Keeping Kids On Their Feet
WHAT TO LOOK FOR AS CHILDREN’S FEET AND ANKLES DEVELOP
With back-to-school season in full swing, parents and caregivers are looking forward to another year of rapid growth. Children’s feet and ankles are no exception. Pay attention to kids’ feet and watch out for some common conditions that could have long-term consequences as children grow:
PEDIATRIC FLATFOOT Flatfoot is a foot with a low arch. If left untreated, the condition can last into adulthood. Weightbearing, both in and out of shoes, may become difficult. Children may experience pain or cramping in the foot, leg, and/or knee. Treatment options include physical therapy, custom orthotics, or shoe modifications. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications may also be used.
SEVER’S DISEASE This condition is characterized by swelling and irritation of the growth plate in the heel. Bones, muscles, and tendons grow at different rates as children develop physically. Pain, stiffness, or limping may result. Physical activities may make the pain worse. Treatment may include over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, rest, immobilization, or custom shoe inserts.
IN-TOEING In-toeing is more commonly known as being “pigeon-toed.” This condition may run in families. The condition may correct itself as the child grows, but in extreme cases, surgery may be necessary for corrective purposes.
EXCESSIVE PRONATION This excessive inward motion of the foot may cause unnecessary stretching and pulling on muscles and tendons of the heel. This stress could contribute to associated knee or hip pain. Functional orthotics, exercise, or shoe inserts could be used as treatment.