Do you have questions about foot pain and problems in kids? We have answers.

Do you have questions about foot injuries, foot pain, and foot problems in children? Houston pediatric podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot problems in kids.. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.

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  • Why does my child's ankles roll in?

    If you've noticed your child's ankle rolls in, many issues could be responsible. Today, we'll walk you through some options. But here's what we won't say: don't worry. They'll outgrow the problem.

    Unfortunately, when parents ask about their children's foot and ankle pain or appearance, that's what they hear. Sometimes, that's true, and the kid will grow out of it. But I still hate this response. No kid should have foot and ankle pain. Even if it's temporary.

    So, if a parent notices their child's ankle rolls in, that's an issue. And it's a sign of a significant condition I'd never ignore.

    Why are Rolling Ankles a Problem? Ankles that roll in make sports, walking and running harder for kids

    If your child's ankle rolls in, they are dealing with pronation. Along with the ankle symptoms, you'll notice other issues. Your child may have flat feet (the arch disappears when your child stands flat.)

    You'll probably see a large bulge on the inside of your child's ankle as well. Plus, non-physical symptoms could be a problem. Your child may seem unathletic. He or she could complain about or refuse to walk or run for long distances. A young child could sit down and cry about the problem. And an older child may complain that his or her feet, ankles or knees hurt.

    All these symptoms point to one issue: pronation. Some pronation is normal for young kids. But for older kids, it's a big deal. So if you notice any of these signs, it's time to visit your Houston podiatrist. I specialize in treating kids. And I won't wait for them to 'outgrow' an issue.

    Because here's the thing: most of the time these children will not grow out of these conditions. What actually happens is that they develop the ability to compensate for them. And that could mean bunions, hammertoes, heel pain, knee pain, and arthritis down the road. Which is why we have to find out the cause of your child's pronation. And offer the right intervention.

    Why do Kids Ankles Roll In?

    As I hinted earlier, there are lots of things that can make your child's ankle roll. One common cause? Loose ligaments, a problem that often goes with low muscle tone. Now, if your child's ligaments are loose, they can't stop joints from moving too far. Which is why you may notice your children's ankles pronating.

    Of course, some kids are born with mechanics that make their ankles roll in. (We call this a herditary cause.) So, if your ankles roll in, you shouldn't be surprised if your child's do, too.

    Also, your pregnancy could have contributed to pronation. Because, in some cases, your baby's position in the womb will affect his or her foot development. Meaning, in some cases, fetal position causes childhood pronation.

    Now we've got that all covered, here's the important part. No matter what causes your child's rolling ankles, we want to address it. Quickly. Because our treatments are most effective in young children. Since their bodies are still developing.

    Treating Pronation in Children A custom orthotic, cast for your child's foot, can help correct ankles that roll in

    We treat rolling ankles by addressing your child's mechanics. I know that sounds fancy, but it's actually simple. In fact, if we start treatment at a young age, insoles or custom orthotics could solve this problem. Even better? This non-invasive treatmen will keep your child active. And it could prevent surgery down the road, as well as other complications.

    Now, if orthotics alone don't retrain your child's foot, don't worry. Many kids overcome pronating with night braces and physical therapy.

    Of course, whatever treatment we choose, there's one important idea to keep in mind. Your child deserves to walk and play comfortably. So, if one intervention for flat feet doesn't work, we'll progress to new options. Because, at the end of the day, kids feet should never hurt. And even if pronation doesn't hurt at first, it will cause pain later on if left untreated.

    Have you noticed your child's ankles roll in? Is your son or daughter clumsy, often tripping over his or her own feet? Are sports, or even long walks a challenge? If you've answered 'yes' to any of these questions, I need you to read the next lines carefully.

    None of these are 'normal' parts of childhood. They won't be outgrown. But, with a quick visit to our Houston podiatry practice, we can make a big difference in your child's life. We can conquer rolling ankles, and avoid problems later in life.

    Sound good? We agree! So don't wait another day! Make an appointment today to treat your child's inward rolling ankles.

  • Is it okay that my child walks on his toes?

    Toe walking is a common condition in kids. Just because it is common, doesn't mean it's okay! Toe walking generally occurs because children don't have the ability to compensate for mechanical issues. So where adults may have flat feet for these same issues, kids end up lifting up on their toes. Many pediatrician aren't alarmed by toe walking and insist that kids will just grow out of it. In most cases that isn't the case.
    As a child develops, the heels will come down to the ground and it will appear that your pediatrician was right after all. In truth, the child just becomes able to compensate. You may see the feet angling out like a duck and the arch flatten out as he walks. This may result in foot pain, heel pain, and knee pain. It is better to address these issues early before they cause problems later in life.
    If you are noticing your son or daughter walking on their toes, or they used to be a toe walker when they were younger, it is worthwhile to get them checked out. This is  especially true if they have any pain! At Tanglewood Foot Specialists, Dr. Andrew Schneider will assess how your child walks and see if corrective measures, such as a custom foot orthotic, is needed.

  • Why do my kids get ingrown toenails?

    Ingrown toenails are one of the most common reasons why children visit a podiatrist. There are several reasons why this is true. Most of the time, it is due to the toenail growing in wider than the nail bed. This forces the sides of the toenail to dig into the skin as it grows. The toenail will often be painless for years until there is minor trauma, such as a stubbed toe or tight shoe, causes the area to inflame or become infected.

    Other reasons for Houston kids to develop ingrown toenails is improperly trimming their toenails. Many children will angle the toenail into the skin, especially if the toenail or toe was becoming uncomfortable. This will cause a sharp point of nail to develop beneath the skin and cause a painful or infected ingrown toenail to form. Kids not trimming their toenails often enough can also cause the toenails to ingrow.

    It is important that an ingrown toenail in a child be seen by your Houston foot doctor as soon as impossible. Antibiotics alone will not work effectively and trying to be a "bathroom surgeon" will only make it worse. Contact our Houston podiatry office for an immediate appointment.

  • Why do my kids get plantar warts?

    Plantar warts are a manifestation of a virus that infects the skin. The lesion imbeds itself in the skin and often multiplies and spreads. Although everyone can get warts, it is particularly common in kids.

    The wart, or verruca plantaris thrives when the skin has a good blood supply and is well hydrated. A child's foot meets this need better than anything else, especially if their foot gets sweaty easily. For this reason, children are more susceptible to becoming infected with the virus and developing plantar warts. It is also common to have multiple warts develop as well. Don't wait for a wart to spread. Contact our office for an immediate appointment.

  • Will my kids outgrow their foot pain?

    No child should have foot pain! Pain is the body's way of letting you know that something is wrong. If a child consistently experiences pain during regular daily activity, it is important that you bring them to our office to find out why. I fact, a child experiencing foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, or back pain can all originate in the feet.

    This is not to say that kids won't have occasional pain. All children will experience "growing pains" or cramping at one time or another. This will typically last one or two days at a time, however. If this is the case, they do not have to go to the doctor. More active kids playing sports in Houston can also suffer injuries to the foot and ankle. These can include sprains and fractures. You should always have kids examined after significant sports injuries to ensure no damage has been done to the growth plates.

  • Is there anything I can do for my foot pain when I'm pregnant?

    Pregnancy provides many changes, not the least of which is a gain of weight in a short period of time. Because of the fast weight gain during pregnancy, as well as changes in mechanics and gait, the feet have to adapt to the additional pressure and can become painful. Unfortunately, NSAIDs, such as Advil or Aleve, would be most effective but cannot be used during pregnancy.

    There are many other ways to reduce foot pain when someone is pregnant (and with 3 kids here in Houston, I'm even more of an expert!). Many women find it easiest to slip on a pair of flip-flops. This is understandably convenient but is among the worst thing to do. The feet, more than ever, need support during pregnancy. I fact, without appropriate support, the feet will spread out and seemingly "grow" during pregnancy to where your shoes may be to small even after the baby is born.

    If you are expecting and find your feet getting increasingly more painful, try wearing a more structured shoe. If that doesn't do the trick, give us a call and schedule an appointment to find relief.