Common Pediatric Foot Problems

Do your children suffer from any of these common pediatric foot problems? Children are so active that they do have foot and ankle problems from time to time.  The problem is not always urgent, but sometime even non-urgent problems need medical attention. Foot HealthCare Associates has some information that we would like to share and help parents.

Warts(Verruca)

Are common pediatric foot problems that affect both kids and adults. Children are at greater risk for contracting the virus because they go barefoot more often. The thicker the skin the harder it is to get the wart out. Traditional warts treatment is freezing, surgical removal, or topical acids.
common pediatric foot problems

Ingrown Toenails

Another common problem for kids for a number of reasons: improper cutting (or tearing off) of the nail, trauma, improper shoe gear or improper fitting shoe gear, and sometimes there is no direct cause of the ingrown.  A simple procedure is required to correct the problem. Preventative measures are another important part of the equation.

Stricture (Toe Tourniquet Syndrome)

Occurs when a hair or piece of thread wraps around the toe or finger. The affected toe may be red or purple, swollen and painful for the child. Simple removal of the hair should correct the problem, but it may be necessary to seek medical assistance. The longer the toe is left in this state, the greater the risk of permanent damage.

Flat Feet

Children can have flat feet with out having pain. In those instances good supportive shoes and orthotics are the best treatment to help prevent problems later in life.
All babies appear flat footed in the first few months of life. The trick is determining if your child is having pain or problems walking due to their feet being flat.  The child may be cranky after walking or even refuse to walk and demand to be carried or placed in the stroller.  Additionally if the child becomes excessively tired after activity, their flat feet may be the problem.
Tx: Conservative treatments usually consist of pediatric orthotics; there are surgeries that can be utilized if your child continues to have problems.

Heel Pain (Sever’s Disease, calcaneal apophysitis)

Can occur after a specific injury or as a result of an overuse injury.  Micro fractures occur where the Achilles tendon inserts on the heel bone (calcaneus).  These tiny fractures cause varying amounts of pain depending on the activity. The pain is generally worse after the activity and improves with rest. Typically boys are affected more, between the ages of 8-13, and usually in one heel, but it can occur in both heels.
Tx:  rest, avoiding high impact activities, ice, massage, stretching and strengthening exercises, heel pads or heel cups, orthotics, anti-inflammatories, good supportive shoegears, physical therapy, activity modifications, and possible casting
Another cause of heel pain is Plantar Fasciitis; where the patient would have pain with first step in the morning that eases with activity.

Metatarsus Adductus (In –Toeing)

This condition refers to an abnormal alignment of the metatarsal bones toward the midline of the body. The cause is usually related to the position of the baby within the mother’s womb.  There are varying degrees of severity; some of the lesser cases may not be evident until the child begins walking. The child may display clumsiness or excessive tripping.
Tx: simple stretching can be enough; however, it is often necessary to cast the child’s foot or place them in special shoes to reverse the in toeing. These conservative treatments work best in the first years of the baby’s life, before the bones fully develop.  There are special braces and orthotics that can help once the bones develop.  Additionally there are surgical procedures worth considering if conservative measures fail.

Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)

Is an overuse injury that often affects runners or aggressive walkers that causes inflammation of the tissues of the leg. Symptoms are usually soreness in the front of the leg with the beginning of activity, eases some with activity and worse after the activity.
Tx: activity modifications, rest, anti-inflammatories, icing, new shoes, decrease in running mileage, physical therapy, muscle strengthening, stretching, orthotics, running on level, soft terrain. When symptoms decrease, slowly increase activity. Returning to pre injury levels of running/activity too soon will only draw out the treatment course.

Toe Walking (Equinus)

Most often this condition stems from having a tight heel cord (Achilles tendon) or a neurologic disorders.

Foot Odor

Proper foot hygiene is the key to controlling and preventing this embarrassing problem.

Toenail Fungus

Is familiarly uncommon in children, but is common. Symptoms will include thickening, discoloration, or lifting of the nail. There are topical and oral medications that can help correct this problem before it spreads to the other toenails.

Growth Plate Disorders

Growth plates can be injured by cancer, or by fractures, inadequate circulation, infections, certain inherited conditions, children undergoing radiation/chemotherapy etc. These injuries can deform the way in which a bone grows or it can stop the growth of the bone all together.
Tx- can consist of immobilization; or surgery to realign or manipulate an abnormality of the growth plate
If any of these common pediatric foot problems have you worried for your children, contact us for an appointment.