Foot Doctor Blog

Posts for category: Pediatric Foot Care

Heel pain in children is often due to an injury to the growth plate, a condition called “Calcaneal Apophysitis” or otherwise known as “Sever’s Disease”. Overuse or repeated stress to the growth plate results in painful inflammation. This type of heel pain appears different for children than adults and does not go away easily. There are a few treatments offered at our clinic for this painful condition.

Calcaneal278

Click here to read more about Calcaneal Apophysitis

Click here to read about our Custom Orthotics

Come have our pediatric specialist, Dr. Stanford, DPM evaluate and treat your child’s heel pain today!

Back-to-School Soccer Season: Prime time for foot and ankle injuries. 

(Article from foothealthfacts.org)

Parents and coaches should think twice before coaxing young, injury-prone soccer players to "play through" foot and ankle pain, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

"Skeletally immature kids, starting and stopping and moving side to side on cleats that are little more than moccasins with spikes—that’s a recipe for foot and ankle sprains and worse," cautions Christopher Hendrix, DPM, FACFAS, a Memphis, Tennessee foot and ankle surgeon.

"Kids will play with lingering, nagging heel pain that, upon testing, turns out to be a stress fracture that neither they, their parents nor their coaches were aware of," he said. "By playing with pain, they can’t give their team 100 percent and can make their injuries worse, which prolongs their time out of soccer."

Hendrix said he has actually needed to show parents x-rays of fractures before they will take their kids out of the game. "And stress fractures can be subtle—they don’t always show up on initial x-rays."

Stress Fractures, Achilles Tendonitis, Heel Pain, Ankle Sprains, Broken Toes

Symptoms of stress fractures include pain during normal activity and when touching the area and swelling without bruising. Treatment usually involves rest and sometimes casting. Some stress fractures heal poorly and often require surgery, such as a break in the elongated bone near the little toe, known as a Jones fracture.

Constant running in socer can place excessive stress on the foot. Pain from overuse usually stems from inflammation, such as around the growth plate of the heel bone, more so than a stress fracture, according to Hendrix.Girl playing soccer

"Their growth plates are still open, and bones are still growing and maturing—until they’re about 13 to 16. Rest and, in some cases, immobilization of the foot should relieve that inflammation," he said.

Hendrix added that Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis (heel pain caused by inflammation of the tissue extending from the heel to the toes) are other types of overuse injuries.

Quick, out-of-nowhere ankle sprains are also common in soccer.

"Ankle sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon to assess the extent of the injury," said Hendrix. "If the ankle stays swollen for days and is painful to walk on or even stand on, it could be a fracture," Hendrix said.

Collisions between soccer players take their toll on toes.

"When two feet are coming at the ball simultaneously, that ball turns into a cement block and goes nowhere. The weakest point in that transaction is usually a foot, with broken toes the outcome," he explained. "The toes swell up so much the player can't get a shoe on, which is a good sign for young athletes and their parents. If they are having trouble just getting a shoe on, they shouldn't play."

Treat Injuries Immediately

If you think your child has suffered any sort of foot or ankle soccer injury, call Aurora Foot and Ankle Clinic to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stanford, DPM. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and a member of the American College of Foot & Ankle Pediatrics.

 

Six Tips to Protect Kids in Fall Sports

Article from foothealthfacts.org

Every fall season, foot and ankle surgeons see an increase in ankle injuries among young athletes. Football, soccer and basketball are the sports most likely to lead to sprains, broken bones and other problems.

If your children are playing sports this fall, here are six tips that could protect them from serious ankle injuries:

  1. Get ankle injuries treated right away. What seems like a sprain is not always a sprain; in addition to cartilage injuries, your son or daughter might have injured other bones in the foot without knowing it. Have a qualified doctor examine the injury. The sooner rehabilitation starts, the sooner long-term problems like instability or arthritis can be prevented and the sooner your child can get back into competition.
     
  2. Have old sprains checked by a doctor before the season starts. A medical checkup can reveal whether your child's previously injured ankle might be vulnerable to sprains and could possibly benefit from wearing a supportive ankle brace during competition.
     
  3. Buy the right shoe for the sport. Different sports require different shoe gear. Players should not mix baseball cleats with football shoes.
     
  4. Children should start the season with new shoes. Old shoes can wear down like a car tire and become uneven on the bottom, causing the ankle to tilt because the foot cannot lie flat.
  5. Check playing fields for dips, divots and holes. Most sports-related ankle sprains are caused by jumping and running on uneven surfaces. That is why some surgeons recommend that parents walk the field, especially when children compete in nonprofessional settings like public parks, for spots that could catch a player's foot and throw them to the ground. Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.
     
  6. Encourage stretching and warmup exercises. Calf stretches and light jogging before competition help warm up ligaments and blood vessels, reducing the risk for ankle injuries.

At Aurora Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stanford treats many athletic patients. He performs a thorough exam and assessment and offers an extensive course of treatment to get that athlete back to playing on and off the field.

We also specialize in prescription custom orthotics that can be fabricated specifically for running shoes, cleats and skates. Read more on our Orthotics page.

Going back to school and have foot pain? Consider this article from foothealthfacts.org.

After wearing flip-flops all summer, students head back to school with painful feet.  

The sounds of back to school season include the ringing of school bells and cash registers, the slamming of locker doors, the noisy ruckus of school hallways and cafeterias and the moans and groans of students over tests, homework, relationships, and increasingly, their aching feet.

Flip-flops are the summer footwear of choice for many students. But while these sandals are inexpensive and stylish, they do not cushion or support the foot, leading to problems. After wearing flip-flops all summer, some students will head back to school this fall with foot pain and even injuries. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) reminds parents and students that foot pain is not normal and can be reduced or eliminated.

“People may not realize that even into your midteens, there’s new bone growing in your heel,” says Michael Cosenza, DPM, AACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon in Ukiah, Calif. “Flip-flops don’t cushion the heel, so repetitive stress from walking can inflame that heel bone growth area and cause pain and tenderness.”

Heel pain and arch pain rank among the most common complaints among students who wear flip-flops. Other flip-flop feet problems students can take back to school include inflammation of the Achilles tendon, painful pinched nerves, sprained ankles, broken or sprained toes, cuts and scrapes, plantar warts, Athlete’s foot and callus buildup on the heels and toes.

Podiatrists can usually reduce or eliminate students’ foot pain with simple treatment methods, including stretching exercises, ice massage, anti-inflammatory medications and custom inserts.

Back-to-school season will always be painful for some students, but it need not involve foot pain.

At Aurora Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stanford specializes in custom orthotics for children and teens, not only for treating post-summer foot pain, but also many other pediatric foot conditions.