How Do We Treat Child Foot Pain?
When do you go to a mechanic? When your car is old and broken down, right? A lot of people have the same impression about podiatry—that it’s a profession focusing on caring for aging feet. While it’s true that we do that here, adults aren’t the only ones who experience foot pain. Kids and teens do too. And when they do, they need a foot doctor experienced at dealing with children’s foot issues.
To some degree, we treat childhood foot problems with the same sort of approach we do their parents and grandparents. We take as much time as needed to examine and diagnose the problem. We use a gentle, compassionate approach and fully explain the condition and treatment options in a way that the patients (kids and their parents) can understand. Whenever possible, we prefer to use conservative treatment methods, avoiding surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary.
But it’s also the case that treating kids’ feet is different, in several very important ways. For example:
- They’re still growing. Shoes, braces, orthotics, etc. that fit last month might not fit next month. Growth plates in certain bones (especially the calcaneus, or heel bone) are strained and can be injured.
- Bones are still flexible and don’t fully mature until well into the teen years in most cases. This can result in conditions such as flexible flat feet.
- They’re still developing an adult-like gait. Children are often born with leg and foot bones that aren’t perfectly “straight” at first, leading to toes that appear pointed inward or outward, or other gait abnormalities. Often these conditions correct themselves over the first few years of life, but sometimes they don’t.
Because a child will need to depend on their feet to get them through the next 50, 70, or even 100 years of life, it’s extremely important that childhood foot pain and issues are addressed as early and as completely as possible. The quality of foot care in the first few years or decades of life will help determine the trajectory for the decades to come—for good or for ill.
At Family Foot & Ankle Center, you’ll find a dedicated pediatric foot care team that provides comprehensive and effective care for your little one’s feet, without sacrificing a gentle, compassionate, and caring approach. We’ll help your child deal with whatever foot pain they have, while helping them feel as comfortable and confident as possible about the process.
To schedule an appointment, please give our Jasper, IN office a call at (812) 481-7200.