Dr. Gene Reister and our team at Richardson Podiatry Center are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive foot care services for your little ones. No matter if your child needs preventive care or treatment for an existing problem, we are here for you!
Child Foot Development
The amount of physical development children go through from the time they are born until they head out for the first day of school is absolutely remarkable. Every child rapidly progresses through a series of milestones—sitting, crawling, standing, walking—ultimately leading up to (relative) independence. There is so much happening with your growing child that it can be hard to keep up!
In spite of all the physical changes and growth, you need to pay close attention to children’s feet and toes, especially since those appendages play such a vital role in learning how to stand and walk. Basic children’s foot care is centered on preventative measures and dealing with issues early so they don’t become major problems down the road.
Common Children’s Foot IssuesChildren can begin to develop foot problems at a very young age. Your child may not even know what his or her feet are for, but you do – and it’s imperative that you identify any issues in their early stages. Doing so gives you the best chance at protecting your child by heading off potentially painful situations before they arise.
We are able to address many conditions for children, including intoeing (pigeon toes), out-toeing, plantar warts, flatfoot, and sports injuries. Having at least a basic understanding of these conditions will help you understand when home care is sufficient, when professional treatment is needed, and how to prevent certain problems from developing. With that in mind, some common issues include:
Intoeing (and Out-toeing). As logic would dictate, intoeing is a condition wherein feet are turned inwards (so toes point towards the center). This particular alignment doesn’t necessarily interfere with walking or running, and will usually correct itself as a child grows and develops better muscle control.
Conversely, toes point outwards in out-toeing (as can likely be expected). A potential cause for this is another condition (flatfoot) and it rarely is painful or requires treatment. If not flatfoot, it might be attributed to issues with the lower leg bones or hips.
If you are concerned about your child for either intoeing or out-toeing, come see Dr. Gene Reister. He will assess the situation and determine what is necessary from a treatment standpoint.
Plantar warts. Warts are unsightly, can spread easily, and may cause pain or discomfort, but they are certainly not malignant in nature. They are caused by certain strains of a common virus (human papillomavirus, which is also known as HPV).
Whereas there are wart removal kits that can be bought over-the-counter at retail stores, these kits are questionable (at best) in their effectiveness and often use a type of acid that can damage healthy skin tissue. A better solution for a wart on your child’s foot is to request an appointment with us.
Flatfoot. This particular condition is fairly common, and rarely causes pain in and of itself. The actual concern for flatfoot is that it can cause a variety of other medical problems. Plantar fasciitis, increased risk of ankle sprains, and pain in the ankles, knees, and hip joints are all potential concerns. Having said that, it’s important to note that almost all children have flat feet until around the age of 3 (at which point foot arches begin to develop).
There are two categories of flatfoot – flexible and rigid. In flexible cases, there is no observable arch when weight is placed on the affected foot. Once it is relaxed, however, an arch will appear. Most cases of flexible flatfeet resolve themselves over time (and as the arch continues its physical development). More concerning are rigid cases of flatfoot. We can prescribe custom orthotics to address this situation for your child.
Adolescent Heel Pain. The most common source of heel pain for teens is a condition known as Sever’s disease. Contrary to the name, this is not actually a disease. Instead, you can think of this as being a true “growing pain.” The problem develops when the growth plate in the back of the heel reaches physical maturity before the Achilles tendon. This situation results in the tendon tugging on the bone. Pain is often greatest during or after physical activity and will subside with rest. We only need to treat the symptoms of Sever’s, since the condition resolves when the Achilles tendon grows.
Professional Foot Care Services
We know how important your child’s health is to you, and this is one reason we offer comprehensive care and treatment for younger patients. If your child needs pediatric foot care, call Richardson Podiatry Center at (972) 690-5374 and request an appointment today.