Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Posts for: August, 2017
Like adults, children and adolescents can experience a variety of foot and ankle problems. Many foot problems, such as flat foot, are congenital, while problems like heel pain are usually the result of an injury.
Due to your child’s rapidly growing bones and tendons, many symptoms associated with foot and ankle problems can go unnoticed. For this reason, it is important parents pay attention to even subtle symptoms. Thorough, regular exams of your child's feet by a podiatrist may detect an underlying defect or condition and help minimize problems later in life.
Common Foot Problems
Children can experience a variety of foot problems, many of which go away as the child’s feet become more developed. This includes pigeon toes, flat feet and knock knees. In most cases, these congenital foot and leg problems do not require any medical intervention.
Plantar warts are common in children, especially during warm months when kids are more likely to walk barefoot. Forming on the bottom of the feet, these warts are caused by a virus that enters the skin, most often in public areas such as pools or locker rooms. The condition can be very uncomfortable — like walking on a small pebble or stone — but is also highly preventable and treatable.
Ankle sprains are very common foot injuries for active kids, especially those who participate in sports. Sprains occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched or torn. Mild ankle sprains heal with treatment, while severe tearing may require more extensive care, including extended immobilization followed by physical therapy. As a general rule, rest, ice, compress and elevate the child’s ankle immediately following the injury.
Ingrown toenails occur when one or both sides of the nail begin to break through and grow into the soft skin of the toe. This can lead to painful irritation and infection. Common causes of ingrown toenails include poorly fitting footwear, toe injuries or poor nail trimming. Caught early, a child’s ingrown toenail can be treated at home, but if the pain persists or the condition worsens, treatment by a podiatrist is necessary to eliminate the infection.
Choose Proper Footwear
Many pre-existing foot conditions can be relieved and new problems prevented by simply ensuring your child is wearing proper shoes. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, calluses and corns on the toes and heels. Ingrown toenails can also develop and become infected. A child’s feet are constantly growing and developing, so it may be necessary to change shoe size every few months. Additionally, shoes have a tendency to lose proper cushioning and arch support over time. Footwear that shows a lack of shock absorption or wear and tear should also be replaced to reduce the risk for injuries.
If you notice your child limping, constantly rubbing their feet, tripping frequently or consistently complaining of foot pain, then have them examined by your podiatrist or physician. Many problems can be easily identified and treated, and early intervention is the key.
When foot problems don’t respond to conservative treatments, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to relieve pain, correct a foot deformity or restore function in your foot and/or ankle.
Podiatric surgery is performed by board certified foot surgeons who specialize in surgery of the feet and ankles. An expert podiatrist can diagnose the cause of your foot pain and determine whether surgical intervention may be helpful for you based on factors such as type of procedure being performed, your age and medical history.
Our practice offers a variety of surgical procedures aimed at solving your lower extremity pains and deformities. Foot surgery is performed to treat many foot problems including:
- Heel pain
- Nail problems
Surgical treatment for foot and ankle problems can help you return to your active lifestyle while relieving pain and discomfort. Benefits of surgery include:
- Resolution of painful, chronic foot problems
- Increased mobility and ability to perform and participate in everyday activities
- Improved foot appearance
- Ability to wear a broader range of footwear and walk more comfortably
Following surgery, your podiatrist will provide you with detailed instructions on caring for your foot/feet during recovery. Your podiatrist will work with you to ensure the foot heals normally and without complications for the best possible outcome.
When your feet hurt, your entire body hurts. At our practice, we do everything possible to get you back on your feet with the latest conservative treatments to resolve your problem without surgical intervention. And when conservative methods aren’t responsive, we can provide the highest quality of expert care for all foot and ankle conditions using the most current surgical techniques for shorter recovery times and an enhanced outcome.