Some common foot conditions that we see in children include:
- Ingrown toenails- This can present as an infection on the child’s toe. The edge of the nail grows down and into the skin. Treatments include soaking the toe, wider shoe gear or a minor office procedure to remove the ingrowing nail border.
- Plantar warts- Approximately 10-20% of children in the US are affected. Various treatment options exist including over the counter topicals, laser therapies, surgical excision, as well as more aggressive topical therapies that are applied under a doctor’s supervision.
- Flat feet- This presents as feet with low or no arches. Feet may appear to be rolled in. Pediatric flat feet fall under two categories, flexible and rigid. Most flat feet that are asymptomatic do not need further intervention except for supportive shoe inserts, but symptomatic flat feet are in need of a thorough examination to rule out congenital conditions.
- Heel pain- Heel pain presents differently in children than adults. Children usually complain of pain when running or during activity and the heel hurts when it is squeezed. This is usually the result of inflammation of the growth plate and tightness within the achilles tendon.
- Injuries/sprains/fractures- Fractures are different in children compared to adults because of the presence of growth plates. Growth plates consists of cartilage cells that eventually transform into solid bone as the child grows. Fractures seen in children are more commonly incomplete fractures because their periosteum is stronger and thicker compared to adults.
- Accessory Navicular- This is a congenital condition which results in an extra bone or piece of cartilage which is located on the inner side of the foot just above the arch. This piece of bone is incorporated into the posterior tibial tendon which attaches there. It is common for symptoms to first appear during adolescence.
- Juvenile Bunions- This is a hereditary condition which is similar to an adult bunion but is seen much earlier in life. Conservative treatment includes supportive shoe gear, custom orthotics, icing, medication, padding/strapping and taping.
- Tarsal Coalitions- This occurs when there is an abnormal union between two or more tarsal bones which causes restricted or absent motion between the bones. Some signs and symptoms include pain, flat feet, rigidity and stiffness, and muscle spasms.
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Last updated: Dec 24, 2019 12:30 am