Some Common Pediatric Foot Conditions
Keep in mind that some conditions are present from birth, like clubfoot. Congenital foot conditions like these should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent them from causing other problems in the feet and further up the kinetic chain as your child’s body develops throughout childhood.
However, other conditions can present themselves while your child is still young, and may eventually go away over time. Flat feet is a great example of this. Children usually don’t develop arches in their feet until about age 5, but it’s important that you still address the issue if your child complains of foot pain or discomfort.
Still, many conditions will not go away on their own, so it’s important to receive professional help from a board-certified podiatrist. Dr. Tenenboym loves working with children and helping them stay active. In fact, he is experienced in treating most – if not all – pediatric foot conditions your child may experience, including:
- Clubfoot. When the feet turn in and downward, as if to resemble a club. This condition needs to be treated while the child is young, as it will cause issues with walking and mobility as the child grows.
- Growing pains. Pain in the legs that is described as “throbbing” can sometimes be attributed to growing pains. These often occur in children who are extremely active, because the stresses of growing and tissue and bone re-building along with physical exercise can be demanding in the legs and feet.
- In-toeing and out-toeing. Both conditions are common in young children and cause physical deformities, but are usually not painful. When the leg bone (the tibia) tilts inward, the condition is called in-toeing. When the tibia tilts outward, the result is out-toeing. In many cases, the conditions will straighten out and improve as the child grows and learns to walk. Strengthening and stretching exercises can help to improve these conditions.
- Sever’s disease. This is not actually a disease, but a foot condition that causes pain and inflammation in the growth plate that is located in the heel. Children who are growing and physically active are usually the victims of this foot pain.
- Plantar warts. Warts are typical in children, teens, and those who have weakened immune systems. These painful skin lesions are stubborn and hard to remove. Many times, professional treatment is the only way to get rid of them.
- Ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails are common in children due to tight-fitting shoes, a common occurrence as many children don’t have properly sized shoes due to growth spurts. In this condition, the toenail irritates the skin surrounding the nail and grows into it.
There is something to always keep in mind, though: children often fail to tell parents when there’s something wrong with their feet. Maybe they are afraid of having to go to the doctor, they are afraid that they will no longer be able to participate in favorite activities, or they simply don’t recognize that there is, in fact, something amiss.
So, as parents, it’s important that we pay attention to our children’s feet and learn to recognize behaviors that may indicate your child is experiencing difficulties in their lower limbs. (Which takes us to our next point…)