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The growth and development of children are significantly influenced by their pediatric foot and ankle care. From deformation to injury, foot and ankle problems should be addressed to ensure healthy growth and development of the bones, joints, and ligaments. Below is an overview of the various ailments that a Podiatrist can address and how to know when you need your child to be cared for.
Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail grows in such a way that it cuts the surrounding skin. The pain can become quite severe in the affected area. If ingrown toenails are not treated properly, complications such as infection can occur, causing more pain as well as a risk of more serious problems. Warning signs can include redness, swelling, and pain near the toenail as well as pus and drainage in severe cases.
Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease)
Calcaneal apophysitis is a painful condition that affects the growth plate in the heel as children are growing. It is very commonly seen amongst boys and girls evenly, usually between the ages of 8-14. The growth plate in the heel bone creates a weak spot, as it is being pulled on by the achilles tendon and plantar fascia in different directions. As your child is going through a growth spurt, the heel can become inflamed, causing pain and hindering them from running, jumping, playing sports, and doing all things that kids do.
Foot and Ankle Pain
There are many reasons that a child can feel foot and ankle pain. Injuries and genetics are common causes. Your child’s Podiatrist must address more than just the symptoms. The underlying cause should be treated to find a long-term solution. Common causes for general pain in the feet and/or ankles are sports injuries, abnormal gait, and biomechanical or structural issues.
If you notice that there is something odd about the way that your child is walking, your child may be suffering from an abnormal gait. Problems in the ankles or feet usually cause abnormal gait issues. The symptoms can include the following:
- Flat feet
- Walking on tip-toes
- Toes turning inwards while walking
- Toes turning outward while walking
- Using hips to lift the legs instead of knees
- Limping or uneven weight distribution
- Painful walking
If your child is experiencing foot and ankle problems like the ones described above, he or she may be unable to perform simple, everyday tasks. This can be frustrating for the child and can cause pain and other long-term issues.
There are, fortunately, treatment options that can help to address the problems. Treatment ensures that the ankles and feet can function properly. Treatment also alleviates the pain and discomfort that may hold your child back from doing the things that kids love to do.
Ingrown Nail Correction
Ingrown toenails are easily fixed, but can sometimes require the attention of a professional. The process is simple and an outpatient procedure, that usually takes less than 10 minutes, and is performed in the office. Just be sure to follow proper aftercare as prescribed by your care specialist.
Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease)
The first line treatment for calcaneal apophysitis is strict rest from any physical activity or sport for a period of two weeks, as difficult as this may seem for you little one. Thereafter, structured regimens of stretching need to be employed, with application of ICE on the heel, to decrease the pull of the ligamentous structures of the foot on the heel bone. Often heel lifts can be helpful, and custom orthotics and further aid in supporting the heel and getting your child back on the field, and preventing recurrence.
General Foot and Ankle Problems
There are a lot of injuries that can cause foot and ankle problems. It is important that your care specialist does not just address the symptoms, but finds the root of the problem to be addressed so that the issue can be rectified. Foot and ankle pain can mean so many things, but some problems can be serious. If your child is experiencing foot and ankle pain, it is always a good idea to seek professional help.
If your child is suffering from abnormal gait, he or she may need custom orthotics prescribed by his or her Podiatrist. Custom orthotics are inserts fabricated for your child’s specific condition and custom to his or her foot, that can be placed inside of the child’s shoes to address the structural issues present.
Do Not Wait
If your child is having problems with his or her feet or ankles, you should seek help. The feet and ankles are crucial in the growth and development of your child. Any problems that are left unattended can impede normal and healthy growth. It is always best to treat them as soon as possible.
Diablo Foot and Ankle’s specialists have plenty of experience helping children with the proper development of their musculoskeletal system. Call to schedule an appointment today. We are here to help.