It's a parent's job to worry about their kids, but if you are concerned about your child's feet or ankles, there is no need to worry for long. The sooner you have a podiatrist examine your child, the sooner you can put your mind at ease. And if there is a problem that could benefit from early intervention, Forward Foot & Ankle Center will get your child started on the right path immediately. In many cases, childhood foot problems can be corrected with non-invasive therapies, but when a more extreme approach is needed, you want an experienced podiatrist you can trust. Dr. Zoe Ramos brings decades of experience working with children to her Livermore practice.
Common Childhood Foot Problems and Potential Treatments
Babies' and toddlers' feet don't look like adult feet, so it can be hard to know when something isn't right. For example, children don't really develop arches until around two years old, so it's normal for babies to have flat feet. However, while walking on tip-toes or being slightly pigeon-toed might be cute when a toddler does it, these are conditions that might need intervention. Here are some common childhood foot concerns and our recommendations for treatment:
- In-toeing. Mild in-toeing may not need intervention, but if your child has difficulty walking or running because their toes are facing in, it is worth a visit to our office to see if a special insole could help rotate the legs and straighten the feet.
- Toe-walking. There's nothing cuter than a baby tip-toeing across the floor, but when a toddler continues to walk on their toes, that can create problems, including a shortened Achilles tendon that will make it impossible for the child to walk flat on their feet. Orthotics, stretching, and physical therapy can usually resolve the problem.
- Flat feet. As we said, flat feet are normal in children up to two years old, but after that, if the child's ankles are rolling in, it might be helpful to use a pediatric insole to get the feet and ankles in a better position.
- Pain. Babies and toddlers aren't very good at communicating the cause of pain, but if you notice that your child takes every chance they get to plop down or refuses to walk altogether, it could be because they are experiencing pain in their feet or ankles. We can take a look for potential causes and find a solution to get your little walker moving again.
- Skin and nail problems. Ingrown toenails are very common in children once they start wearing shoes and plantar warts start to crop up once kids are running around pool decks and playgrounds barefoot. Early intervention is the key to avoiding a painful problem in your little one.
Many of our youngest patients come to us after a referral from a pediatrician, but you do not have to wait for an annual well-child check-up to make an appointment with us. We love helping parents and children get off on the right foot with early education and treatment.
Treating the Youth Athlete
Foot and ankle problems don't stop once a child starts school. In fact, new problems can arise once kids start participating in activities such as team sports, running, and dance. Whether your child gets injured while playing a sport or discovers that an existing foot or ankle condition is inhibiting their athletic performance, partnering with our podiatry team can help them get back in the game. Our sports medicine team treats youth athletes with conditions such as Sever's disease, stress fractures, ankle weakness, and tendonitis.
Compassionate, Cutting-Edge Treatment in Livermore
You do not need to make the trek into the city for access to specialized care for a child's foot or ankle problem. At Forward Foot & Ankle, Dr. Ramos offers advanced diagnostics, cutting-edge therapies, and child-centered care to resolve your baby's or child's problem.
We serve the entire East Bay area, including Pleasanton, Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Tracy, and Stockton. You don't have to worry about your child's feet any longer! Call us at (925) 532-0099 or fill out the contact form on this page, and we will be in touch to discuss your options for fast, effective treatment.