Children’s Foot Conditions

Children's Foot Conditions

It may be beneficial for a child to be seen by a podiatrist if:

  • Shoe wear is very uneven
  • Lumps or bumps are evident on the feet
  • Severe or constant pain present in their feet or legs
  • Excessive tripping and or falling
  • Skin or toenail problems are evident

Flatfoot In Children

Many parents attend our clinics concerned that their child has flat feet (Pes Planus). Most 1-5 year olds have flat feet which are usually not painful and most will go on to develop a normal foot arch profile without the need for arch supports. Some children may also wear their shoes unevenly. Occasionally, children older than five who still have pain due to flat feet may benefit from a small insole for comfort. The outcome for older children with underlying problems depends on the condition causing the flat feet. However, if your concerned, contact our clinic for a full biomechanical assessment by our fully qualified podiatrists.

Bow Legs / Knock Knees

Bowlegs (Genu Varum) are due to the formation of the soft and flexible leg bones in utero. Leg bowing often causes the child to walk pigeon- toed (with feet pointing inwards). This occurs usually from birth to 18 months but can last till 4 years of age. Leg bowing will usually correct itself with normal growth and development and requires no treatment.

Children aged 3 to 5 years may have mild knock-knees (Genu Valgum). As with bow-legs, this is a normal process seen during a child’s development. By 8 the child’s knees usually have straightened, although some cases may not completely correct until 12-14 years. However, in both cases if your concerned and your child is suffering pain, then contact our clinic for a full assessment. Our podiatrist will determine the causes of the pain and if required issue a treatment plan which may include exercises, orthotic therapy and footwear advise. A useful tip is to record progress by taking photographs of your child’s legs every six months.

Osgood Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease causes pain and sometimes small lump in the front of the knee mainly in 9-16-year-old boys (or girls) going through growth spurts. Pain usually occurs after activities such as running, jumping, squatting and going up and down stairs. Over activity and poor flexibility in hamstrings or quadriceps can also be a cause.

Limiting the causative activity, icing and the use of anti-inflammatory medications may help. Once the initial painful symptoms have settled strengthening and stretching exercises maybe given. Our podiatrist full biomechanical assessment may also identify any predisposing problem such as flat feet and advise on footwear or orthotics if required.

Severs Disease

Is a common cause of heel pain in young active children. It mainly affects boys between 9-13. The child may describe pain during activity, with swelling and tenderness at the base of the Achilles tendon. The cause maybe a sudden increase in training or physical activities, flat feet or high arched feet, tightness in the calf muscles and a reduction in ankle joint movement.

As with plantar fasciitis the earlier the diagnosis and treatment the better the outcome. Our podiatrists initially advise icing and rest or modification from the activity that is causing the pain. Stretching and strengthening exercises, footwear advise and orthotics can also help rehabilitate the condition.