Children can have foot and ankle issues, too, just like adults can. However, children’s feet are often treated using a different approach than with adults.
Because children are still growing, foot and ankle issues can seriously impact their development – so any issues with the feet or ankles need to be evaluated and possibly treated by a pediatric podiatrist. This type of specialized foot doctor can recommend and administer the appropriate treatment, and help prevent the issue from interfering with the child’s physical development.
Let’s talk about some of the podiatry services that foot doctors most often administer to children, and where you can go in South Texas for top-quality pediatric podiatry care.
Podiatry Services for Children
There are a variety of podiatry services available for children, and these include the following:
- Removal of ingrown toenails – A pediatric podiatrist can treat ingrown toenails by removing the portion of the nail that is embedded in the skin. This can be done through a simple procedure called partial nail avulsion.
- Removal of warts – Podiatrists can treat warts by freezing them with liquid nitrogen or by applying a topical cream.
- Treatment for improper gait – In-toe gait is when the feet turn inward while walking, also called “pigeon-toed.” Out-toe gait is when the feet turn outward while walking, also called “duck walk.” Pediatric podiatrists are able to correct both in-toe gait and out-toe gait through a variety of methods such as braces, special shoes, and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.
- Treatment for heel pain, or Sever’s disease – Pediatric podiatrists are specially trained to treat Sever’s disease, which is a condition that affects the growth plate of the heel. Treatment typically involves a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises for the calf and leg muscles, shoe inserts to cushion the heel, and icing the area. In severe cases, a special orthotic device or a cast may be used to immobilize the foot and allow the bone tissue to heal and grow properly.
- Treatment for flatfoot – Having very low (almost flat) arches or no arches in the feet is called flatfoot. Treatment for flat feet in children usually involves stretching exercises and physical therapy, as well as the use of arch supports and orthotic shoes. Surgery is usually not recommended for children with flatfoot unless the condition is brought on by a related foot or leg problem.
- Removal of bunions – Bunions are a common foot deformity in children that can cause foot pain and difficulty walking. Pediatric podiatrists treat bunions by correcting the alignment of the bones in the foot, which may require surgery or a bunionectomy.
- Treatment for growth plate injuries – Pediatric podiatrists are specially trained to treat injuries of the growth plates, which are the areas of growing tissue at the ends of bones in children. Growth plates can be injured by overuse or trauma. Podiatrists can treat growth plate injuries with immobilization, manipulation, open reduction surgery, and/or casting.
Podiatry Services for Kids in San Antonio and South Texas
The pediatric podiatrists here at The Podiatry Group of South Texas are highly experienced in treating foot and ankle conditions in children. We combine experience, compassion, and age-appropriate communication when we deal with our young patients, because your child’s health, trust, and comfort are important to us.
To schedule an appointment for podiatry services with one of our outstanding physicians, call our podiatry clinic nearest you or fill out our convenient appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you resolve your foot issues!