Many people complain that kids grow up too fast these days. Sometimes, however, people are surprised that children can end up with problems that were never actually restricted to adulthood in the first place. That is certainly the case with bunions in kids. This deformity is not just a grown-up condition. Children’s bunions can cause significant discomfort in kids and teenagers, too.
A Problem at Any Age
While it’s true that bunions are most common in adult women, they can develop at any age. The deformity is the result of problem with foot structure and mechanics. The feet are supposed to be able to handle absorbing shock and pushing off the ground. With certain foot structures, however, excess pressure can make the big toe and its metatarsal bone unstable. After a while, the unstable toe starts to lean toward the smaller digits while the first metatarsal tilts the opposite direction.
In children, having low arches and overpronating when being active can be contributing factors and increase risk for the condition. These problems limit your child’s foot’s ability to handle pressure evenly. Wearing poorly fitted shoes can also play a role. No matter the reason, though, the result is that most of the stress from standing and walking gets directed to the big toe instead of being spread through the foot. After a while, the pressure causes the toe and metatarsal to slide out of alignment and bulge at the joint, creating the bunion.
Your son or daughter ends up with a hard bump on the side of his or her foot. Pressing against the bump can be uncomfortable, so it might be painful to wear some shoe styles. Often there’s swelling around the big toe and the bulge may appear red and inflamed. The deformity can eventually make walking and participating in athletic activities very uncomfortable for your child.
Eliminating Your Child’s Foot Pain
The good news is that some conservative care can alleviate pain as well as prevent your children’s bunions from progressing. Dr. Sanjay Patel and our staff at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. will examine the bump and determine the extent of the condition. We might need additional tests or diagnostic images to check for complications. After the problem is diagnosed, we can help you and your child establish a treatment plan that eases discomfort without restricting normal activities.
The biggest, and often most helpful, treatment is changing your child’s shoes. Help your child choose shoes with wide, rounded toe boxes that won’t squeeze or pinch the feet. Don’t let your child wear styles that have raised heels, zero arch support, or pointy toe boxes. All of these stress the forefoot and could make the problem worse. Putting pads in your child’s shoes so the sides don’t rub against the bump may help as well. Icing the bulge when it hurts can minimize pain, too. Custom orthotics work well by correcting and accommodating biomechanical weaknesses. Surgery is saved for bunions in kids that are extremely painful and not responding to conservative treatment.
No one wants to see their child in pain. Children’s bunions don’t have to cause suffering. The right care can keep your son or daughter running and playing pain-free. Let Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford and Hamden, CT, help you with this. Make an appointment online through our website today. You can also call us: (203) 876-7736 for Milford, or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.