CHILDREN’S PODIATRIC MEDICINE
Get back to the playground.
Kids may be a lot more resilient than adults, but they too incur many of the same orthopedic problems and injuries adults do, plus a few that are mostly unique to them. Parents will sometimes notice that their child’s foot position may seem odd when walking or that they seem to walk exclusively on their toes. Active kids are prone to developing pain at regions of bone where growth takes place and the most common site for this to present is the heel.
Also very common with active kids, is the complaint of knee and or low back pain during or following activities. This is seen commonly in kids who’s feet over-pronate or flatten out, because the thigh bones are compensating, with the result of increased strain on the knees, low back and feet. In such cases, custom made foot orthotics are fit to correct the position of the feet and entirely relieve pain symptoms. In the most extreme cases, or if there is a preference to not have to use orthotics, a small stent can be surgically placed in the foot to correct the foot position.
A final common foot issue that we see in kids are plantar warts. Though these can and do occur in people of all ages, children are particularly vulnerable to them. These warts, caused by a strain of the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) can be very aggressive and spread quickly in children. Until about the age of 6 or 7, warts may spontaneously resolve on their own, however, in kids older than this, they often don’t. Warts can be treated very effectively, with little discomfort.
So, whether you notice something that concerns you about the way your child walks or the position of their foot, or if they complain about any lower extremity or back pain, don’t hesitate to bring them in for an assessment!