Kids and teenagers are susceptible to many of the same foot-related health problems as adults. Unfortunately, the natural growing process can exacerbate some of these issues. Many structural issues can be identified and treated conservatively, preventing worsening of symptoms and prevent debilitating arthritic conditions later in life. At Downstate Foot & Ankle Podiatry in Fort Greene, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Brownsville, and Bedford Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn, New York, Bryan Makower, DPM, and Loretta Cacace, DPM, regularly provide pediatric foot care for infants, children, and adolescents. If you’re concerned about the health of your son or daughters’ feet, make an appointment by calling or clicking the online booking tool today.
As your children grow older, you might notice issues with their gait. For example, they might walk on their toes, with flat feet, with their toes pointed in or with a limp. Many times, these issues go away without medical intervention, but sometimes they lead to more serious problems. This is particularly true if your child is physically active or plays sports.
If you’re concerned about the health of your child’s feet or they complain of foot or ankle pain on a regular basis, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a trusted pediatric podiatrist, like those at Downstate Foot & Ankle Podiatry.
Children can develop many of the same foot and ankle problems as adults. However, there are certain issues that are especially common, including:
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the surrounding skin. Kids and teens often develop ingrown toenails, probably due to a combination of ill-fitting footwear, sweaty feet, and frequent growth spurts.
Plantar warts are hard, fleshy growths caused by a strain of the HPV virus. Warts look similar to corns and calluses but are easy to spot thanks to the black dot or “seed” in the middle. It’s thought that plantar warts are more common in children because their immune systems are still developing.
Flat feet are feet without visible arches. Most of the time, flat feet don’t cause any problems. There are however types of flat foot that can progress to severe arthritis latera in life. Whether or not your child experiences foot or leg pain, custom orthotics or arch supports might be able to help.
If your child is suffering from heel pain, it might be the result of plantar fasciitis or Sever’s disease. Sever’s disease is a condition marked by pain along the back of the heel, and it usually affects active children between the ages of 8-14.
Treatment for pediatric foot problems depends on the source and severity of your child’s pain.
At your child’s first appointment, your Downstate Foot & Ankle Podiatry provider physically examines your child’s feet, reviews their medical history, and asks about the symptoms they’re experiencing. They might also ask your child to stand up, straighten and bend their legs, or walk around the room to look at their gait and posture. If these tests don’t provide adequate information, they can also order X-rays or another type of diagnostic imaging.
Whenever possible, the team uses conservative methods of treatment to relieve pediatric foot problems. If your child has plantar warts, your provider might prescribe a wart-removing medication or use cryotherapy to freeze them in office. For flat feet, your child’s provider might recommend custom orthotics or physical therapy.
For sports-related injuries such as plantar fasciitis or an ankle sprain, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE protocol) may provide relief. More serious problems such as fractures or congenital deformities might require surgical intervention.
Book your pediatric foot care appointment at Downstate Foot & Ankle Podiatry today, call or click the online booking tool.