Does your daughter complain of pain in her foot? Does your son avoid gym class or other activities because of the pain he feels in his heel? It is unusual for children to complain of foot pain, so if they do mention it, there is most likely a problem behind it. Often, the problem is a case of flat feet. If you or your spouse has flat feet, it is likely that your child does too, as the condition is hereditary. He may need a pediatric podiatrist!
A child may complain of pain on the inside or outside of the ankle or the bottom of the foot. Older child may develop painful bunions (a bump on the side of the big toe) or hammertoes (curling or crooked toes) as a result of flat feet. If your child does have a painful flat foot, the doctors at the Beaver Valley Foot Clinic can assess the problem and decided on a proper course of treatment.
Most flat feet will require simple orthotic inserts in your child’s shoe to help realign the foot. If that does not alleviate the pain, surgical correction can be performed to prevent further problems down the road. Due to the latest surgical techniques, the flat foot correction can now be accomplished with a simple surgery that will require minimal recovery time. Please keep in mind that the doctors are dedicated to to exploring a full course of conservative treatment prior to performing any surgical procedure.
Another common foot problem in children is heel pain. This usually occurs in active children between ages 8 and 12 who spend a lot of time running around, playing sports or dancing. These children often will complain of pain in the back of the heel that worsens during or immediately after physical activity. The technical tern for this condition is Calcaneal Apophysitis or Seaver’s disease, but it is often referred to as “growing pains.”
In the back of the heel bone, where the Achilles’ tendon attaches to the bone, there is a growth plate that enables the bone to continue to grow as the child ages. For some children in this age group, the bone grows faster than the muscles and the tendons of the leg. This causes the Achilles’ tendon to become to tight and to pull on the back of the heel bone. Fortunately, the treatment for this condition is always conservative and does not require surgery. Stretching, icing, anti-inflammatory medicines, heel lifts and a temporary decrease in activity usually relieves the pain. The good news is that the growth plate closes over time, so the pain does not reoccur and no long-term problems result from this condition. For adults, the noninvasive ESWT, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is available to treat your heel pain in one 20 minute visit.
Other common pediatric foot problems to be aware of include ingrown toenails and warts. All pediatric foot conditions can be treated by the doctors at the Beaver Valley Foot Clinic. Having children of their own, both doctors are sympathetic to young patients as well as parents. As always, they are dedicated to providing gentle yet comprehensive foot care for patients of all ages.