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5 Most Common Pediatric Foot Issues and How We Treat Them

Pediatric foot problems aren’t uncommon. In fact podiatrists are seeing more and more children for issues ranging from ingrown toenails to more serious conditions, such as those that affect the development and growth of a child’s feet. Foot pain in children should never be ignored. Caught early, many of the more common causes of pediatric foot issues can easily be treated. However, putting off a visit to the podiatrist when your child constantly complains, shows signs of pain in the feet, such as limping, or prefers to stay on the sidelines while their friends are having fun, can possibly cause serious harm.

Common pediatric foot issues

Here’s a look at 5 of the most common pediatric foot issues and what we at Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers can do to treat them:

1. Ingrown toenail

Just as adults experience ingrown toenails from time to time, so do children. And they’re every bit as painful. The toenail curves as it grows deep into the sides of the top of the toe. As it pierces the skin, bacteria enter the wound and can cause infection, which can become serious. Typically, parents already have visited their pediatrician and the child probably has been prescribed a course of antibiotics.

At this point we need to treat the source of the infection: the ingrown toenail. In severe cases we provide a topical prescription medication and advise you of certain home remedies that should help to alleviate the pain and infection. Sometimes removal of the nail is required. This can be done in-office, under local anesthesia, if necessary.

2. Flat feet, problems with gait, intoeing

For some children younger than 6, turning in of the toes, flat feet, or a slightly unusual gait may be perfectly normal. Your child’s feet are still developing and there’s no indication they won’t “grow out” of these pediatric foot issues. However, if your child is of school age and complains of pain in the legs and feet, resists the urge to run and play, or seems to wear out the heels of their shoes before growing out of them, you should contact Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers for a thorough evaluation.

3. Heel pain

Should your child complain of heel pain it’s entirely possible they may have bumped or bruised their heel while at play. But if the pain seems persistent, you need to have it checked out as soon as possible because heel pain could indicate a more serious condition. Heel pain is often an inflammation of the growth plate that’s part of the heel bone and can be treated with ice, rest, some slight, easy stretches — and maybe some ice cream!

Sometimes heel pain is an indicator of a more serious condition, such as an infection within the bone. That’s why it’s extremely important not to ignore your child’s heel pain.

4. Warts and bunions

Warts are a fairly common pediatric foot issue. The wart is basically a virus that’s picked up and spread and that thrives in damp, warm environments. The easiest way to treat children with warts is to stress the importance of keeping the area dry, protected, and as cool as possible. That way the body can do what it needs to shed the wart.

Bunions can be painful to your child. They’re caused by a buildup of tissue at the pressure points of your child’s foot, such as the toes and balls of the feet. If your child complains of pain due to bunions, Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers can help relieve their pain and get them back to having fun. Early in their formation, steps can be taken to help the bunion issue resolve itself. Your child may need some custom orthotics to alleviate the pressure or, in advanced cases, we perform a minimally invasive procedure.

5. Tendinitis

Children are naturally in perpetual motion, or so it seems. Those older kids — preteens and adolescents, especially —  who are involved in athletics can suffer from tendinitis, typically due to simply pushing the limits and going a bit too hard. Tendinitis can be extremely painful, but is usually relieved by RICE (resting, ice, compression, elevation). If your child complains of this common pediatric foot issue, it’s best to have the pain evaluated. In very rare cases the damage may require more specific medical intervention.

Pediatric foot care

At Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers we give special attention to our youngest patients. Dr. Gary M. Kazmer is a parent himself and understands your concern when your child is in pain. If you find your child complaining of leg, heel, or foot pain, contact Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers to schedule an appointment at one of our conveniently located centers. We have offices in Elgin, Barrington, and Chicago to serve you.

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