Babies, children, and adolescents share unique risks for various foot disorders, including clubfoot, in-toeing, plantar warts, and athlete’s foot. While your child’s pediatrician might first notice an issue, a skilled pediatric podiatrist specializing in childhood disorders will likely better grasp the latest therapies and treatments for common problems in babies and children.
Our expert podiatrists provide gentle care to children and education for parents regarding child foot disorders at Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center in Central Maryland.
What Are Common Children's Foot Disorders?
Children's foot disorders are deformities or complications that tend to affect children’s feet. Some affect children exclusively, while others are simply common in kids. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your child’s feet grow and develop correctly, and in some cases, children can grow out of the foot disorder they are born with.
Child foot disorders often start in babies or toddlers since their feet are very flexible and soft. Some common foot disorders in children are:
- Flat feet
- Toe walking
- Knock knees
- Plantar warts
- Athletes’ foot
You may suspect your child has a foot issue if their walking style looks different from other children or if they start to complain of heel pain or other discomforts.
Are Foot Disorders in Children Preventable?
Some foot disorders in children are preventable as long as you care for their feet well, starting when they’re infants. Before your child’s first birthday, you should avoid putting them in shoes or tight socks that can constrict the proper growth and development of their feet.
Once your child starts growing up, teaching them to wash their feet frequently can help prevent foot fungus and infection. It’s also important to keep a close eye on your child as they learn to walk to ensure no injuries occur. You should make sure your child has a pair of supportive shoes that fit well.
Treatments for Children’s Foot Disorders
Fortunately, children's foot disorders are usually pretty easy to treat and rarely require surgery because children are still growing. The ongoing growth makes their muscles and bones more plastic than in adults, and with the proper training and foot care, they may be able to grow out of the issue.
Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center can look over your child’s feet and might use X-ray imaging to understand the inner structures better. If treatment is necessary, they may recommend:
- Physical therapy
- Topical or oral medications for infections
- Minor surgery for warts or other growths
Surgery is rarely necessary, but Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center works with you throughout the process if your child needs it. They may recommend soft tissue reconstruction or gradual correction with external fixation devices, among other strategies.
Benefits of a Pediatric Podiatrist
A pediatric podiatrist offers specialized expertise in the care of children's feet, providing a range of invaluable benefits to both young patients and their parents. These foot and ankle specialists are trained to address the unique foot and lower extremity concerns that arise during childhood and adolescence, ensuring optimal foot health and overall well-being.
One primary advantage of consulting a pediatric podiatrist is their early detection and intervention. Children's feet are still developing, and any issues that arise at this stage can have lasting impacts on their future mobility and comfort. Pediatric podiatrists are adept at identifying and diagnosing various conditions, including flat feet, toe deformities, gait abnormalities, and growth plate-related concerns. Early recognition allows for timely treatment, potentially preventing more severe problems in the long run.
Specialized Treatment for Children's Foot Pain
Pediatric podiatrists tailor their treatments to the specific needs of young patients. They possess a deep understanding of the growing musculoskeletal system, employing strategies that promote proper development. These may encompass orthotic devices, physical therapy, specialized footwear recommendations, and exercises to enhance strength and coordination.
Another key benefit is their ability to address issues related to sports and physical activities. Children and adolescents frequently engage in active pursuits that can put strain on their feet and ankles. Pediatric podiatrists can provide guidance on injury prevention, proper warm-up techniques, and footwear choices that support the demands of various sports while minimizing the risk of injury.
Children's Foot Care Tips From a Foot and Ankle Specialist
Children's feet are important for their overall growth and success. Here are some tips to prevent children's foot problems.
- Don't share or pass down shoes
- Proper foot hygiene is key
- Measure everytime you buy new shoes
- Wear shoes or sandals in public spaces
- Check for problems in children's feet
- Learn how to properly cut toenails
Most importantly, visit a pediatric podiatrist who is a foot and ankle specialist when trouble arises. If you notice any bumps or rashes on the skin, if your child wants to skip their favorite activities, or starts to complain of foot pain- it's time to call a foot and ankle specialist.
Trust Our Three Decades of Experience to Resolve Your Children’s Foot Problems in Annapolis
If your child’s feet look unusual in any way, or if they seem to struggle with walking, don’t wait to call Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center or request an appointment online today. If you're looking for a foot and ankle specialist that treats children's foot problems- you've come to the right place. Our pediatric podatrist can diagnose and treat all types of problems in children's feet.
With early intervention, many problems can be resolved using only conservative measures. However, with over 30 years of providing foot and ankle care in Central Maryland, our board-certified surgeons are experts at resolving deformities and injuries in children with minimally invasive surgery when necessary. We see children in our Annapolis, Stevensville, or Glen Burnie offices.