We always prefer to try conservative measures first when treating foot conditions, especially when it comes to caring for the little feet of little children! No one wants their child to have go through surgery; however, there are times when surgical intervention is necessary in order to relieve pain, avoid future problems, and assure proper function. As concerning as this may be, parents can find peace of mind knowing that we are experienced and highly skilled at performing a wide variety of pediatric foot surgeries.
A Peek at Pediatric Procedures
While we have the expertise to perform a vast array of surgeries for children’s feet, there are some procedures that are more common than others. These include:
Clubfoot – This is a congenital deformity in which feet are abnormally twisted inward and downward. The condition may look frightening; however, because babies’ bones are so malleable, when treated right away, the feet can be manipulated into proper position over time. While this can often be done manually, and with the use of casting and re-casting to encourage and hold feet in position until they are fully corrected, sometimes it entails a small surgical procedure to A) release tendons and ligaments that are pulled too tightly and B) align bones by fusing or pinning them together to keep them straight.
Flatfeet – If your child never forms an arch but never has any pain either, there is no reason for concern. It’s only when flat feet cause pain or interfere with participation in activities that treatment is necessary, and even then, conservative options like orthotics, supportive shoes, and stretches often do the trick. However, if these techniques are not enough to relieve your child’s pain, there are several procedures to choose from that can address abnormal arch structure.
Juvenile Bunions – Bunions are progressive, so when they form on children’s feet, they have more time and opportunity to grow in size (as well as pain). Your child may have difficulty wearing shoes and playing sports, and if stretches, splints, and shoes with wide toe boxes don’t alleviate symptoms, surgery to remove the bony bump and realign the ligaments may be necessary for your child to become an active adult.
Tarsal Coalition – This condition involves bones in the foot that have grown abnormally and fused together, resulting in stiffness, decreased range of motion, and pain. A fairly simple operation can be done to separate the bones and place tissue between them so they don’t rejoin. It’s important to note that severe coalition is often associated with rigid flat foot, which may require an additional procedure.
Rest Assured Your Child is in Good Hands
When all conservative options have been exhausted, pediatric surgeries may need to be considered, but McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group is here for you! Not only do we have the expertise to perform these types of surgeries for children’s feet, but we will take the time to calm any concerns, answer your questions, and explain your options thoroughly. We want you to feel confident with your decision, and even more importantly, we want what’s best for your child. If your little one is not finding relief with conservative measures alone, come see us to discuss if surgery is right for your family.
You can schedule an appointment at our Carmichael, CA office by dialing (916) 961-3434, or by using our convenient online contact form.