Children often experience foot and ankle issues as a result of growth and development in addition to accident-related injuries. At Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey, Velimir Petkov, DPM, offers a comprehensive array of diagnostic and treatment options to help each child receive optimal care aimed at supporting normal function, growth, and development.
Pediatric foot care includes assessments and treatments focused on addressing specific acute and chronic foot- and ankle-related issues as well as issues with gait, or the way a child walks, and overall development of the bony and soft structures of the feet and ankles.
Childhood is a time of significant and often rapid growth, and a podiatrist who specializes in pediatric issues is skilled in identifying problems and diagnosing them in their earliest stages when treatment can be most effective. Pediatric podiatrists also understand the different way children heal following an injury or surgical procedure, so they can make sure the treatment that is provided supports continued normal development and function of the foot and ankle as the child grows.
In addition to foot and ankle injuries that arise from sports and other physical activities, children may also experience issues that arise as a consequence of abnormal growth and development or congenital conditions, including:
Because children's feet and ankles are rapidly growing, pediatric foot care requires special skills, training, and experience to ensure this growth process is not hindered. Plus, the rapid growth and regeneration of tissue that occur in children also affect the way foot and ankle injuries heal, and those differences also must be taken into account when determining the best course of treatment.
Diagnosis begins with a thorough examination of the foot and ankle, including passive and active exercises to observe how the foot and ankle move and to locate sources of pain or other symptoms. Personal and family medical histories are also taken into account to look for risk factors or other issues that can help guide diagnosis and treatment. X-rays or other types of diagnostic imaging tests may also be ordered. Treatment begins with conservative options like bracing, splinting, casting and physical therapy, with surgery reserved for cases where conservative approaches fail to provide adequate results.