As early as birth, foot complications can present themselves in children. Some complications, such as flatfoot and ingrown toenails, can be inherited or caused in the womb. Others can occur as children begin their walk through life, from the occasional fall to an injury suffered playing a sport. No matter the cause or severity of the problem, the health of a child’s feet should not be taken for granted. However, according to an American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) survey of parents with children under the age of 18, only 35 percent said that they would not be motivated to take their child to a doctor’s office for foot or leg pain treatment. Furthermore, only 25 percent of those surveyed would take their child to see a podiatrist—a foot and specialist. Member podiatrists from the APMA can help make sure your child stays on his/her feet by offering expert medical diagnosis and treatment options for all issues associated with the feet. From the time a child begins to walk, he/she should be seen by a podiatrist who can make sure his/her feet are progressing normally, especially if there is a family history of foot problems. The following list details common inherited and developmental foot complications in children, possible signs and symptoms and treatment options.
CLUBFOOT - Hooked foot that twists inward and downward TREATMENTS - Casting; Surgery in more severe cases
METATARSUS ADDUCTUS (MTA) - Front of foot bent inward at the instep resembling the letter "C"; Excessive tripping when walking TREATMENTS - Stretching exercises; Shoe option that are straight; Serial casting; Surgery in more severe cases
POLYDACTYLY (Multiple Toes) - Eleventh or twelfth toe TREATMENTS - Remove extra toes if they interfere with walking or wearing shoes
SYNDACTYLY (Webbed Toes) - Skin fails to separate between the toes TREATMENTS - Surgical separation of webbed toes
FLATFOOT - Pain; Slow walking; Difficulty keeping up with other children TREATMENTS - Custom foot orthotics; Change in the type of shoe; Surgery in some cases
IN-TOEING -One or both feet pointed inward; Tripping; Sitting on knees in "W" position TREATMENTS - Exercises (first position ballet, sitting Indian style, riding "big wheel"); Casting; Bracing
ACHILLES TENDONITIS - Pain with activity at the back of the leg and heel; Swelling TREATMENTS - Rest; Icing; Stretching; Physical therapy; Heel lifts; Custom foot orthtics; Soft casting
As always, if you notice any of these symptoms, please call the Office for an appointment - 419-423-1888.