abnormalities in kids include:
- Club foot is where the foot becomes twisted into an unusual shape or position due to the tendons connecting the muscles and bones together are shorter than they should be. Club foot is not associated with any other illness or conditions, so the affected child is usually healthy in all other aspects.
- Tarsal coalition can cause flat feet in severe cases. It causes pain in the heel and can interfere with how the child moved. The condition affects the tarsals bones which are found in the heel and back of the foot.
- Additional, less common, foot abnormalities found in children can include accessory navicular, juvenile bunion, cavus foot, polysyndactyly, syndactyly and polydactyly.
Foot abnormalities can be treated, ideally while the child is still young. Surgery is seen as a last resort for treatment, once all other options have been exhausted. In some cases, such as mild clubfoot, treatment can be effective at home and at a young age by using a brace to correct the problem.
How is foot deformity treated?
The treatment for a foot deformity will depend on the type of deformity and how severe it is.
Treatment can be done through:
- Exercises and stretching can be used to help straighten toes in hammertoe cases.
- Corrective devices such as braces, casts and other supportive devices can help to correct foot deformities.
- Toe separators can be used for bunions to correct the second toe back to where it normally sits.
- In severe cases, surgery will be needed early on in childhood to ensure that the deformity doesn’t progress into a permanent disability as the individual gets older.
Surgery is typically a last resort, with doctors wanting to exhaust all other options prior to pursuing surgery due to the downtime and recovery time. However, sometimes surgery is the only option. With kids, doctors will want to ensure that any foot deformities are resolved as early on in the child’s development to prevent disability later in life.
What causes pain in children’s feet?
There can be many causes of pain in a child’s feet, ranging from minor irritations to more serious conditions requiring medical treatment. Common causes of pain in kids include injury such as a sprain or fracture, athlete’s foot which is a fungal infection usually caught at a swimming pool, Sever’s disease brought on by growth spurts, flat feet, bunions, improper or too small shoes, ingrown toenails, plantar wards, plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis. Many of these can be treated at home with ice and rest, a warm bath and new shoes. Other conditions will require medical attention, such as athlete’s foot and sprains or fractures. Knowing that issues with the feet can cause domino-effect injuries throughout the body, it is a good idea to monitor any symptoms your child mentions to keep an eye on the progression of the condition to know when to seek medical attention. If your child is experiencing foot problems, contact our team of healthcare professionals today at Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates.
We serve patients from Walnut Creek, Brentwood, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Pittsburg, Antioch, Alamo, Danville, and Oakley, CA.
Additional Services You May Need
▸Custom Foot Orthotics
▸Ingrown Toenail Specialist
▸Traditional Podiatry Care
▸Foot and Ankle Surgery Clinic
▸Corns and Calluses
▸Foot Arthritis and Joint
▸Video Gait Analysis
▸Pediatric Foot Specialist
▸Chronic Foot Injury
▸Diabetic Foot Specialist
▸Acute Foot Injuries
▸Podiatric Sports Services
▸Plantar Fasciitis Specialists