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Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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What Questions Do You Have?

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  • What if my child is having heel pain?

    The most frequent source of heel pain in children between the ages of 7 and 16, cauldron is Calcaneal Apophysitis. It is caused by an inflammation of the apophysis (growth plate) in the back of the heel due to Achilles tendon pull on the bone in the area of the growth plate with activity. This condition is most often seen in children who participate in athletics and has been seen in our office in everything from dance and gymnastics to basketball, baseball, football and soccer. This used to be only seen in boys and only in soccer, but as stated above, we are seeing it in all physical related activities. With this condition pain is usually felt at the back and side of the heel bone, bottom of the heel or even in the ankle. Pain usually worsens when the heel bone is squeezed or when the child is running or jumping. It causes a significant limp and may even feel like a broken foot or ankle. Podiatrists are trained to treat patients of all ages and it is important to have your child examined if they are complaining of heel pain or limping. The goal of treatment for this condition is to eliminate pain while keeping the child active.

  • What Do You Do If Your Baby Breaks A Foot?

    Children's bones are less brittle than the bones of adults. This is helpful because children fall much more frequently than adults. Usually they aren’t seriously injured, but occasionally even infants can break bones. When a small child breaks a bone, it’s important to go to an expert. If the break is near a growth plate, more treatment may be needed. We offer very small boots so babies can heal while it’s much easier for parents to bathe and dress the child. If the child is older, there are even modifications we can employ to ensure the child will not remove the boot. If you suspect your child has a fractured foot/ankle, we can provide the expert care you need.

  • Is it normal that my child walks like a duck?

    The way your child walks is often concerning to you as you see them roll in, flatten out or even "walk like a duck". You may have some questions we commonly hear about this condition in our office, such as:

    Is this normal?  
    Should we do something early to ensure the child doesn't have pain later?
    Why does he/she walk this way?


    First of all, parents want to know if it's normal for their child's feet to be developing the way they are. While there is no one perfectly normal way to develop (many patterns lead to healthy feet) it may help to know that children's feet often rotate from infancy through the teen years as they continue to grow. So, a child's feet may point more outward than appears "normal," but that's not really a cause for concern.


    What should be a red flag for concern is if the child is having problems such as frequent tripping/falling, complaining about not liking running/getting tired if they are in otherwise good physical condition. If this is occurring, it may be that the child needs some assistance from a podiatrist. The best thing to do would be to bring the child in for a podiatric gait analysis. During this exam, the podiatrist will examine the way your child walks and carries herself, and look at the structure of the feet looking for things like arch height, pronation and supination, and leg length discrepancies. Usually inexpensive orthotics are prescribed based on the unique abnormalities of your child's feet. If orthotics do not solve the problem, other treatments and even surgery are available. 


    Second, parents want to know if this abnormal foot shape will cause their child pain later in life. The answer depends a lot on how the child deals with the abnormal shape. If the gait is affected, it's likely that there will be problems. Abnormal gait causes abnormal stress on parts of the body that aren't supposed to be stressed that way. So, it can lead to foot problems, and knee, hip and back problems also become more likely. 

    Third, parents want to know why their child walks this way in the first place. The answer is right under their nose: their own feet. Foot shape is usually inherited, which means, barring any abnormality, your child has the same foot shape as either you or your spouse, or a combination of the two. This can be troubling to parents with foot conditions, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, it can be beneficial to know what conditions kids may be prone to so that we can give preventative treatment to avoid certain conditions progressing to painful problems. 

  • Can Ankle Pain Be Caused By Sever's Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis)?

    Sever's Disease is an inflammation of the growth plate (physis) at the back of then foot where the Achilles tendon attaches.  The pain from this problem can present on the bottom of the foot, in the back of the heel or even in the ankle.  Although it is not true ankle pain, the motion of the ankle causes the pain (since the Achilles tendon crosses the ankle and the knee joints).

    Therefore, pain can even present at the ankle from Sever's Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis.

  • Can a child get Plantar Fasciitis?

    Sometimes parents worry when they find out that their heel pain is caused by Plantar Fasciitis, that their children are going to develop the same symptoms in the future. If the child's then starts to also have pain in their heel, the worry of the parents only increases. However, Plantar Fasciitis is rarely (if ever) seen in children, due to the increased elasticity of the tissues.  As we get older, the tissue lose elasticity and sprains, strains (as in plantar fasciitis) or breaks are more common. Heel pain in children is actually usually caused by Sever's Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis. Sever's Disease is most often seen in children that are very active and occurs as the growth plate in the foot is put under extra stress and becomes inflammed. Preventative measures can be taken to make sure this inflammation doesn't occur.

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