Pediatric Foot Deformities
The Podiatrist sees and treats many pediatric foot deformities. Parents should not dismiss foot disorders believing that the child will outgrow them. Many hip, back, knee, and foot ailments could be prevented in adulthood by having custom ortothics in childhood.
Some of the more common pediatric deformities are club feet, flat fee, and intoeing. Club foot is a congenital foot disorder easily recognized at birth. Treatment consists of corrective casting or often surgery. Intoeing can result from malposition of the hip, leg or foot. Tripping an awkward gait are the usual complaints of the parents. Treatment depends upon the age, severity, and anatomical location of the deformity. Exercises, casting, night splints, or rarely surgery may be prescribed. Flat foot is a term used to describe any condition causing the arch to be abnormally low or absent. In children up to three years of age, the foot may appear to be flat due to a large fat pad in the arch. These feet are normal. A mild flat foot with no symptoms usually requires no treatment. However, those with severely flat feet of flat feet with associated symptoms; such as growing pains, leg, ankle, or arch pain should be evaluated. Treatment may consist of shoe modifications or orthotics (custom arch supports). Surgery is only rarely needed.
Foot deformities in children should not be ignored. Early evaluation by a foot specialist may prevent foot problems later in life.