Comprehensive Care for Pediatric Foot Problems
When children suffer from foot or ankle injuries or disorders, it takes a specialist who understands pediatric bone development to properly treat the problem.
At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, Dr. John Konkol, Jr. and Dr. Michael Langlois are board-certified foot and ankle surgeons who are specially skilled in the compassionate, personalized care of pediatric patients. They understand the issues that infants, children, and adolescents face as well as how to treat them.
Common foot and ankle issues seen in children and teens include:
Heel pain in children is often related to repetitive stress on the growth plate in the heel bone. Calcaneal apophysitis, or Sever’s disease, is the most common cause of foot pain in athletic children from 8 to 14 years old. Overuse from running, jumping, and pounding on hard surfaces irritates the heel’s growth plate, causing inflammation and pain in the back and bottom of the heel. It can occur in one or both feet.
Treatment typically includes taking a break from the activity that caused the condition, using orthotics to support the heel, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to ease the pain, and stretching the Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Immobilizing the foot and ankle may be required for severe cases of pediatric heel pain.
Pediatric flatfoot is common in young children. It is characterized by an arch that disappears when the child stands up (so the feet appear flat) but reappears when sitting. Also called flexible flatfoot, the condition usually occurs in both feet.
While most children will not experience any symptoms from the condition, those who do may feel pain or cramping in the feet or legs while walking. If your child stops playing sports or withdraws from other physical activities, you should visit a podiatrist.
In most cases, children outgrow the disorder without treatment. If your child experiences any symptoms, they can usually be alleviated by wearing supportive shoes and custom orthotics for arch support.
It can take years before a child's gait becomes established. Abnormal walking patterns may include in-toeing (when the feet turn inward while walking; what some refer to as being "pigeon-toed"), out-toeing (when feet turn outward while walking), bowleg (knees point outward), knock-knees (knees point inward), and an asymmetric gait or limping. One or both feet may be involved.
Your podiatrist can expertly assess your child’s gait, including the steadiness and angle of his or her movement. Gait problems may be related to issues with the foot, shin, hip, or thigh. However, in the vast majority of cases, a child outgrows initial gait abnormalities.
In some cases, your podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics, and purchasing the proper type of shoes for your child can help correct the issue or ease symptoms.
Pediatric Podiatrists in San Antonio, and Live Oak, TX
If you’re concerned about a foot or ankle disorder in your child, contact the pediatric podiatrists at The Podiatry Group of South Texas to make sure your child gets the proper care. Call the location nearest you or use our online form to request an appointment.