Saturday, January 21, 2012

Does It Seem That Your Baby Might Have Flat Feet? by Nick Messe

Structural foot problems are a common occurrence in infants and small children. These deformations can be fixed easily if the child is treated by a podiatrist at an early age. Even the most subtle deformity can become more pronounced as the child ages, and it is important to take the child to a foot doctor if something seems unusual. Younger children and infants are still developing bone mass, so early treatments of foot ailments can be much more effective.

There are specific foot problems that a podiatrist will look for during your initial visit. Toeing in, or Metatarsus Adductus, is caused by the feet being drawn up against an infant's body while still in the womb. The Metatarsal bones are bent in such a way that the toes point toward one another. Flat feet are another common malady with young children.

Most cases of flat feet will correct themselves as a child grows, and foot orthodontics are not necessary to correct the problem. Several other problems could lead to trouble with a child's walking, such as a tightened heel cord or neurological developmental problems. A parent should begin to consider visiting a foot surgeon if they notice that their child seems to be in pain while he or she learns to walk. Toeing in can cause a child to stumble and fall more often than normal.

If a child has flat feet, he or she may try to avoid walking because it hurts. Some children may exhibit toe walking. This means that they always balance on the front balls of their feet. If your child refuses to walk with his or her heel on the ground, you should visit a foot doctor to make sure nothing is wrong.

The first thing that a podiatrist will do is take extensive x-rays of your child's feet. The foot doctor will also observe your child's walking for clues about potential problems. When the problem has been identified, the podiatrist will provide you with several types of treatments to resolve the issue. The most common treatments for very young children involve casts that help the bones realign in the proper manner.

If a child is older and the problem is more pronounced, the podiatrist may recommend foot orthotics, which are braces that train the bones to grow properly. Foot problems in children can be treated more easily if they are discovered very early in life. A podiatrist can take advantage of the child's natural development to help train the bones of the foot to grow in a healthier manner so that the child doesn't experience any trouble later in life. There are many different treatments that a foot doctor can offer, ranging from simple exercises to casts and foot orthotics.