At this time of year when Halloween rolls around, many kids are all about finding the perfect costume. It seems as though the party stores get stocked with more and more options each year as children dress up in all kinds of different outfits—from scary zombies to Disney characters and superheroes. It can also be scary to see an abnormal bump on your child’s foot, one that is not part of a costume. While bunions are most common among adults, they can occur among younger teenagers, too, and it is a problem that needs to be addressed to prevent it from getting worse.
A pediatric or adolescent bunion is slightly different than one that occurs with adults, in that it is primarily caused by a structural problem in the foot—although if you have a teenager who repeatedly wears tight, pointy shoes, this could also be an aggravating factor. When the structure of the big toe joint is affected and the big toe shifts in alignment, the result is that bump on the foot. For juveniles this can cause discomfort, pain while wearing shoes, and difficulty participating in certain activities. Since bunions are often an inherited condition, there isn’t a “cure” to just get rid of this deformity.
The first step in treatment for a pediatric bunion is footwear modification to ensure that toes are not being compressed. We can provide extra padding to protect the big toe joint, toe splints, and orthotics. Orthotics are inserts for your child’s shoes that keep the foot in proper alignment and limit the bunion’s progression. We would exhaust all conservative treatment options before turning to surgery, but if your child is in significant pain, and his or her activity level is extremely limited due to a bunion problem, we can discuss all surgery options that may help.
If you are concerned about your child’s bunions or fear that they are getting worse despite trying these conservative treatment methods, contact Dallas Podiatry Works for an evaluation. We can work with you to make sure your child grows up with healthy, pain free feet. Call Dr. Joel W. Brook and Dr. David R. Northcutt in Dallas, TX at (972) 566-7474 or in Plano, TX at (972) 943-3323.