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Dallas Podiatry Works

Kids Can Get Bunions Too!

Adults aren't the only ones who are affected by painful bumps on the sides of their feet. Children may have resilient feet but genes prove to have a drastic affect on their framework. If you notice a lump on the side of your child's big toe, contact the experts at Dallas Podiatry Works today!

What Are Bunions?

Treating Pediatric BunionsJuvenile bunions are congenital and can develop as the child grows. They are often painful, enlarged bumps located just behind the big toe. This bump affects the joint of the big toe and causes it to bend toward the rest of the toes, rather than pointing straight. As the deformity progresses, the entire structure of the foot can be thrown out of alignment. Many children don't display visible warning signs. If your child is experiencing pain bring them in for an x-ray.

What Are The Causes?

It is often thought that adult deformities are generally caused by ill-fitting footwear. At Dallas Podiatry Works, we don’t necessarily agree with that. In children, these deformities can be a result of loose ligaments and joints, mechanical imbalances, or structural deformities such as Metatarsus Adductus.

What Are The Symptoms?

Though bunions may not display noticeable symptoms, they may cause physical discomfort and pain if left untreated. As the disorder progresses the area surrounding the joint becomes tender, swollen, and red. Often times a burning sensation is present. These symptoms make walking difficult as well as cause pain while placing their feet in shoes.

How are Bunions Treated?

Treatment of this foot deformity in children is significantly different from the treatment adults receive. The growth plates in the feet of children need to be preserved to ensure proper development. Our podiatrists, Drs. Joel Brook and David Northcutt, specialize in pediatric foot care and offer the most comprehensive, non-operative and operative techniques to cure your children's feet.

To preserve the integrity of the growth plates, initial treatment is conservative.  Juvenile bunions can sometimes be treated with insoles called orthotics. These can help balance the structure and function of the foot.

Soft inserts are padded and shaped to fit your child's unique feet. When placed in the shoe, they work to absorb shock and cushion the affected area.

Stiff insoles are effective in supporting your child's precious feet. They work by shifting the weight and pressure to another part of their foot as they walk or run.

Other non-operative treatments include the use of wide sneakers or shoes and avoiding anything with a heel. These options alleviate symptoms and aim to avoid surgical procedures. Yet, sometimes employing the use of orthoses or wide shoes aren't enough. Your podiatrist may recommend surgery.

Surgical intervention is very effective when indicated. In order for this bone deformity to be addressed, the growth plate must be preserved. Surgery will realign the bone and correct bone structure.

Treatment options depend on the severity of the bump, the position of the great toe, x-ray findings, the age of the child, and how much time remains before the bones have matured.

Pay close attention to your child and their feet. If they are complaining of foot pain, it is advisable to seek podiatric care. The professionals at Dallas Podiatry Works in Dallas and Plano, Texas will provide you with peace of mind and your child with the best possible care. Make an appointment with our office by calling (927) 566-7474 or by booking online.

Dr. Joel W. Brook
Dr. Joel Brook is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Dallas Podiatry Works in TX.