Adults aren't the only ones who suffer from foot problems. Many children also have issues with their feet. Some children are born with foot problems while others acquire problems with their feet. The good news is there are treatment options available for pediatric foot problems.
Here are three common foot problems in children to look out for.
1. Metatarsus Adductus
Metatarsus adductus is a condition in which the forefoot turns inward. This foot problem is also known as a c-shaped foot. Children with this condition walk with their feet turned inward, which is called being pigeon-toed. In some cases, there is a gap between the big toe and second toe.
Metatarsus adductus can be flexible, which means the foot can be straightened by hand. This condition usually becomes less noticeable with time.
If treatment is necessary, available treatment options include stretching exercises and sometimes wearing a cast. Surgery is necessary if none of these treatment options are effective in older children.
2. Heel Pain
When children have pain in their heel, it might be a symptom of a foot condition called Sever's disease. This condition is also referred to as calcaneal apophysis and usually occurs in children between the ages of 9 and 14. It's at this age that children usually experience a growth spurt.
During a growth spurt, the tendons, muscles, and bones all grow at different rates, which causes tension in the heel's growth plate. Children that are involved in sports or other physical activities are more susceptible to getting Sever's disease.
Children can modify their activities by doing non-weight bearing activities instead like swimming, bicycling, or lifting weights. Other treatment options include applying a cold ice pack, wearing supportive shoe inserts, and physical therapy.
3. Juvenile Bunion
Bunions occur at the base of the big toe when the bones in the foot move out of place. Bunions can be noticed early in childhood as well as later in life.
Some children with a juvenile bunion may have a hard time finding wide enough shoes. Treatment options for juvenile bunions include wearing the appropriate footwear, applying ice, using toe separators, and custom orthotics. Some cases of juvenile bunions may require surgery if your child does not respond to conservative care.
If your child experiences any of these pediatric foot problems, contact Ankle & Foot Clinic of Everett. Our doctors are skilled podiatrists that specialize in diagnosing and treating a variety of foot conditions in children and adults.