When it comes to providing treatment for a foot or ankle issue, it is always our hope to use conservative care to resolve the problem. This is especially the case when we are caring for younger patients. While nonsurgical methods are often effective, there are times when children’s foot surgery is necessary. The good news for our young patients—and their parents—is that Podiatry Associates, P.C. is staffed with experienced, highly-skilled foot doctors who are ready to help!
Conditions That Might Require Surgery
As we will further discuss, there is an array of surgical procedures that can be used when needed, but a good starting point is taking a look the conditions that might need this form of care. These include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- Cavus Foot – When an abnormally high and rigid arch places excessive pressure on the front of the foot, it can cause pain and instability. Conservative methods we would use first include bracing, orthotics, and shoe modifications.
- Tarsal Coalition – In this condition, which is often present from birth, two or more bones located in the back of the foot have grown together, which can lead to rigid, painful flatfoot.
- Clubfoot – This term actually encompasses various abnormal positions of the foot. As with tarsal coalition, it is present at birth. Bracing and casting help for most babies, but some cases require surgical intervention.
- Juvenile Bunions – In spite of their frequent association with women’s shoes, bunions can also form in children due to structural abnormalities or problems. These toe deformities are progressive and conservative care can only address symptoms. Surgery is the only way to correct the condition.
Types of Children’s Foot Surgery Procedures
Depending on the issue we are aiming to correct through the foot or ankle surgery, we may opt to use one of several different types of surgical procedures, such as:
- Osteotomy – This procedure is a surgical removal or cutting away of bone tissue. This is a possible option for juvenile bunions.
- Fusions – In this type of procedure, two bones are surgically connected to impede movement in a joint. This might be used in a case of a severely collapsed foot arch.
- Tendon Lengthening or Shortening – Some conditions happen as the result of tendons that are either too loose or too tight. We can either lengthen or shorten the tendon to correct the condition.
- Implants – Stabilizing or correcting the hindfoot after bone work may benefit from the use of subtalar implants.
No matter the patient, it is important to consider the risks versus benefits of a surgical procedure. In the case of a minor, this decision will ultimately fall upon his or her parent or legal guardian. That is why it is important that you are able to understand all the potential risks that come with an invasive procedure and weigh them against the benefit of correcting a condition that causes pain or problems.
A major part of any surgery is what happens after the procedure is over. The specific instructions we will provide depend, naturally, on the specific surgical procedure used. That said, there are some common elements of surgical recovery, and these include rest, stabilization, and physical therapy. We will also prescribe medication to be used in pain management.
It is important to note that injuries can recur or new ones develop when patients do not follow doctor instructions. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, so your son or daughter can fully recover from the surgery.
Children’s Foot Surgery in Parker, CO
We will typically exhaust conservative measures before considering a surgical procedure to address a child’s foot issue. When we do reach this point, though, you can take comfort in the fact that our expert foot surgeons have your son or daughter’s health in mind. Contact Podiatry Associates, P.C. for any of your child foot care needs and experience the personalized care and attention that allows us to stand out from the pack.
You can use our online form or give us a call at (303) 805-5156 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oberholtzer-Classen or another member of the team at any of our three locations – Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, or Parker, CO.