Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


Does Your Child Limp when He or She Walks?

Child Limps When WalkingAll expecting parents hope that their children will enter the world without foot health concerns, however, congenital disorders of the feet do occur.  Tarsal coalition is one such condition that typically results from improper development of the feet in utero when certain bones do not form as intended.  It is interesting to note that while the issue is present at birth, most individuals do not experience any difficulties until they are older.  Symptoms often appear between the ages of nine and sixteen.  Still others experience no effects until they are adults.  This condition has been known to develop later in life as the result of an injury.  Arthritic conditions and infection have also been cited as possible causes.

What is a tarsal coalition?

A tarsal coalition occurs when unwanted tissue, bone, or cartilage is present between the tarsal bones.  These bones are at the rear of the foot and include the heel bone.  Since the tarsal bones are critical to the inner workings of the feet, this condition can cause decreased range of motion and discomfort, and it is possible for both feet to be affected.

What are the symptoms of tarsal coalition?

During the process of bone maturation, symptoms of this condition may begin to appear.  If you notice your child limping, it is always cause for concern—it may also be a symptom of this congenital disorder.  One of the best ways to monitor your son or daughter’s overall foot health is by their level of activity.  If it shifts from highly active to limited activity, there is a reason.  Complaints of legs that feel tired and stiff, or spasms of the foot muscles are other signs that something is wrong.

As a parent, it can be difficult to gauge the severity of a problem.  Remember, you’re not alone!  The team at Dallas Podiatry Works will be with you every step of the way to diagnose and treat your child’s condition.

How is tarsal coalition diagnosed and treated?

Since symptoms are often delayed until adulthood, diagnosis can be challenging.  A thorough history of symptoms will be critical, so take time to write down information such as date of onset and how long pain has been experienced.  After the foot exam, an image of your affected foot will be taken.  This can be an x-ray or other diagnostic tool.

Conservative treatments are always the first option and they include physical therapy which will often include home exercises, anti-inflammatory medication for the pain, prescription orthotics, and casting.  Eliminating movement of the foot will rest the affected areas and provide an opportunity for healing.  If muscle spasms are a primary symptom, anesthesia medication may be administered to the area to quiet them.  Surgery is always a last resort, but may be necessary if symptoms cannot be controlled through more moderate means.

Foot health concerns can affect the whole family.  The skilled and professional team at Dallas Podiatry Works will walk with you on your journey to end your child’s foot and ankle pain.  You’re not alone!  Call today and find relief by scheduling an appointment.  Drs. Brook and Northcutt look forward to serving you in our Dallas and Plano, TX offices.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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Join the 50,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
Come experience Dallas Podiatry Works of Dallas, TX and Plano, TX! You will see for yourself that our podiatrists, foot doctors and foot specialists provide 5-star-rated foot care in Dallas TX, Plano TX, Frisco TX, McKinney TX, Richardson TX, Garland TX, Rockwall TX, Allen TX, Arlington TX and Fort Worth TX. Call 972.566.7474 today.
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