By Dr. Ken Lefkowitz
If a child is experiencing pain in his or her foot or ankle, never dismiss it. There is no such thing as normal “growing pains”. Pain that is severe enough to impede a child’s ability to walk or lasts for more than a few days has to be brought to the attention of your podiatrist.
If your child is experiencing prolonged foot or ankle pain, there are a few possible reasons why. One common explanation is flat feet, which in some cases can cause pain or cramping in the foot (and even in the leg or knee). If a child normally tends to walk or run awkwardly, flat feet are most likely the culprit. Sever’s Disease, a painful inflammation of the heel’s growth plate, is another possible explanation for your child’s foot pain. It typically affects children between the ages of 8 and 14, because the heel bone does not fully develop until the age of 14. When there is repeatedly too much stress on the growth plate, inflammation is likely to develop.
A child who is complaining of nail toe/toenail pain most likely has an ingrown toenail (if not a bruised nail from rough contact). The common causes of ingrown toenails include: tight shoes or socks, incorrect nail trimming, or a genetic tendency for the nails to curve inward. Never try to fix an ingrown toenail on your own at home, because digging the nail out incorrectly can cause a worsened infection.
The reason for pain on the bottom of a child’s foot could simply be the common human papilloma virus, more commonly known as warts. A wart on the bottom of the foot (a plantar wart) grows deeply into the skin and can make walking painful.
If your child experiences discomfort that lasts for more than a few days or pain that causes a change in the way he or she walks or goes about daily activities, call Quality Foot Care at 215-230-9707. Making an appointment at our Doylestown office can ensure that the problem is caught before it becomes more serious.