Pediatric Foot Care

Information From The American Podiatric Medical Association

As early as birth, foot complications can present themselves in children. Some complications, such as flatfoot and ingrown toenails, can be inherited or caused in the womb. Others can occur as children begin their walk through life, from the occasional fall to an injury suffered playing a sport. No matter the cause or severity of the problem, the health of a child's feet should not be taken for granted. However, according to an American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) survey of parents with children under the age of 18, 35 percent said that they would not be motivated to take their child to a doctor's office for foot or leg pain treatment. Furthermore, only 25 percent of those surveyed would take their child to see a podiatrist—a foot and ankle specialist. Member podiatrists from the APMA can help make sure your child stays on his/her feet by offering expert medical diagnosis and treatment options for all issues associated with the feet. If there is a family history of foot problems, a toddler should be seen by a podiatrist who can make sure his/her feet are progressing normally, as soon as the child begins walking. The following chart details common inherited and developmental foot complications in children, possible signs and symptoms and treatment options.


Signs & Symptoms

Recommended Treatments

Clubfoot • Hooked foot that twists inward and downward • Casting
• Surgery in more severe cases
Metatarsus Adductus (MTA) • Front of foot bent inward at the instep resembling the letter "C"
• Excessive tripping when walking
• Stretching exercises
• "Straight last" shoes
• Serial casting
• Surgery in more severe cases
Polydactyly (Multiple Toes) • Eleventh or twelfth toe • Remove extra toes if they interfere with walking or wearing shoes
Syndactyly (Webbed Toes) • Skin fails to separate between the toes • Surgical separation of webbed toes
Flatfoot • Pain
• Slow walking
• Difficulty keeping up with other children

• Custom foot orthotics
• Change in the type of shoe worn
• Surgery in some cases

In-toeing • One or both feet point inward
• Tripping
• Sitting on knees in "W" position

• Exercises (first position ballet, sitting Indian style, riding "big wheel")
• Casting
•  Bracing

Achilles Tendonitis • Pain with activity at the back of the leg and heel
• Swelling

•  Rest
•  Icing
•  Stretching
•  Physical therapy
•  Heel lifts
•  Custom foot orthotics
•  Soft casting

Stress fracture • Pain
• Swelling
• Immobilization
• Surgery
Sever's disease • Pain with side-to-side pressure of the heel
• Pain with activity
• Pain with soccer or baseball cleats
• Heel pain
• Rest
• Ice
• Shoe change
Toe-Walkers • Walking on toes • Stretching exercises
• Neurological exam
• Surgery in severe cases
Plantar fasciitis • Pain when standing or walking
• Heel pain
• Stretching
• Arch supports
• Custom foot orthotics
Ankle/Foot fracture • Pain in the area of fracture
• Protruding bone
• Casting
• Rehabilitation
Ankle sprain • Pain
• Swelling
• Bruising
• Immobilization
• Casting
• Bracing
Plantar Warts • Painful thickening of the skin
• Hard and flat, elevated surface most often on
the sole of the foot
• Mild acids
• Lasers
• Freezing temperature
• Surgical removal
• Medication

If your children are experiencing foot problems or pain, contact one of our Doctors at the Foot & Ankle Clinics of Utah.