The Foot Problems Of
Many foot conditions that are seen in childhood develop into larger mechanical and structural problems in the adult, so it is very important that pediatric foot problems be treated as early as possible.
We'll discuss some of the most common pediatric problems here--being pigeon toed, being flat footed and toe-walking.
It is often necessary, however, to use casts to realign the baby's feet into a normal alignment. The casts typically applied in multiple sessions, to gradually reposition the feet. This treatment works best in the first year of a baby's life, when the bones are not fully developed and before the baby begins to walk.
Special braces and orthoses (orthotics) may be of use in later years.
You can access our web page devoted to flat feet if you wish, but there are some considerations of flat feet that are unique to pediatrics, and we'll mention them here.
The first thing you should know is that all babies appear flat-footed in the first months of life. This is partly because there is a fair bit of fat on the bottom of the pediatric foot that masks what arch there is, and partly because the arch of the foot evolves over time. The important lesson to learn here is that most young children with flat feet may not have to be corrected at all. It's important to have your child assessed to know whether the apparent flat-footedness is pathological and warrants treatment.
To the parents' eyes, the most common clue to a flat foot that may require treatment is (in the earliest years) an excessive crankiness during bouts of walking, accompanied by frequent demands to be picked up or placed in a stroller. Later, when the child learns to verbalize his feelings better, there will be complaints of being excessively tired with activity. Often the child is not the fastest in the class when running any distance.
When presenting problems, many types of flat-footedness may be controlled and made more comfortable through orthoses, (or orthotics). (Visit our web page on orthoses by following the link.) Suffice it to say that orthoses are devices used in the shoes to attempt to control the collapse of the foot in stance.
In some cases orthoses may not be successful in treating flat-footedness. Luckily, there have been recent advances in foot surgery to address this condition when conservative treatment fails.
The lesson to learn here is that if you suspect a foot
problem, have a podiatrist examine your child. You may spare your child a
great deal of hardship in adulthood.
walking is called "Equinus", meaning the condition appears like a
horse's foot. (Visit our page devoted to Equinus
by following the link.)
There may be many reasons why a child may toe-walk.
Treatment may include shoe therapy, orthoses, casting and surgical intervention.
Growth Plate Disorders
This problem is common in children, and is discussed more thoroughly on a separate web page devoted to Growth Plate Disorders.
Ingrown nails are particularly common with young patients, particularly during the teen years. We cover this topic on its own web page. Just click on the words Ingrown Nails.
Kids get warts more than anyone else. This topic is covered in detail on its own web page. Just click on the word Warts.