31 May Children’s Foot Problems
Some foot and ankle problems tend to effect children more frequently. Often we excuse their aches or problems as “growing pains”, or try an easy over-the-counter remedy, when really their condition deserves a foot specialist’s attention. In fact, early treatment of some conditions may reduce or eliminate problems for them as an adult.
Many parents are told that their children will outgrow their “flat feet”. In some cases this is true, but often the child would benefit from simple treatment. Often what we call “flat feet” or “fallen arches” is actually a functional problem of the foot called hyperpronation or too much inward motion of the arch. Hyperpronation, over time, can influence many structural conditions of the foot and ankle including bunions and hammertoes. It can also be influential in causing painful conditions like plantar fasciitis and neuromas, that tend to occur in adulthood. Custom foot orthotics can be made for your child. These are custom molded arch supports that control the mechanical instability of the foot similar to how eyeglasses control the mechanical imbalance of the eye.
Heel Pain in Children
Have you noticed your child running on their toes during their game? Or not wanting to run around outside and play because their heel hurts? Very commonly girls between 7 to 9 and boys between 9 to12 are affected by a painful inflammatory condition to the growth plate of their heel. The growth plate along the back of the heel is attached to two soft tissue structures – the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. High activity and lack of foot support cause these soft tissue structures to apply high tension to the growth plate of the heel causing pain. This condition is treatable and should be addressed so the child can get back to activity comfortably.
Because children pick at or tear their toenails, or cut them improperly, they are at risk to get an ingrown toenail. These usually go unnoticed by the parent until it gets infected. Parents and children often get frustrated as they try to cure the infected ingrown toenail. Frequently the problem recurs if the treatment consists only of oral antibiotics and foot soaks. To properly cure this problem, it is vital to see your foot specialist who can perform a very simple procedure to remove the small portion of ingrown nail that has caused the infection.
With the advent of the “child athlete”, kids are playing sports at younger ages and with higher levels of competition. An ankle sprain is one the most common injuries they may encounter. In some cases, a sprain of the ankle may involve damage to important ligaments that promote ankle stability, or actually may be a fracture of the ankle growth plate. Often parents simply ice the ankle and have the child rest, when really the ankle should be examined thoroughly and treated.
Children and teens are most commonly affected by plantar warts. Commonly the pediatric population encounters these during the warmer months of the year when children are at the pool or the recreation club. Warts are caused by a virus, and because of this may form multiple warts on your child’s foot or even spread to other family members. Many gentle treatments exist to help rid your child of their plantars wart.
Visit Alta Ridge Foot Specialists and let our doctors help your child’s foot and ankle problem. Dr. van Brederode has five children and Dr. Broyles has four children. They both relate well to young patients. Your child’s foot and ankle problem deserves a specialist’s attention.