About Childhood Foot Deformities

14 Mar About Childhood Foot Deformities

Childhood Foot Deformities

A pediatric foot deformity can be any condition that affects the bones, muscles, or ligaments of the foot. When you’re looking for someone to diagnose and treat a pediatric condition, look for a podiatrist who specializes in treating children’s conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment will prevent serious complications.

Clubfoot

Clubfoot is the popular term for a medical condition known as talipes equinovarus. It is a foot deformity that makes the foot turn inward and point down. The resulting shape looks like a club, which is where the condition gets its name.

Clubfoot is the most common childhood foot deformity. Most children have clubfoot caused by genetic reasons, and this is known as congenital clubfoot. In some cases, it’s the result of birth difficulties. This is known as positional clubfoot.

What is the best treatment for clubfoot? In most cases, surgery is not necessary. Many podiatrists have successfully treated clubfoot with a treatment known as the Ponseti technique. It involves three steps:

• Regular, gentle massage
• Weekly casting
• Use of a night brace

This technique has excellent results, but it’s important to start early. Most podiatrists recommend starting treatment soon after birth.

Cavus Foot

Children with this condition have an unusually high arch. It causes the heel to turn inward, which is known as a cavovarus foot deformity. It usually affects both feet, and it gets worse with time. Children with cavus foot frequently experience pain in their feet and difficulty walking.

Cavus foot is linked to existing medical conditions, foot injuries, or congenital conditions. In some children, the cause is unknown.

If your child has unusually high arches, it’s important to see a podiatrist right away. Treatment at an early age can prevent the condition from getting worse.

Treatment for cavus foot typically involves:

• Footwear with high tops and sturdy, wide soles
Custom orthotics to provide stability and arch support
• Bracing of the foot and ankle

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder

This name refers to a group of disorders that cause nerve damage to the arms and legs. It can lead to hammertoes, loss of sensation in the limbs, and muscle weakness. It is an inherited condition that is often linked to people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. It can also develop after taking certain chemotherapy medications.

This disorder can result in serious complications, including breathing difficulties and chronic pain. How do you know if your child has this disorder? Be on the lookout for these symptoms:

• Muscle weakness in the hands, arms, and legs
• Slow or reduced reflexes
• Loss of feeling in the hands and feet
• Other foot conditions, including hammertoes or high arches

What are the best treatments for this condition? While there is no cure for it, your podiatrist can recommend ways to help your child manage it. This plan may involve:

• Physical therapy
• Custom orthotics
• Leg and ankle braces
• Supportive shoes with high tops

Juvenile Bunions

Children can develop bunions just as adults can. Bunions happen when the metatarsophalangeal joint, which is part of the big toe, move out of alignment. This causes the toes to bend toward each other, and this misalignment leads to the development of a bony protrusion we call a bunion.

Surgery isn’t recommended for children with bunions because their feet are still growing. The treatment usually involves:

• Wearing supportive shoes with wide toe boxes
• Avoiding narrow or heeled shoes
• Custom orthotics and night splints

Contact Us If You’re Concerned

Some congenital foot deformities can’t be corrected, but they can all be managed. In most cases, nonsurgical methods will treat the condition. If you’re concerned about your child’s foot health, make an appointment at Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine today. Our child-friendly clinic offers the latest diagnostics and treatment options.

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