Common lower limb problems in children

Common Foot and Lower limb conditions treated by our podiatrists include:

  • Arch painheel-pain-kids
  • Knee Pain
  • In-toeing
  • Leg pain
  • Claw Toes
  • General soreness and fatigue
  • Heel Pain (Severs Disease)
  • Toe Walking
  • Bunions
  • Skin and nail conditions

Heel Pain (Severs disease)

Heel Pain is a very common condition which can occur in growing children, usually between the ages of 8 and 13, as they increase their participation in sport. Commonly termed Severs disease it often secondary to running on hard surfaces and may occur at the beginning of the sporting season, when children are starting a rapid growth period and have tightness in the posterior structures of the legs. This tightness puts excessive pull on the calf muscles and on the Achilles tendon where it inserts into the back of the heel bone.Severs-Disease-diagram1

Heel Pain that limits activity or is present all the time should be checked by your Podiatrist and they will be able to determine whether or not the heel pain is related to the developmental process and give advice about ways to alleviate symptoms.

Leg Pain

Very commonly parents often reports their child complains regularly of “tired legs” and generally mention pain in their heels and knees. The majority of these problems are avoidable and easily treated with minimum conservative intervention.

Podiatrist are experts in understanding how the lower limbs of children work and how this could be a contributing factor in leg pain/tiredness. Children’s physical activities, muscle overuse and tightness are other factors along with poor footwear and excessive pronation (rolling in/flat feet) that place load on the growth centers of the bones in the lower limb and foot creating pain.

Biomechanical assessment, following by orthotic therapy is often the main treatment option with adjust therapies of massage, stretching and footwear recommendations are advised.

Toe walking

Toe walking should be assessed and treated as if it continues as they grow untreated it can cause numerous gait problems and foot conditions later in life. If the child has mild toe walking, stretching exercises and/or physical therapy may be needed. Shoes stiffeners can also be used and all cases of toe walking should be evaluated to rule out other causes other than just habit.

In-toe/Pigeon Toed Gait

In-toeing of the feet, commonly referred to as “pigeon toed”, is a common problem of the legs and feet in children. Children who in-toe main complain of fatigue in their legs or feet and often trip when running.

Treatment options usually involve orthotic intervention, a personalized stretching and strengthening program, change of sitting or sleeping positions and special orthotics called gait plates to encourage an out-toed gait. This is a very common condition and can be successfully treated with early intervention.

Skin and Nails

Problems with your childs skin and nails on their feet may occurs from time to time. Some conditions (ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot and warts) require treatment from a podiatrist, while others may be helped by changes in hygiene or shoes.

Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults. Plantar warts that appear on the sole of the foot tend to be hard and flat, with rough surface and well defined boundaries. They can grow in clusters and become painful if left unchecked.