Spot Kids’ Foot Problems
Tips for Parents: How to Spot Kids’ Foot Problems
Foot and ankle surgeons offer advice to help parents recognize conditions early and spot kids’ foot problems.
Spot Kids’ Foot Problems Just part of growing up vs. the sign of a problem-managing children’s health and wellness is complicated for parents. Parents often struggle to know which signs and symptoms are temporary and those that point to more serious concerns. As children transition back to the regular routines of fall with school and sports, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons offers practical tips to help parents know what their children’s feet are telling them.
“While many pediatric foot problems resolve themselves with growth and time, there are clear signs that tell parents when their children need medical help,” says Suneel Basra, DPM, FACFAS, a New Jersey-based foot and ankle surgeon and a Fellow member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. See the following list of tips for when when you child needs to see a doctor.
When to See a Doctor
Common pediatric foot problems can range from pediatric flat foot, toe walking, in-toeing, and flat or high arches to tarsal coalitions and extra bone growth. While these conditions and their treatments are different, they share some common signs that show parents there is a problem that needs addressing by a foot and ankle surgeon:
- Pain, swelling and redness that does not subside
- Development of thick calluses in one area of the foot
- Problems with the way your child walks (gait)
- Shins or thighbones that appear to turn inward
- Ankles that are weak or easily give out
“Checking a child’s foot health during a routine physical is just as important as any other part of the exam. Pediatricians and foot and ankle surgeons need to work together to ensure these conditions do not affect a child’s overall growth and development,” continues Dr. Basra. What happens once your child has been diagnosed with a pediatric foot condition? The following options spell out the best approaches, based on the individual child, and his or her problem.
There are a variety of treatment options for these conditions that parents can evaluate in partnership with their healthcare team. Whether a less invasive approach such as shoe modifications, orthotic devices and physical therapy or more intensive interventions such as bracing, steroid injections or surgery; a foot and ankle surgeon can advise parents on which treatment offers the best long-term prognosis for their children.