At Wisconsin Foot Center, we treat each patient with the utmost care and respect, and this is especially true when it comes to kids and their foot care. Since children’s feet are continuously growing and changing, treating their foot problems takes unique skill and experience. In addition to the expert treatment services provided in our office by Dr. Andrew Marso, you can also find patient education right here on our website to help parents like you know how to best care for children’s feet.
Common Child Foot Issues
There are many child foot problems that can arise, but we see some of them more frequently than others at our Hales Corners office. These include such issues as:
- Pediatric flatfoot. If your son or daughter is experiencing pain or problems from a flatfoot condition, bring your child to see us and we can help. If there are no symptoms or problems, treatment is not needed.
- Intoeing. Much like with pediatric flatfoot, there is good news in the fact that intoeing is not usually a major problem. There are three common causes of intoeing—metatarsus adductus, tibial torsion, and femoral anteversion. These are all variations of an abnormal twisting. Typically, these issues will resolve themselves over time, without the need for external intervention. That said, we can monitor the condition and ensure your child is on a proper trajectory for lower limb growth and health.
- Ingrown toenails. When a toenail grows into the soft skin flanking it, the result can be discomfort, pain, and even increased risk for infection. The big toe’s nail is most likely to become ingrown, but it can happen to any of the others. Common causes include improper nail trimming, ill-fitting footwear, and physical trauma.
- Sever’s disease. This condition is not necessarily a “disease,” but is the most common cause of heel pain for adolescents (especially females). This can be thought of as a growing pain, since the issue arises when the heel bone (calcaneus) achieves physical maturity before the Achilles tendon connecting to it. The good news about Sever’s disease is we only need to provide treatment to help manage the pain, since the condition will resolve itself over time and without any long-lasting complications.
- Sports injuries. Not all children are physically active, but many in the greater Milwaukee community love playing sports like soccer, baseball, football, and volleyball. Sports are a great way for children to be active and strengthen growing bodies, but they also pose a risk for injury. Fortunately, most sports injuries are resolved with nonsurgical care, and can often be avoided by taking preventative measures.
Preventing Child Foot Problems
We are proud to provide services to relieve pain and restore functionality, but even better is when you are able to help your son or daughter prevent an issue from arising in the first place. To that end, always clip a child’s nails correctly (straight across, even with tips of toes), make sure proper hygiene practices are followed daily, and encourage your son or daughter to adopt a stretching program to prevent soft tissue injuries or problems. Our office has further information to help you head off foot and ankle conditions before they start, so give us a call or schedule an appointment.
Proper Footwear for Children
In addition to other prevention methods, it is important to provide children with properly-fitting footwear. More than that, shoes need to be activity-appropriate, constructed from durable material, and provide arch support and sufficient cushioning.
When shopping with your child for footwear, buy shoes of a proper size and do not adapt a “they will stretch out” mentality. To help with this, make sure your son or daughter’s toes have room to wiggle and there is about a thumb’s width of space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe. Also, the heel needs to be firmly cradled and you should be able to slide your index finger down to the second knuckle in the back when the shoes are laced.
Expert Child Foot Care Services in Southeastern Wisconsin
Knowing simple principles such as these will not only assist in remedying current foot problems a child may have, but also can prevent future complications. We want your children to be happy and healthy, so trust our Hales Corners foot doctor to provide your children with expert care that will promote their long-term health. Call us now at (414) 425-8400 to learn more and to schedule an appointment for your child.
"Feel Good Feet: A User's Guide to Foot & Ankle Health"