Pediatric Bunions: Is Your Child At Risk?

Bare foot toddler sittingBunions aren’t just an ailment reserved for adults; children can develop these painful bumps of the sides of the feet, too. In fact, Boston Children’s Hospital revealed that bunions typically develop in young teenagers, especially females, between the ages of 10 and 15 years old, explains Greensboro, N.C. podiatrist Dr. Richard Sikora of Triad Foot Center.

The painful enlarged bump protruding from just behind the big toe not only causes discomfort and embarrassment when wearing open-toed shoes, but can affect the joint of the big toe and cause a deformity of the foot.

When Should Your Child See A Podiatrist?

It’s important to note that if your child is experiencing pain, they need to have an X-ray of their foot to properly diagnose any problems.

The surrounding area of the bunion may become tender, swollen and red, resulting in pain and a burning sensation. Walking, running and general daily activities may prove to be more difficult as well.  The skin of the bottom of the foot may also thicken and become more painful, and the pressure from the big toe may be forcing the second toe out of alignment.  If your child or teen is experiencing these symptoms, they need to see a podiatrist as a soon as possible.

What Causes Pediatric Bunions?

Tight, narrow, elevated and small shoes can lead to pressure being applied to the toes, which can cause bunions to form. Children can also develop them as a result of loose joints and ligaments, mechanical imbalances, deformities present at birth or because of complications associated with flat feet.

How Is A Pediatric Bunion Treated?

Unless the bunion is extremely painful and uncomfortable, surgery is not typically recommended in adolescents.

Custom orthotics, which are soft inserts for your child’s shoes, can help preserve the growth plates for your child’s foot, support the structure and function, and reduce pain.

Switching to wide sneakers and shoes without a heel can also help to alleviate symptoms, as well as taping the foot to keep in it a normal position.

If you believe your child is suffering from a pediatric bunion, talking to your podiatrist is the first step in alleviating their pain. The podiatrists at Triad Foot Center are experienced in treating pediatric and adolescent bunions at their three offices, located in Greensboro, Burlington and Asheboro. Visit TraidFoot.com to learn more and to request an appointment.

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