FAQs - Pediatric Problems
What foot problems can affect my child?
Great question! It’s important to take care of your child’s feet early in life so they can avoid problems down the road. Three of the most common pediatric foot problems we treat at the Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic are ingrown toenails, warts and Sever’s Disease.
It would be hard for your child not to notice an ingrown toenail! This painful nail problem occurs when the corner of a toenail, usually on the big toe, grows into the skin. This results in swelling, redness and sometimes infection. It is not something to ignore!
Warts, growths on the bottom of your child’s feet, are also a pediatric concern. They’re caused when the human papillomavirus (HPV) enters the body through small cuts, and are commonly found on the heels or balls of the feet. Because of the pressure, the warts can sometimes grow inward causing pain.
Lastly, Sever’s Disease is a bone disorder caused by inflammation in the growth plate of the heel bone. If your child is experiencing heel pain, this could be the cause. It usually develops during your child’s growth spurt, anywhere between the ages of 8 – 15 years old.
Does my child have Sever’s disease?
If your child has heel pain, don’t just attribute the discomfort to growing pains. Sever’s disease could be to blame. This painful bone disorder is the most common cause of heel pain in children. It develops when the growth plate in the heel, where the Achilles tendon attaches, becomes painful and inflamed. It is very common in children between the ages of 8 – 15, especially if they are physically active.
Pay special attention to your child’s feet if they complain of pain or tenderness in the back of their heels. This is the most common sign of Sever’s Disease. Some children also complain of pain on the sides or bottom of their heels. Swelling, redness and difficulty while walking can also be present. Many times the symptoms of this bone injury get worse during physical activity and subside while resting.
Are you concerned about your child’s foot health? Dr. Howard Schaengold of The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic regularly treats pediatric foot and ankle conditions. Don’t take a gamble on your child’s podiatric health! Schedule an appointment with us.
How is Sever’s disease treated?
Treatments for Sever’s disease (calcaneal apophysitis) are focused on pain relief. First, Dr. Howard Schaengold will conduct a physical examination of your child’s feet. He will carefully squeeze different areas of the feet to see where the pain is located. An x-ray may be performed to make sure the pain isn’t being caused by a fracture or broken bone. After the diagnoses, there are several treatment options available.
The main treatment is rest. Taking a break from physical activity and icing the feet will relieve the pressure on the heel bone. In turn, this decreases the pain and swelling. Remember, only ice the heel for 20 minutes 2 to 3 times a day. A list of stretching exercises will also be given to you. Heel lifts, heel cups, night splints, supportive shoes or custom orthotics could also be prescribed. In more severe cases, cast immobilization may be necessary.
The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic is always accepting new patients, including children! Your child deserves to live life without heel pain. If foot or ankle discomfort is stopping your child from participating in daily physical activity, call us at (425) 868-3338 or schedule an appointment online. We have been serving the Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond areas since 1992.
What are the risk factors for clubfoot?
This abnormality is present at birth, and is more common in boys than in girls. It also can run in families. If either of the parents or a sibling was born with clubfoot, a child’s risk of developing this deformity increases. There is not a lot you can do about congenital risks, but you do have more control over clubfoot risk factors associated with the pregnancy itself.
It is extremely important not to smoke while pregnant. Smoking increases the likelihood of this deformity by 20 times. Illicit drug use can also affect risk, as can getting an infection. Low amniotic fluid levels have an effect as well. Stay hydrated during pregnancy by sipping water from a water bottle throughout the day.
If your baby is born with clubfoot, Dr. Howard Schaengold can begin treatment soon after birth to increase the child’s chance of normal mobility later. Call The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sammamish at (425) 868-3338 for a consultation.