Children's Foot Care

Children, as with humans of any age, certainly sustain or develop a wide array of foot and ankle conditions and injuries that can have painful symptoms, restrict movement, and keep them away from favorite activities. As we look at children’s foot conditions, there are some that we tend to see more often here at Capital District Podiatry.

Pediatric Flatfoot

Children and foot arches can have a somewhat muddled, complicated relationship, especially when we factor in parent expectations. Some individuals—new parents, in particular—become concerned upon realizing that their newborn doesn’t have foot arches. Not to worry; this is completely normal.

When a child is born, he or she has a pad of fat that covers the arch. The arch will really begin taking noticeable shape around 2-3 years of age. Even if a child still has flatfoot beyond that point, it might not be concerning. Flexible flatfoot is fairly common and marked by arches that aren’t present when a child rests his or her bodyweight on a foot, but then the arch appears when the child sits or stands on tiptoe.

At age 8, the arches should be fully developed, but flatfoot is still seen in many individuals for the rest of their lives. As long as this does not cause painful symptoms, treatment is generally not necessarily.

Intoeing

In addition to flexible flatfoot, in-toeing—also known as being “pigeon-toed”—is another common issue that creates concern for new parents. There are a couple of different reasons that a young child’s feet point in when he or she walks. These include:

  • Metatarsus adductus – The foot curves inwards from the middle to the toes. This will usually correct itself by around 4-6 months. If the condition continues beyond that, we can provide special shoes or casts that work for most cases.
  • Tibial torsion – In this condition the lower leg twists inwards, which might be attributed to the positioning and time spent in womb. This often corrects before school age and treatment is often ineffective.
  • Femoral anteversion – This condition is marked by an inwards twist up at the hip joint and tends to be most obvious around 5 or 6 years old. Femoral anteversion typically corrects itself spontaneously.

Sever’s Disease (Calcaneal Apophysis)

When an adolescent experiences heel pain, especially when there is no obvious reason for it, the most likely explanation is Sever’s disease. Contrary to the name, this particular condition is not a disease, nor is it an injury. Instead, Sever’s is a matter of varying growth maturation process for the heel bone (calcaneus) and the soft tissues that connect to it, especially the Achilles tendon. This situation leads to heel pain that can be exacerbated by physical activity.

Treatment for the condition is conservative and only necessary for addressing symptoms of pain and stiffness. This issue does not result in long-term problems for your child.

Plantar Warts

These growths are caused by a virus that can be passed along from human to human via touch. This means that a curious child who touches someone else’s wart—or his or her own—can transmit the wart-causing virus to his or her own body, or from his or her own foot to another spot. The virus (human papillomavirus) can also be transmitted via contaminated surfaces (include pool and locker room floors).

No matter how the virus was caught, it is important to know that warts will generally go away on their own, but this can take a long time (up to a couple of years, even). Additionally, they are not dangerous, although a plantar wart on the bottom of the foot can be uncomfortable. You can find effective wart treatment for your child here at Capital District Podiatry.

Child Foot Care in the Greater Albany, NY Region

These are some of the more common reasons young patients to come to our podiatry office, but they aren’t the only ones. No matter which foot or ankle condition causes painful symptoms or restricts movement for your child, we will provide an effective treatment plan. Schedule your appointment at our Troy or Clifton Park, NY location online, or give us a call at (518) 273-0053.

Troy Office

763 Hoosick Rd.
Troy, NY 12180

Clifton Park Office

855 Route 146 | Suite 150
Clifton Park, NY 12065

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