There are a handful of more commonly seen ailments of the feet and ankles in pediatric patients.We will review as many here as we can starting from the most common to the rarest congenital deformity.
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FLAT FEET :
This is probably the most common foot 'problem' we see in the pediatric population. Generally its the parents that are concerned that the childs "ankle is rolling in". Also we are often told that other doctors saw the child and said that "they would grow out of it".
There once was a time when flat feet were such a concern they would even prevent you from joining the military. No longer though, its been realized that flatfeet are common and in most cases do not cause any problems at all. On the other hand - how do we know that???
Will flatfeet ultimatly cause other issues with balance and malalignment which later in life can lead to painful walking and arthritis? Possibly? So which flatfeet need to be addressed??
Infants with flat feet? : All infants have flat feet - foot arches develop when the human being begins to put weight on the foot. They form as the body battles gravity. So with infants not need to be concerned about a flat foot because it cannot properly be examined.
As children grow older a flatfoot becomes more obvious, it can be both feet, or one foot. We doctors first need to figure out what is causing the flat foot. In most cases its - just a flatfoot caused by nothing. In other cases there are two less common causes that we see. The fist is something called a tarsal coalition, this is where bones and joints do not develop properly ( to read more about this click HERE )
We do not belive that most of these childrens flat feet will go away on their own, they do not. Yes in some cases we prescribe orthotics, in other cases we recommend surgery. Click HERE to learn about surgery. Of course this is done on a case by case basis and also there are so many surgical procedures and combinations of them used to correct flatfeet there may in some cases be a simple 15 minute procedure to correct the foot. (Read about that HERE - its called an arthroresis implant.) In other cases the procedures may need to cut the bones and shift them around to a better arch position.
Underlapping or overlapping toes:
Accessory digits: Polydactyly (extra toes)
Clubfoot: ( TEV, Talipes Equinovarus )