Children may have smaller feet than their adult counterparts, but under the right (or, rather, the wrong) circumstances, they can develop grown-up size podiatric problems. Fortunately, if your child is struggling with a stubborn or painful foot, ankle, or toenail condition, Advanced Foot Care's highly-skilled podiatrists, Dr. Thomas Pignetti and Dr. Fernando Fernandez, can help.
Children and adolescents experience many of the same issues that we treat in our adult patients, including heel pain, ingrown toenails, and sports injuries. However, as parents ourselves, we know just how hard it can be to watch your child suffer through a painful foot injury or structural issue. You want the best for your child—and so do we.
We Understand Children and Teens
That's why we offer the latest, most effective treatments right here in our office, allowing you to minimize your child's time away from school and extracurricular activities. Also, we understand that seeing a doctor can be confusing (or even frightening) for a young child, which is why we work hard to ensure a positive experience. Big or small, we treat our pediatric patients with kindness, warmth, and respect—which is why so many children actually look forward to visiting our office.
Dr. Pignetti and Dr. Fernandez believe that a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and ultra-gentle techniques provide positive experiences for children of all ages, from infants through teens. You can always count on us to take the time to thoroughly examine your child and address your questions and concerns.
Building a Strong Foundation for Healthy Feet
Children's feet are more flexible and faster-growing than you might expect. From the time your little one is born until their feet stop growing, those bones and soft tissues work hard to build up strength and adjust in order to be an efficient base for their body. Investing in proper pediatric foot care is crucial to ensuring healthy development and preventing painful problems later in life.
In each stage of development, your child's feet have different—and specific—needs.
- Caring for your baby's feet. Initially, babies' feet are soft and flat. Their arches will develop as they grow and begin walking. Allowing a child's feet to strengthen naturally before putting them in shoes helps the foot structures form correctly. Generally speaking, kids don't need to wear shoes until they are walking on their own outside.
- Caring for your toddler's feet. When your little one does begin wearing shoes on a regular basis, they need to be checked frequently to make sure they still fit. Shoes that are too small can cramp the toes and hamper their development, as well as cause your child pain. Don't buy used shoes and skip hand-me-downs—they can lead to injury and infection.
- Caring for your teen's feet. By the late teen years, feet reach their full adult size, and the bones have fully solidified. However, you should still make sure shoes fit correctly, with plenty of room in the toe box and plenty of arch support.
Common Pediatric Foot Conditions
Certain conditions specifically affect children's feet. While some of these conditions are present at birth, others develop later in life or as a result of injuries. Addressing problems as early as possible, while the feet are still flexible and growing, allows the body to correct the issue and grow as intended. Dr. Pignetti and Dr. Fernandez love working with kids and are experts in children's foot care. Our pediatric team can help you monitor healthy growth, as well as treat any sort of problems that may arise.
If your child has foot or ankle problems that are present at birth, they should be treated right away—before your child even begins walking. Issues like metatarsus adductus and clubfoot, for instance, must be corrected as soon as possible so that your child will be able to walk normally when the time comes.
Other pediatric foot conditions don't visibly manifest until your child is a little older and using their lower limbs more. In-toeing and out-toeing are prime examples of common gait abnormalities that may impact your child's walking. Another common foot condition we see in children is toe-walking. This may be due to habit or the symptom of a shortened Achilles tendon, which will need to be stretched and lengthened to prevent problems later in life.
We also treat flat feet in pediatric patients. Children don't usually develop arches until around age five, and, in some cases, the formation of arches can take even longer. However, if flat feet are causing your child pain or discomfort, treatment may be necessary.
Sever's disease is a frequent source of heel pain in children, especially active children who are experiencing a growth spurt. Thankfully, we can use conservative treatment methods to relieve their discomfort.
We also provide gentle care for pediatric heel pain, sports injuries, and ingrown toenails. The latter is undoubtedly one of the most painful conditions we treat in young children and teen patients. Often exacerbated by poorly fitting shoes or picking at toenails, this problem can come back again and again, even after treating yourself with at-home remedies. Fortunately, our podiatrists can treat any infection present and perform a simple, virtually painless in-office procedure that will correct the nail structure, resulting in a permanent end to the ingrown toenail and the pain associated with it.
We Provide Gentle and Compassionate Pediatric Foot Care
We know you want your children to grow up healthy and strong. Quality pediatric foot care is one of the best ways to invest in your child's foundation. We can help you catch childhood and adolescent foot issues early before they become bigger problems. Pay attention to your little one's feet and take complaints of pain seriously.
Let our team at Advanced Foot Care help manage your family's foot and ankle concerns. Call us at (281) 292-7000 today to schedule an appointment, or simply fill out our contact form.