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Tuesday, 18 June 2024 00:00

Pediatric foot alignment deformities are structural abnormalities in a child’s foot that can affect gait and overall mobility. Common deformities include clubfoot, skew foot, and cavovarus. Clubfoot, where the foot twists inward and downward, can be present at birth and may result from genetic factors or in-utero positioning. Skew foot involves a combination of forefoot adduction and hindfoot valgus, leading to a Z-shaped appearance. Cavovarus foot, characterized by a high arch and inward heel, often results from neuromuscular conditions or inherited foot structure. These deformities can affect children of all ages, with risk factors including family history, neurological disorders, and abnormal fetal positioning. Diagnosis typically involves a thorough physical examination, medical history review, and imaging studies such as X-rays or MRI. Treatment varies based on the type and severity of the deformity and may include stretching exercises, orthotic devices, casting, or surgery. Early intervention is imperative for effective management. If your child has a foot alignment deformity, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. 

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood of Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Thursday, 13 June 2024 00:00

Children's orthotics play a vital role in addressing mobility issues and promoting healthy development. From flat feet to neurological conditions like cerebral palsy, many children face challenges that affect their ability to walk and move comfortably. Therapeutic footwear, tailored to their unique needs, offers invaluable support and stability. These specially designed shoes provide arch support, cushioning, and proper alignment, aiding in the correction of foot abnormalities and enhancing balance. By redistributing pressure and reducing strain on vulnerable areas, orthotic shoe inserts alleviate discomfort and prevent future complications. Moreover, they facilitate optimal muscle function, allowing children to engage in activities with greater ease and confidence. Beyond physical benefits, orthotics also promote psychological well-being by empowering children to participate actively in social and recreational endeavors. If your child has a foot condition that can benefit from wearing custom-made orthotics, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can offer treatment. 

If you are experiencing discomfort in your feet and would like to try custom orthotics, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain. 

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Shoe inserts come in a wide variety and are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality, custom inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you're experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibility of using custom orthotics or shoe inserts. A podiatrist can determine which type of custom orthotic or shoe insert is right for you and help you take the first steps toward being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Investing in Custom Orthotics Means Investing in Foot Health
Tuesday, 11 June 2024 00:00

Hammertoe is a foot deformity characterized by an abnormal bending of the toe joints, causing the affected toes to resemble a hammer or claw. This condition typically affects the second, third, or fourth toes, although it can occur in any toe. Hammertoe often develops gradually over time, due to factors like ill-fitting shoes, foot structure abnormalities, or muscle imbalances. One of the noticeable features of hammertoe is the bending of the toe joints, resulting in a permanent, abnormal position that may cause pain, discomfort, or difficulty walking or wearing shoes. Other characteristic symptoms include corns or calluses forming on the tops of the affected toes due to friction and pressure from rubbing against footwear. Additionally, individuals with hammertoe may experience limited range of motion in the affected toes, making it challenging to straighten or flex them fully. If you notice a deformity in your toes, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam, a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood of Foot Health Institute. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 04 June 2024 00:00

Flat feet, a condition where the arches of the feet touch the ground when you stand, can lead to overpronation. Overpronation occurs when the ankles roll excessively inward with each step during walking or running. This can cause additional strain on the ankles, knees, and hips. Overpronation can also increase the risk of injuries and discomfort due to improper alignment and distribution of body weight. People with flat feet may experience fatigue in their feet and legs, and suffer from pain in the heel or arch area. To help manage symptoms of flat feet and any issues resulting from overpronation, a podiatrist, or foot doctor, may recommend orthotic devices. These are insoles that fit into shoes to provide support for the arches, correct the pronation, and enhance overall foot function. Proper footwear that offers stability and support is also important to effectively manage overpronation. Regular check-ups with a podiatrist can ensure that individuals with flat feet receive the necessary support and guidance to prevent any issues. If you have flat feet, or suspect overpronation when walking, it is suggested you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a full exam and possible gait analysis. 

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is Flexible Flat Foot?
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