Children’s feet undergo a continual process of growth and development. The injuries, diseases, and deformities occurring in children’s feet and ankles require special skills and experience for proper treatment. As a top provider of pediatric foot care in Katonah, NY, Dr. Hoffman has considerable experience treating all sorts of issues affecting children from infancy through the teen years.

Pediatric Foot Care Q&A

by Pamela Hoffman, DPM

What is a pediatric podiatrist?

A pediatric podiatrist has special training and skills in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle issues in children of all ages. Because children’s bones and soft tissues are growing and developing, the injuries and diseases that affect these tissues require special approaches to ensure proper healing to not hinder future development and growth. Children also have a different healing response compared to adults who must be taken into consideration to avoid permanent deformity and dysfunction.

What kinds of podiatric issues affect kids?

Children are prone to many issues affecting their feet and ankle some of which may affect the way a child walks. Some of the most common issues facing young people include:

  • flatfoot deformity or rigid pediatric flatfoot, where the arch portion does not have the characteristic upward curve
  • gait abnormalities that affect the way your child walks and moves and impedes their ability to participate in normal activities including sports
  • plantar warts, ingrown toenails and skin conditions
  • clubfoot and in-toeing, also called metatarsus adducts, congenital deformities which may be flexible or rigid
  • fractures, ligament tears and injuries related to sports, falls and other accidents
  • ingrown toenails can occur in children
  • Sever’s disease is a heel injury resulting in inflammation of the growth plate of the heel, common to athletic children during a growth spurt before the heel plate is fully developed

How are pediatric foot and ankle conditions treated?

Treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation which may include diagnostic imaging with x-rays, ultrasounds, or other technologies to thoroughly assess the bones, joints, and other structures. Dr. Hoffman has specialized training in treating children and helping them to feel comfortable and confident throughout diagnosis and treatment. Conservative approaches to treatment are preferred whenever possible, including bracing, casting or splinting, physical therapy, injections, and other techniques designed to help promote natural healing. In the cases when conservative options aren’t effective surgery may be recommended to avoid more serious problems from developing.