A big part of parenting, is keeping kids healthy from head to toe – and that includes their feet! It’s important to have children’s feet assessed as infants, then continue to have regular kids’ podiatry visits as they grow. After all, a baby has different needs than a toddler, who has different needs than a teenager. The good news is, whether you just welcomed a new arrival or your child just scored the winning soccer goal in high school, McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group is here for you and has the expertise to help with any issues that may arise!
Of course, when it comes to kids, things often don’t go as planned! There will be times in between regularly scheduled appointments that you will likely need help. Knowing about common conditions and their symptoms will allow you to keep an eye out for problems so you know when to come see us.
Some signs to watch for include:
Gait abnormalities. If your child’s toes point inward or outward, he or she walks only on toes, or an arch doesn’t seem to be developing, it’s a good idea to get it checked out. Early intervention is key to correcting problems efficiently and effectively. Treatments typically include stretches, a switch in footwear, orthotics, and sometimes a brace or cast.
Deformities. If your child’s foot is twisted at birth (clubfoot), or an older child is developing a bony protrusion on the big toe (juvenile bunion), these need to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid any further problems that may develop as a result of the deformities. Again, conservative measures are usually all that is needed when issues are caught and treated in their early stages.
A limp or withdrawal from activities. Heel pain in active, growing children can often be traced back to Sever’s disease, a condition that occurs when your child’s heel bone grows faster than the Achilles tendon, causing the tendon to be taut and pull on the heel bone resulting in pain. This will be outgrown, but in the meantime, orthotics and a switch to low-impact activities can help.
Another condition that might pop up in the adolescent years is in which the tarsal bones in the foot abnormally grow together. Signs include stiffness and pain in the middle and back of the foot, as well as the development of rigid flat feet.
No matter the problem, when it happens, or what treatment your child needs, you can rest assured that McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group will provide the care your child needs to get back to a fun and active life! In the meantime, keep an eye out for signs of trouble, make sure you keep up with shoe sizes, and schedule regular kids’ podiatry visits at our Carmichael, CA office by dialing (916) 961-3434.
Together, we will keep your children’s feet healthy and strong!