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Posts for category: Pediatric Foot Conditions

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 17, 2017

As the thermometer begins to creep up into the 60’s and fields begin to thaw your children’s minds may be turning to spring sports. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we applaud children being active but at the same time want to see them make the transition from winter activities (or inactivity) to spring sports without injuring their feet.

Caution: Potential Injuries Ahead

If your child has been participating in a winter sport, chances are the spring will bring workouts on very different types of surfaces. If, on the other hand, your child has spent the cold months indoors in front of a screen they will most likely be out of shape. In either case, the solution is the same. Start conditioning slowly and gradually increase practice and playing time. There are many injuries associated with overuse or increasing activity too quickly. Conditions such as Achilles tendon rupture or tendonitis, stress fractures and shin splints can be avoided if young athletes take time to stretch properly before and after exercise and if they follow a sensible program that doesn’t go from “0 to 60” in the first couple of weeks.

Pre-Sport Checklist

Before starting a spring sport, there are a few steps to take to insure a safe season:

  • Make an appointment for a pre-season podiatric check up. Our podiatrists, , Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your child’s feet to make sure there are no existing injuries or conditions. The foot doctor can also make recommendations about types of shoes that will be most comfortable based on whether your child has a tendency to overpronate or has any foot or toe deformities. The podiatrist may want to take a look at your child’s current sports shoes to evaluate the wear pattern for clues to biomechanical issues.
  • Do a shoe inventory. Chances are if it’s been a year since your child played a spring sport they will need new shoes. Even for teens whose size may be stable it’s important to inspect sports shoes for wear. If new shoes are needed, get your child fitted at a professional sports shoe store.
  • Have a pain agreement. Be clear with your child that his or her foot health is more important to you than winning the game. Insist that they tell you if they are in pain and watch for signs in their technique and play that something is hurting.

If you have additional concerns about your child’s feet and sports activities, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050.

Shakira’s Newborn Son Has Daddy’s Soccer Feet

 On January 29th Shakira and her husband, Gerard Pique, had their second child together. Not only are mom and baby doing well, Shakira actually had the time to take a snapshot of her son’s foot. Shakira captioned the snapshot saying, “I have Daddy’s feet; it looks like I’ve played football my whole life”. As you can probably guess, her son was born with some pretty large feet (for a newborn). It was not revealed how large her baby’s feet were but an average full-term newborn’s foot size is approximately 7.6 centimeters (~3 inches). From the looks of the picture, though, they look closer to 3.5-4.0 inches. 

Children’s feet can be very deceiving at times. Meaning, as a child matures sometimes their feet take a while to catch up and parents suddenly think their child has something wrong with their feet when, in essence, they are perfectly normal. The most common complaints your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ treat are in-toeing/out-toeing, bunions, and heel pain. Each of these conditions more often than not resolve by themselves. However, sometimes more aggressive treatment must be done in order to “fix” what is going on.  The more aggressive—but conservative—treatments for in/out toeing are mainly bracing techniques and this can be in the form of custom made braces or shoes to plaster casting (depending on the physician). Bunions in children (or juvenile bunion) are relatively rare and are mainly treated conservatively with injections and physical therapy to help strengthen the ligaments and tendons. Heel pain can be a little trickier. The heel of a child has a growth plate at the very back of it that doesn’t fuse until about 16 years of age and this can become problematic for them. Most of the time the pain is secondary to growing pains and resolves on its own. Other times heel pain can be a result of plantar fasciitis or stress fractures. Overall, foot pain in children can be treated conservatively and, unless a traumatic event caused their pain, they will not have to have surgery. If you are concerned whatsoever about your child’s feet please do not hesitate to give our office a call and schedule an appointment.

And Congratulations to Shakira and her family on their new addition!

 By Nrupa Shah