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Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for category: Children's foot problems

If your child’s heel hurts, they may be suffering from something called Sever’s Disease. Severs Disease, or Calcaneal apophysitis, is a condition that includes the painful swelling of their foot’s growth plate. Sever’s Disease is something more apt to be found in children. The pain will most likely emanate from the soft cartilage that lays next to the heel bone where much of the child’s foot growth occurs. Damage to this part of the foot can develop into something much more pronounced and painful over time if not corrected. The best person to diagnose Sever’s Disease is your podiatrist who should be consulted if your child is suffering from any type of heel pain.

Signs of Sever’s Disease include:

  • Pain and Redness in the heel
  • Foot Stiffness upon waking
  • Limping or walking on tiptoes to avoid pressure on the heel
  • Swelling

Often developed during puberty, Sever’s Disease can be caused by the rapid and uneven growth of foot bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles resulting in the distortion of the growth plate.

Candidates for Sever’s Disease include:

  • Athletes whose feet often hit a hard surface like in basketball, tennis, running and gymnastics
  • Anyone ages 9 to 16
  • Anyone who does a lot of standing

Treating Sever’s Disease includes:

  • Ice – Apply ice every 1 to 2 hours for 15 minutes at a time
  • Pain medicine – use Tylenol and only as directed on the bottle. If you are unsure of the dose, speak to your podiatrist
  • Orthotics - Wear specially designed foot supports to take stress off heel
  • Well-fitting shoes – choose footwear that is well cushioned and/or is open in the back to alleviate pressure on the heel
  • Physical therapy – see a physical therapist to strengthen your feet especially near the heel
  • Foot cast – as determined by your podiatrist
  • Activity change – change or reduce the amount of activity that led to the condition
  • Stretch – stretch your foot muscles before any activity
  • Lose weight – obesity can also contribute to Sever’s Disease

With appropriate treatment, most patients will resume activities in 2 weeks to 2 months.

Do you suspect your child may has Sever’s Disease or any other foot concerns schedule an appointment with Clark Podiatry Center to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon A. Macy who is  associated with New Jersey Children's Foot Health Institute . Come see us at our Clark, New Jersey office today!

By Clark Podiatry Center
April 09, 2019

It probably won’t be a surprise to you that much of a child’s foot health is inherited. High or no arches, tendencies to walk bow legged or the development of calluses are just some of what a child can expect if their parents suffered from the same. One common malady, however, is something called Severs Disease. Also known as Calcaneal apophysitis, Severs Disease is the inflammation of the growth plate in the heel of growing and active children. Severs disease causes pain and a slight swelling around the heel making it difficult to walk or run.

Treating Severs disease includes the following:

  • Reduce activities – Have your child immediately refrain from any activity that causes heel pain.
  • Ice – apply ice to the heel for 20 minutes 3 times a day.
  • Orthotics – children with high arches, no arch, or bowlegs an orthotic may be needed to alleviate the stress on the heel. See your podiatrist for this.
  • Short leg casts – in more dramatic cases children may need to have a short leg cast to temporarily rest the Achilles heel.
  • Shoes – wearing more elevated and cushioning shoes.
  • Stretching – stretching the Achilles tendon can loosen the affected area.
  • Pain meds – using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can help. Male sure to only use as directed and see your podiatrist if you have any questions.

As long as the treatment works, your child can go back to their active self. It is not uncommon, though, for the malady to return unless long term care such as the above is taken. Some of the sports which would be prone to this are running, basketball, tennis and gymnastics, but any activity that requires pounding their feet on a hard surface can induce Severs.

If you or your child has heel pain or any other foot concerns, please make an appointment with us. Dr. Brandon A. Macy, who is associated with New Jersey Children's Foot Health Institute, will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments to get you back to being active. Call Clark Podiatry at (732) 382-3470.

By Clark Podiatry Center
January 30, 2019

Ever since the day you brought them home from the hospital, you’ve probably thought that every part of your child is precious – from the strands of hair at the top of his/her head to the tickly bottoms of his/her feet. One of the most dreaded acts you had to perform was probably cutting the fingernails and toenails without accidentally drawing blood!

Today, we’ll talk about those cute toenails you cared for. Let’s start by saying that children’s toenail problems are not very common. However, there are a few things you should know about possible problems they can encounter.

  1. For one, if your child has toe deformities, they are more at risk of having toenail issues. The combination of toe shape, tightness of shoes, and toe grooming habits (which you may be in charge of) can lead to problems like ingrown toenails. To lower the risk of this painful issue, make sure your child’s toenails are cut straight across and not too short.
  2. You may consider fungal toenails an adult foot problem, but children are also susceptible. After all, some children do go to the same areas where fungal infections are easily spread, such as community pools, and gym locker rooms with their parents. It can even spread at home – by sharing a foot towel with a parent or sibling who is already infected.
  3. Some overall health issues will manifest as toenail problems. Autoimmune diseases or viral infections can lead to toenails separating from the nail bed and possibly even fall off.
  4. Spots, lines, or indentations in the nails can indicate a lapse in nutrition (like low zinc or iron), a period of sickness (fever), or slight trauma from repeatedly dropping something on the foot or kicking something (such as the front of a tight shoe).

Again, these problems are pretty rare, but they can happen. Practicing good hygiene, grooming correctly, having a nutritious diet, and ensuring a good fit in shoes will help to prevent these problems. If you suspect something is going on with your child’s toenails, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your child’s feet at New Jersey Children's Foot Health Institute and find the best treatment for toenail problems. Make an appointment at our Clark, NJ office so we can keep your child walking.

 

As your child continues to grow taller and stronger, they may experience what we commonly call “growing pains”. But did you know that there is no evidence that growth causes pain? So what’s going on when your child complains of aches and pains in the legs and is sometimes even woken up by it?

Well, it’s most likely the body’s way of telling your child that he or she has overused muscles throughout the day. As your child learns the limits of what the body can do, (s)he might play (run, jump, or climb) to the point of overexertion. The thighs, knees, or calves may feel stiff or sore and the pain may not go away until morning (with adequate rest).

But what if the pain continues to bother them? Or what if the pain is in the feet or ankles? These symptoms may indicate more of a problem.

Ongoing or chronic pain can indicate that there are misalignment issues in the feet, ankles, or legs, causing repetitive strain on certain muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Children who are pigeon-toed or are in-toeing can experience ongoing pain in different parts of the feet, ankles, or calves.

If the pain is localized to a specific part of the foot or ankle, there’s a good chance that there is a foot problem, such as:

Actually, pain in the feet and ankles are never “growing pains”. So if your child complains of pain in the areas of the leg with muscles, they may find relief with some massage or a warm bath with Epsom salt. However, if the pain is in the joint itself, or the feet or ankles, make an appointment to see us at The New Jersey Children’s Foot Health Institute at Clark Podiatry Center. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy will assess your child’s feet and ankles to find the best treatment. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns!

Many parents notice that their child’s toes point in when they walk—also known as an “intoe gait”.  At times it is also referred to as being “pigeon toed”. It can look awkward and sometimes a child can not only look clumsy, they may indeed trip and fall more than is usual. There are several reasons toes point inward and sometimes more than one can be at play.  The key to treating is to identify the source of the problem. 

Most commonly there are biomechanical issues at the root of the problem.  Disproportionate hip rotation where they turn inward more than outward is often the problem.  As similar situation can also happen at the level of the knee.  There can also be torsional problems of the leg or thigh bones.

Within the foot, if the front part of the foot is tilted towards the outside as compared to the back part of the foot, the forefoot will rotate or flop inwards as the ball of the foot lands in the gait cycle.  Alternatively, due to congenital issues the front part of the foot can turn inward as compared to the back part of the foot. Known as metatarsus adductus, this is treated by serial casting in the very young and may become a surgical problem if older.

How is the intoeing best treated? By utilizing an orthotic—often one of our LittleSteps children’s orthotics which help balance the foot properly.  Very often we’ll use a specialized orthotic called a gait plate for a while and this helps encourage the foot and leg to turn outward and function more normally.

Asymmetrical hip rotation is made worse when a child in the “W” position with their feet outside their hips.  They should be encouraged to sit cross-legged and to participate in activities such as skating or horseback riding to increase external hip rotation. We may also recommend certain exercises and possibly refer for physical therapy to help strengthen and balance the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

The takeaway point is this: don’t let well meaning people tell you to let your child “grow out of” intoe issues. For more information or an appointment, contact us at 732-382-3470 or visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com

At Clark Podiatry Center and the New Jersey Children’s Foot Heath Institute, we want to keep you and your child walking! 



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470