Sadly, children are not immune to foot and ankle problems. While many orthopedic (bone-related) issues resolve themselves as a child grows, other conditions can cause problems which need to be addressed by a trained podiatric professional.
Some of the most common orthopedic conditions found in children include:
- Flat feet. Most newborns don’t have arches in their feet, instead developing arches as they grow. But some children’s arches don’t fully develop, leaving them with “flat feet.” Understandably, parents who notice flat feet in their child may be worried that they will have mobility problems or challenges playing sports. Most often this is not the case, and whatever issues there are may be addressed with orthopedic shoe inserts. Only when the condition becomes painful or if it has become apparent that the child is having issues with their stride will a visit to the podiatrist be recommended.
- Toe Walking. As toddlers get the hang of walking, many of them walk on their toes. Usually, children grow out of this practice but some continue to walk on their toes long after they’ve learned to walk and stand upright. At that point children who appear to be walking on their toes most or all of the time should see a podiatrist. Persistent toe walking may be an indication of other conditions, such as cerebral palsy, muscle weakness disorders, autism, or other nervous system issues.
- In-toeing. Often referred to as being “pigeon-toed,” in-toeing is the inward turning of a child’s feet as they walk or run. Very common among younger children still working on their gait, in-toeing usually resolves itself in most children around the age of 8. If the condition persists, a podiatrist should be consulted. There are three main causes of in-toeing – metatarsus adductus, internal tibial torsion and excessive femoral anteversion – and the course of corrective treatment recommended by your doctor will depend on the reasons behind your child’s condition.
- As with the conditions listed above, bowlegs are very common among infants and toddlers and usually go away as the child gets older. A child is considered bowlegged if he or she stands with their toes forward and their ankles together while the knees don’t touch. Treatment for this condition is rarely needed, but if your child’s bowlegs persist after the age the age of 8 or so, consider visiting a doctor to ensure that your child isn’t suffering from other conditions that could be contributing to the issue such as vitamin D deficiency.
JAWS podiatry: Hollywood, Florida Foot and Ankle Specialists
For children and adults alike, foot and ankle problems can be painful and frustrating. At JAWS podiatry, we understand that you want to resolve any such problems as quickly and as easily as possible. We are here to get you back on your feet and back to your life. Please contact us today at (954) 922-7333 to schedule a consultation.