Pediatric Deformities

Florida Foot Specialist
Adnan Shariff, DPM      Joshua Roberts, DPM
235 NE. 19th Dr., Okeechobee, FL 34972, 863-357-1166

Pediatric Deformities

There are a significant number of deformities of the foot and ankle that affect children. The most common problem seen in a Podiatrist office with respect to kids is ingrown nails. However, there are other problems such as intoeing or out-toeing.

Ingrown nails are often caused by cutting the nails into the borders but leaving a small amount of nail down deep. This nail grows into the skin causing it to become swollen, and red with drainage. In many cases the patient is prescribed antibiotics by primary physicians. This will not alleviate the problem unless the offending nail is removed. If your child begins to have an ingrown nail it would be advantageous to present to podiatry office as soon as possible. A procedure can be performed that day under local anesthesia. The patient will be able to walk out of the office and even go back to school that day. If ingrown nails began to occur commonly then a permanent procedure can be performed to prevent ingrown nails in the future. In the case of the permanent procedure the nail is cut all of the way back to the roots. The nail is only cut on the sides, so the patient still has a nail after the procedure. After the sides of the nail are removed a chemical is used to kill the cells that grow the nail. After the procedure the patient will still have a nail, however it will be thinner. The permanent procedure is also performed under local anesthesia and the patient will be able to return to school that day.

The diagnosis of intoeing and out-toeing is fairly easy. Watching the child walk will demonstrate that the feet are deviated to the inside or out. The difficult aspects is diagnosing the cause of intoeing or out-toeing. The deformity can occur anywhere from the lower back to the hips and knees or to the foot and ankle itself. The other question arises in whether the problem will fix itself as the child grows. Children are not fully skeletally mature until their late teens. This means that the bones are constantly growing and changing their angular relationship. In some cases deformities are so severe that surgical intervention is required. However, in the majority of cases, simply bracing or having the child where orthotics will cure the problem.

The orthotics will keep the bones in the feet and proper alignment. As the child grows the bones will adjust and realignment into a more normal alignment. One concern when parents consider orthotics is that the child will grow out of them to quickly. Often times a very inexpensive purchased warranty will replace the orthotics if the child outgrows them.

If your child begins to have a problem with his feet often times it can be solved very quickly. Children are very resilient and often by eliminating the causing force the child will feel immediate relief.