Tag Archives: children

Flat Feet Forever?

Lots has happen this month on the First Coast; The successful 2012 Southern Women’s Show, Zac Brown Band performing at Veterans Memorial, The Jacksonville Beach Sea and Sky Spectacular, Florida vs. Georgia and lets not forget Halloween 2012!  With all the different events that happened in Jacksonville this October, parents had enough to worry about, but there children’s flat feet does not have to be one of them.

Many parents express concern about the appearance of their children’s feet at a young age.  Children under three years old have many bones that are not fully formed.  This lack of support can give the appearance of a flat foot.  Children may also appear pigeon-toed or walk on the inside of their foot; both can be normal in the very young.

Flat feet, also called pes plannus, can be flexible or rigid.

  • Flexible flatfoot: The foot is flat when the child is weight-bearing, but appears normal when child is non-weight-bearing.
  • Rigid flatfoot: The foot will appear flat, regardless of the child’s position, whether weight-bearing or not.

 

Sometimes flat foot can cause pain in areas other than the feet.  The child may have pain in their ankle, knee, or even hip by changing the way they walk because of their flat feet. Due to the pain and weakness parents may see a decrease in the activity of their child. If you suspect this is happening your child should be evaluated by a podiatrist.  However, with young children, the flexible flatfoot is much more common and generally not something to be too concerned with if it is not bothering them.

If an older child that is closer to skeletal maturity still has a flat foot, then you may want to consider having them wear an orthotic in their shoes.Professionally fitted Orthotics that are placed in the shoe help control the foot’s motion and place it in its proper alignment.  The orthotics also help with common symptoms and deformitiesseen with flat foot including:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Bunions
  • Toe deformities

Getting the foot in correct alignment now can help avoid more serious conditions later on in life. Custom orthotics are the easiest way to prevent problems associated with flat foot and increase walking comfort.

Addressing flat feet today can prevent more serious complications, as the child gets older.  For more information on what’s normal, and what’s not or if you have questions about how First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic can custom fit you or your child’s feet for orthotics, visit our website or contact us today.

Pigeon Toed?…. Not Forever!

046 pigeontoesHave you noticed your child’s toes point inward?  Is your son or daughter pigeon toed? Dr. Vimal Reddy will be able to identify one of the three reasons your child’s feet are doing this.

As children’s legs develop from infancy into adolescence, the bones undergo various twists and turns. Inward pointing toes, or intoeing, may be due to one or more of the following:

  • Inward twisting of the thigh bone (the femur)
  • Inward twisting of the shin bone (the tibia)
  • Inward pointing of the front bones of the foot (the metatarsals)

Will my child grow out of this? In the majority of cases, yes. The bones of the feet will likely straighten out before age 2, while the bones of the shin and thigh might take a bit longer—age 6. The thigh is especially tricky since it twists in such a way that intoeing may not become obvious until age 5. Your First Coast pediatrician will be a valuable resource in helping you decide if you need to watch and wait, or if you need to seek the help of a podiatrist.

While intoeing will usually not cause pain or arthritis, it may lead to children stumbling as they catch their toes on their heels. In each of these cases, treatment generally consists of casting with or without bars. The purpose of these treatment schemes is to gradually guide the bones into a more functional position. It’s important not to wait, since, by age 7 or 8, the bones a child has will be the bones he or she takes into adulthood. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Reddy at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic will be able to help you decide what treatment is best, if any is needed at all.