Foot and ankle issues are not reserved for adults! Many children experience foot and ankle ailments. It has been our experience that proper care and treatment beginning in childhood may prevent many foot and ankle problems seen in adults. Preventative medicine is just as important in podiatry as it is in general medicine or dentistry! Many children walk excessively pigeon toed, are flat footed, or bowlegged. While these conditions may not be painful, they are damaging to the feet and it is important to have your child's feet evaluated by a podiatrist. Be sure to ask us about our free children's coloring book, "The Unstoppable FAANT Elite!"
Common Children's Foot and Ankle Problems
Intoeing: Intoeing is a common problem in babies. It can often be corrected through stretching exercises in the first few months of life. Your podiatrist or a physical therapist can teach parents exercises to help straighten the feet out. If you notice that your child has inward pointed toes, have them evaluated by a podiatrist!
Flat Feet: Many babies naturally appear to have flat feet. This will usually disappear as the baby begins to stand and walk. But what if your child does not grow out of it? Children with flat feet may have trouble keeping up with other children because of the added strain to the feet and legs. If you notice that your child has excessively flat feet, don't just assume they will "grow out of it!" Most kids don't. Bring your child in for a biomechanical exam to prevent future problems.
Heel Pain: Adults aren't the only ones with heel pain! Pediatric heel pain is a common complaint among children, but especially in athletic children. Calcaneal Apophysitis, or Sever's disease, is inflammation of the growth plate in the clacaneus (heel bone). It is caused by microtrauma to the Achilles tendon, and overuse of the bones, tendons, and growth plate.
Orthotics: Orthotics are custom shoe inserts that align the lower extremity and helps them to grow straighter. Many gait abnormalities and foot problems can be helped with orthotics. However, orthotics may not eliminate the problem, but they can slow the progression of many inherited foot deformities. Think of them as eyeglasses for the feet!