Answers to Your Austin Foot & Ankle Injury Questions
If you have questions about foot and ankle injuries in central Texas, the Austin Foot & Ankle Specialists has the answers. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to treat your injury and get you back to the activities you love. Call us today if you have been injured.
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How is intoeing in children treated?
When parents teach their child how to walk, they may notice an inward turning of the feet. They may think they know the best way to correct the problem based on how their child is walking. However, intoeing treatment is based on the underlying diagnosis.
Metatarsus adductus is typically seen in young infants and most often corrects on its own. If rigid and persistent, casting and prescription shoes are used, and early treatment is important.
Tibial torsion is a turning in of the tibia. It also typically resolves on its own by the age of 5. If the condition continues past the age of 8, surgical treatment will likely be necessary to put the bone in its proper place. Conservative options are not effective for this condition. In some cases, the femur bone (thighbone) turns, and the course of treatment is similar to that of tibial torsion.
Don’t take chances with your children’s feet. Call Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists today at (512) 328-8900 to learn more and schedule an appointment.
My child has flat feet. Do they need to be treated?
Children’s flatfoot is common and doesn’t usually affect mobility. Most babies are born with a fairly flat arch. The midfoot tightens and adjusts as small children learn to walk. Even then, the arch usually isn’t visible until the child is five or six. Occasionally children never develop much of an arch. Typically this isn’t a problem unless their flat feet are causing them pain. Usually treatment involves shoe changes or orthotics for support, or physical therapy that stretches out strained tissues and builds up strength to support feet.
If your child’s feet are in pain, then you should seek treatment from specialists like Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS and Dr. Shine John DPM, FACFAS. They will evaluate your young one’s lower limbs and help you determine the best way to eliminate the discomfort. Contact Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists for an appointment or more information by calling our Austin office at (512) 328-8900 or visiting our online contact page.
Child is complaining of pain, do they still need orthotics?
This is probably one of the toughest questions that every parent must answer when it comes to their child’s health. It is also represents one of the biggest shortcomings of our health care system, and illustrates the view that “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”. Or alternatively, “Whatever the problem is, the child will outgrow it”. This is an individual decision that every parent has to make with the assistance of their health care provider. Considerations in this decision should include the preventative payoffs for instituting such therapy weighed against any potential down-side which is often primarily financial. Please don't allow this to be a deterent, we can help.
Will my child become dependent on orthotics and have to wear them for the rest of his or her life?
Just as your child presents with unique clinical situations, his or her orthotic is a unique and custom device. Some problems can be prevented without life long wear, some developmental problems may require longer term use, and some children would simply benefit from prevention their whole lives. Consider the use of eyeglasses in children. The concern that a child will become dependent on the prescription eyewear is not a valid reason to dismiss the correction needed to improve visual function.
How often do I have to replace my child's orthotics?
When your child is undergoing rapid growth, his or her orthotics will need to be replaced approximately every 2 shoe sizes, or every 1-2 years. We understand the financial considerations involved with your child’s health and we make it affordable to change the orthotic prescription in response to your child’s improvements in growth and development. Reevaluation of your child as he or she develops will often lead to changes in the orthotic prescription.
How long will my child have to wear orthotics once he starts?
If orthotics are used early enough in the development of the bones of the foot, the support the orthotics provide will allow the bones of the foot and ankle to grow straighter and stronger and in many cases the orthotics won't be needed after puberty when the bones and their growth plates fully ossify or become solid bone. As a general rule, in older children after puberty, bone structure and position becomes permanent and therefore more difficult to change or manipulate with orthotics. But with all that being said, if your child or young adult begins to experience once again any of the symptoms or discomforts that they had previous to wearing their orthotics after they stop wearing them, they should most definitely continue wearing them, much in the same way that many people continue to need eye glasses to correct their vision. This is to say that, unless the mechanics or instability can be permanently "fixed" or addressed as with surgery, if the child's mechanics do not correct to any great degree as they grow, the aid offered by the orthotics may be something carried forward through childhood and into adulthood.
When should I put shoes on my child?
In short, shoes should be used as soon as they start attempting to walk. Besides protection, shoes offer a relatively corrective interface between your child's foot and the hard unyielding surfaces that he or she walks and plays upon every day. In this country and most of the world, we in essence paved the surfaces on which we run, walk, play and live. When was the last time you stepped off a hard, flat and unyielding surface for any amount of time? The point being is that our bodies were designed for walking on the earth which has varied surfaces from hard to soft and from straight and to slanted, jagged and even crooked. Walking on these varied surfaces allowed the muscles and bones of our feet to develop in a certain way. Walking on exclusively flat, hard and unyielding surfaces likewise causes the muscles and bones of our feet to develop in a certain way. We believe that shoes help prevent the adverse effects from walking exclusively on hard, flat and unyielding surfaces and that ultimately orthotics, in many cases are necessary in addition to shoes. Ask your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your child's feet or the way that they walk or run.
Is it normal for my kid's feet to hurt when he walks?
No. No matter what age you are foot pain is never normal. There are many reasons for foot pain and they should be evaluated by a podiatrist.
Why does my child trip when he/she runs?
There may be a number of reasons this could be happening. A biomechanical examination by our podiatrist will identify at what level, feet, ankle, legs, or hips, the imbalances that are causing this problem are occurring. Custom orthotic therapy can create proper alignment and resolve the problem in many cases.
Is it okay that my child walks on his toes?
Toe walking is something many young children do for a short period of time. If your child is exclusively toe walking, it may be a sign of other biomechanical or nerve problems. A podiatrist is best trained to identify the cause of your child’s toe walking. There are a variety of orthosis and other simple treatments that can be used to correct this.