Children's Feet -----

Infants (0 months – 9 months)

Infants’ feet change rapidly during the first few months. At this stage, a parent can easily determine obvious deformities, such as the foot excessively turned in or out, or the foot in a fixed and somewhat rigid position. It is best not to dress an infant in shoes and socks that are too tight or restrictive. Allow infants to learn to stand and bear weight without shoes so that they can more easily adapt with their bare feet.

Toddlers (9 months – 24 months)

Toddlers begin to walk and their feet become more important at this stage. Do not force your toddler to walk before he or she is ready. The normal time for a toddler to begin walking is 9 months to 14 months. Let us know if it occurs later than this. If a toddler walks later than normal, it may indicate a possible biomechanical or developmental abnormality.

Special Problems

  1. Intoeing – Intoeing or “pigeon toed” is very common among toddlers and children as they are learning to walk. There is a natural small amount of intoeing with children. As a baby progresses from birth to 2 years, the hips, legs, ankles, and feet are still developing and changing. The normal angle changes from intoed to straight in most kids by age 6. Many times parents hear from someone that their kids “will grow out of it”. This is sometimes true and sometimes not. Our office can help evaluate what is normal and what is abnormal. Treatments can include corrective shoes, splints, braces, or a “gait plate” in the shoe that helps correct the way a child walks in the first few years and helps them develop a normal position.
  2. Flatfeet – Many people notice that a child’s foot is completely flat on the ground and has no arch. A child may be born with this condition or develop it as he or she grows older. In some cases, this causes discomfort when walking and during activities and the child may not want to participate. The condition may become worse if untreated and cause other problems when the child grows into a teenager. Treatment includes proper shoes, custom arch supports/orthotics, or braces. If the condition is still unchanged, a minor surgery may be performed to help prevent the foot from collapsing. Our office specializes in the “Subtalar Arthroereisis”, in which a small implant is placed within the joint to help prevent the foot and ankle from collapsing. It has been very successful for treating this condition and has helped many kids progress in their development.