Skin problems (dermatology)
Skin problems are common in the pediatric population because the risk of contagion is increased by daycare and extracurricular activities. Consult your podiatrist in order to evaluate the skin lesions and begin treatment as soon as possible.
Atypical gait (internal or external)
It is important to consult a podiatrist if you have questions about your child's gait. The most common concerns are the position of the feet inward or outward, tiptoe walking and asymmetry of the legs and back while walking. Several components can lead to an atypical gait:
- subluxation of the hip;
- limb length discrepancy;
- increased or decreased rotation (soft tissue) or torsion (bone) of the femur or tibia;
- congenital defects of the muscles and bones of the foot, etc..
Postural and biomechanical analysis can be performed by your podiatrist to determine the diagnosis and plan appropriate treatment.
Juvenile flat feet
In children, flat feet can be responsible for muscle and ligament tension which can lead to symptoms of pain and fatigue in legs and feet. These symptoms are often mistaken for "growing pains".
The plantar arch develops naturally from the moment of a child's first steps and should be complete by the age of 7 years old. Juvenile flat feet is when this development does not occur correctly. It is important to deal with the problem as soon as possible to prevent the symptoms during the child's growth and to avoid misalignments in adulthood.
The podiatrist has the necessary knowledge to evaluate if your child's development follows the average growth curve or if foot orthotics therapy is required to help guide alignment.
Knock knees (genu valgum)
Knock knees is an internal deviation of the knees giving the impression that they touch while standing. In children, this appearance may be normal between the ages of 3 to 6 years, but should be repositioned in a straight alignment as of the age of 7 years. The sagging feet can often lead to internal rotation of the knees.
After a complete biomechanical assessment, your podiatrist will be able to determine if your child follows the average growth curve and may recommend orthotics therapy if necessary.
It is described in the literature that growing pains may be present sporadically for several hours to several days. When pain persists, a biomechanical cause is often underlying.
Biomechanical and postural evaluations are recommended to detect if misalignment is the cause of the pain and if the symptoms can be alleviated by wearing orthotics.
There are some birth defects such as metatarsus adductus, talipes equino varus, pes valgus and syndactylies that can be evaluated by your podiatrist. It is important to know as early as possible in the child's growth what treatment options (conservative and surgical) are possible.
Heel pain (Sever's disease)
Pain in the heel occurs frequently in active children from 6 to 12 years of age. The growth plate of the heel can become inflamed due to tensions at the attachment of the Achilles tendon and cause severe deep pain especially during physical activity. Applying ice and rest can help but if the pain persists or is repeated, orthotic therapy may be necessary.