Common Foot and Ankle Problems in Children

In previous posts, we have talked about common foot and ankle injuries that happen to men and  women. Now, we’re going to talk about common foot problems in children.

(picture by associatedpodiatristsny.com)

As with adults, pain in a child’s foot or ankle is never normal. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as “growing pains.”

In fact, any pain that lasts more than a few days, or is severe enough to limit a child’s walking, should be checked by a foot and ankle doctor.

Here are some of the foot and ankle conditions commonly experienced by kids.

Most children with flat feet have no symptoms. However, sometimes they may have trouble participating in physical activities or sports, or appear to walk or run awkwardly. Some kids complain of pain or cramping in their feet, legs or knees.

Any pain with a child’s feet should be evaluated by a foot and ankle doctor.

Calcaneal apophysitis, also known as Sever’s Disease, is a painful inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. It typically happens to children between the ages of 8 and 14 years old.

This is because the heel bone (calcaneus) is not fully developed until at least age 14. Until then, new bone is forming at the growth plate (physis), which is a weak area located at the back of the heel. If there is too much repetitive stress on the growth plate, maybe through kids playing sports, then inflammation can develop.

Tight shoes or socks, or incorrect nail trimming, are some of the most common causes of ingrown toenails in children, although sometimes the tendency for nails to curve inward is inherited. When a  child, or adult, has an ingrown toenail, the nail breaks the skin and serious infections can result.

If their child has an ingrown toenail, parents should never try to dig the nail out at home.  They should contact a  foot and ankle doctor.

A plantar wart can develop anywhere on the foot, but they usually appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot. Plantar warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (not playing frogs), which is the same virus that causes warts on other parts of the body. Plantar warts commonly occur in children and adolescents. These warts grow deep into the skin, and can make walking or standing painful.

Remember, any type of foot pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 310-551-1711 (Century City) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

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