Special Topics - Children's Foot Problems
The types of problems...
The rather large group of clinical conditions affecting the younger patient can be sub-divided into four categories. The first includes those conditions involving the skin and nails. Under this heading, we find such ailments as rashes, warts, ingrown nails, skin infections, and foreign bodies. The second category includes the traumatic conditions such as sprained ankles, bruises and soft tissue injuries, dislocations, fractures (broken bones), burns, and lacerations (cuts). A third group involves the structural or visible deformities of the feet. These include such conditions as bunions, hammertoes, tailor's bunions, and enlarged heel bumps. Category four includes the problems associated with gait or the way that one walks. We refer to this group of clinical problems as functional since they are produced by some sort of abnormal foot function during walking. Under this heading we find excessive pronation (in-rolling of the arch), suppination (rolling to the outside of the foot), in-toe and out-toe problems, limb length abnormalities, and other biomechanical problems.
To treat or not to treat...
The best advice that a concerned parent, guardian, or friend could hear regarding these problems is that when in doubt, seek professional care. It should be emphasized that not all of the clinical problems affecting children are outgrown and that with early detection and treatment, the chances for a successful resolution are greatly increased. Many of these problems can cause lifelong disabilities when not addressed at an earlier age.
Just as there are a wide number of potential problems affecting the feet of children, so to are there a large variety of treatment options. Medications, surgery, braces, orthotics (foot supports), and various casts include some of the more common types of available treatments. The bottom line is that early detection and specialized treatment by your foot specialist greatly increases the opportunity for a successful management of the problem.
For further information, please contact our office.
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