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

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Posts for category: Children's foot problems

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! 

By Clark Podiatry Center
January 10, 2018

As children’s bodies continue to grow, they may also develop issues that cause them pain. However, keep in mind that growing pains are not normal when it comes to feet. Any foot or ankle issues that they may experience indicate a foot problem that must be addressed to prevent further complications.

For the most part, children may grow out of certain conditions such as bow legs, flat feet, and in-toeing. Still, it’s important to come see our podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy, at The New Jersey Children’s Foot Health Institute as soon as they complain or seem to show signs of foot pain. Treating a problem early and using prevention methods are easier than trying to solve problems later, as they can become more complex and even require more invasive treatments, such as surgery.

A commonly prescribed treatment for children with foot problems is custom orthotics. They come in all shapes and sizes, and for mild symptoms, even over-the-counter inserts can be helpful. Dr. Macy can help you determine the best type of orthotics for your child’s needs.

In general, orthotics can be useful to relieve symptoms associated with:

  • Flat Feet: When the arches in the feet do not develop after learning to walk, children can experience pain along the bottom of the feet as the tendons and muscles around the arches strain to support the feet. Some children can “grow out of it” and develop arches later, but they should get supportive orthotics to relieve pain.
  • Overpronation: Often associated with flat feet, this is a condition in which the ankle bones tend to lean inward. This can cause strain on the ankle joints and heels as they grow out of alignment. Orthotics can help to support the feet and prevent the ankles from rolling inward.
  • Sever’s Disease (heel pain): This disease affects the growth plate at the base of the heel bone. It can be caused by repetitive stress or injury to the bottom of the foot, and is usually more common in active children. Orthotics can help displace the pressure placed on the growth plate to reduce inflammation and irritation.
  • Osgood Schlatters (knee pain): A painful bump below the kneecap can indicate inflammation to the knee, especially in children who run and jump and are experiencing growth spurts. Orthotics can be used to reduce the impact on the knees and relieve pain.

Is your child overpronating or complaining of foot or ankle pain? It’s important that their needs are addressed to prevent complications as they grow. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy can assess your children’s feet and give them the treatment or orthotic support they need. Come see him at Clark Podiatry Center. Make an appointment to see us today at our Clark, NJ office.

One of the more common reasons a parent will bring in their 9-13 year old child has to do with complaints of heel pain.  Most of these children are active sports participants--soccer, football, cross-country, but certainly other physical activities like dance and gymnastics. While there may be other causes, most often they suffer from a condition known as Sever’s Disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis.

Calcaneal apophysitis is actually an injury to the growth plate of the heel bone.  The cause is an excessive amount of torque between the side of the growth plate where the Achilles tendon attaches and the other side where the rest of the foot is.  This usually happens in feet which overpronate (they flatten out too much).

The pain is felt at the bottom or side of the heel near the back and can be on one or both heels at the same time.  The pain increases as they tire during practices, games or in-school physical education classes. It can be worse in sports which utilize cleats, as the placement of cleats can hit in just the wrong spot.  The severity of the pain and how much it interferes with activities can vary as well.

Here’s the surprising fact:  many people try using some form of heel cushion or heel cup inside the shoe with limited success.  Why? Back to the cause—the problem isn’t usually a bruise from landing too hard, even though it tends to feel worse playing on harder surfaces, but from the biomechanical torque on the heel bone.   How is it best treated? By utilizing an orthotic—often one of our specialized LittleSteps children’s orthotics which provide shock absorption, support for the foot which is flattening out too much and a deep heel cup which controls that heel torque.  Unless the pain is severe, the need to miss time from participation is minimal and relief is rapid, usually within a few weeks.

The takeaway point is this: don’t let heel pain get in the way of your child’s enjoyment of playing! 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 walking! #ClarkPodiatry #NJCFHI

"Whether you be man or woman you will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."- James Lane Allen (1849 - 1925) American Author

By Clark Podiatry Center
August 17, 2016

 

More and more children are encouraged to play sports and explore athletic abilities at young ages (though admittedly, there’s also a trend in more sedentary lifestyles as well). The positive benefits that children gain from team sports include healthy lifestyle, sportsmanship, and teamwork skills. On the other hand, growing children are more likely to encounter injuries that need critical attention, such as broken bones.

 

In particular, children who practice a sport and have to repeat certain motions can end up with small cracks at the surface of the bone, called stress fractures. These small cracks in the foot or toes can be very painful for children. If left untreated, it can lead to larger fractures over time, or even broken bones

If your child sustains a sports injury, first remain calm and assess the situation. Try to remove shoes and socks from their feet if it doesn’t cause too much pain to get a better picture of the injury. If the pain is too severe even after initial shock, you should seek medical advice immediately.

 

Sports that require kicking, such as soccer or martial arts are likely culprits of these types of fractures, especially if they are just learning and do not use proper technique. Safety equipment such as shin guards and protective shoes will help to reduce the chances of incurring these fractures. Proper stretching and warming up will also reduce the likelihood of other injuries, such as sprains or torn ligaments.

 

If your child sustains a sports injury, first remain calm and assess the situation. Try to remove shoes and socks from their feet if it doesn’t cause too much pain to get a better picture of the injury. If the pain is too severe even after initial shock, you should seek medical advice immediately.

 

Regardless of whether or not there was a specific injury, foot or ankle pain should be tended to sooner than later. If your child complains of pain, call our Clark, NJ office at 732-382-3470 to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy of Clark Podiatry Center. Using the on-site X-ray machine, he will be able to assess the location of the pain and treat the injury or stress fracture.



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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