pediatric podiatry

School checklist for kids with diabetes

If your child has diabetes, there are a few things to consider when picking out shoes for the school year. It’s important for parents to keep an eye on their children’s feet and act fast if any symptoms worsen.

Baby Steps: Foot Care for Infants

Your baby is not able to literally tell you when something is wrong with his or her feet, so it’s up to you to keep an eye out for foot conditions that commonly effect infants. As you read this blog, think of ways you can implement strong foot care practices into your newborn’s life.

Webbed Toes Explained - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Webbed toes is a condition described as the fusing of two or more toes. Medically referred to as syndactyly, this condition can also be seen in the fingers. Webbed toes and fingers are normal during our early fetal stage. However, this disappear as the toes and finger are separated by enzymes that dissolve the tissue that connects the digits.

Webbed toes is commonly seen in the second and third toes.  But these are not only connected by soft tissue and skin. Complex webbed toes are toes connected by fused bones. And is some rare cases, there is also the presence of an extra toe or finger connected to a digit.

This foot condition may not interfere with our ability to walk or perform normal activities. It may not take a toll physically, but having webbed toes can leave people feeling embarrassed or suffering from low self-esteem. Visiting a podiatrist is the best option when planning to undergo web toe treatment. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people with web toes.

What Causes Webbed Toes

Some studies show a genetic connection in the development of web toes. But this is inconclusive since people with no previous history of relatives suffering from web toes also develop the condition. Since web toes happens during fetal development, factors that affect normal development during pregnancy is more likely. Factors such as smoking, underlying diseases or poor nutrition that have been traced to the development of deformities during pregnancy are the more likely culprits.

Treating Webbed Toes

Although web toes don’t interfere with normal feet functioning, it can elicit unusual looks which can lead to poor self-esteem. And the desire to appear “normal” is the main reason why people undergo treatment for web toes. 

Surgery is the only option available for treating web toes. This is usually done in children aged 6 months to 2 years. Anesthesia is introduced to desensitize the target area. The surgeon then marks the areas where the toes will be separated. The surgeon then cuts the skin along these marks. Excess skin is then removed exposing the separated areas of the toes. 

A skin graft or taking skin from another part of the body is used to fill in the missing skin. Using the patient’s skin reduces the chances of the body rejecting the skin graft. The toes are then bandaged or a cast is placed to allow the wounds to heal properly.   

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with web toes and other foot disorders To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.

Do Children With Flat Feet Need Treatment? Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

One common foot problems seen by podiatrists in children is flatfoot. This condition is characterized by the under development or non-development of the foot arch. Almost all babies are born with flat feet but outgrow this condition.

What are the different types of flatfoot?

There are three different types of flatfoot. The first is called a flexible flatfoot in which the foot is flexible or hypermobile. However, this does not cause any pain or a source of disability in children. The next type is a flexible flatfoot with a short Achilles tendon. This condition is very rare and can cause pain and disability. The last type is called a rigid flatfoot and the rarest among the three types.

Only a podiatrist could properly identify if your child is suffering from a flatfoot condition. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping children with foot conditions.

Flatfoot Classification

Flatfoot could further be classified into symptomatic and asymptomatic. Those suffering from symptomatic flatfoot exhibit symptoms such as pain, outward tilting of the heel, awkwardness in walking, difficulty in wearing shoes, and foot pain during physical activities. The latter, asymptomatic as its name implies does not show any symptoms and could only be diagnosed by a podiatrist.

Proper classification enables the podiatrist to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Children that exhibit symptoms require treatment such as shoe modifications, orthotic devices, medications and physical therapy. The podiatrist may select from one of the said non-surgical approaches. If the degree of deformity of the condition is severe, surgery may be needed to relieve the symptoms and improve foot function.

Children that do not exhibit any symptoms does not require any treatment. But the podiatrist will check, observe and re-evaluate the child’s condition periodically. However, custom orthotic devices can be considered for some cases of asymptomatic flatfoot.

How to diagnose flatfoot in children?

In the diagnosis of flatfoot, the podiatrist examines and observes the foot when the child stands, sits, and walks. Sometimes the podiatrist also examines the knee, hip, and leg because it can also be associated with flatfoot. Radiological tests are also done to know the severity of the deformity.

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping children with developmental foot problems. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.