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Pediatric Foot Problems

The Condition

There are a variety of foot problems that can affect infants and children. Some of these problems are serious, such as clubfoot, while others can be mild, as found in some cases of in-toeing. The good news is pediatric foot problems can be managed and children can ultimately function in a normal fashion as they progress toward adulthood. The key to treatment is early detection.

The Treatment

Treatment methods vary greatly depending upon the type of pediatric foot problem present. One universal truth regarding all foot deformities is that early intervention and treatment are essential to obtaining the best possible outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Talipes equinovarus (TEV), also known as clubfoot, is a congenital condition that manifests as an abnormally aligned and rotated foot. It is often thought to be a product of intrauterine crowding of the fetus, but there is also evidence that suggests a genetic component. This condition requires prompt treatment in order to successfully manage the deformity.

The Ponseti method is a conservative treatment option that has been found to reverse the clubfoot position. Serial cast applications and manipulations of the foot are carried out that over time can produce a plantigrade foot position that allows for normal weight bearing.

Surgical care options to restore the foot to a more normal position are typically required for patients that have not had early conservative care at birth.

Pes planovalgus, also referred to as ‘flat foot’, is undoubtedly the most common pediatric foot problem that presents to foot and ankle specialists. Often parents are misinformed and told that their child will simply ‘grow out’ of the condition, but this is very unlikely. A ‘flat foot’ appearance can be common in the first 2-3 years of life, but the foot should develop a normal arch as the child begins to mature. If the foot remains flat, evaluation by your podiatrist is essential.
Yes. Juvenile bunions and hammertoes are a common foot complaint for many children. The treatment of these conditions is slightly more complicated than in adults. This is due to the presence of open growth plates. Early detection and conservative treatments can help slow the progression of the deformities.
The term ‘pigeon-toed’ describes an in-toeing position of the feet when walking.