Baby Shoe Mysteries Revealed!

Posted by on Monday, June 8th, 2015

Determining the correct shoe size is challenging enough as an adult, with more than one size fitting your foot to varying degrees. You may wear different sizes depending on the brand or shoe style. Yet, sizing a baby is a whole other animal when you’re struggling with a wriggling little one who can’t say whether the shoe fits comfortably or not. It can also be terribly difficult to keep a shoe on a child’s foot, whether it fits or not! Most questions about baby footwear are deferred to pediatricians, but if you are a patient at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC, we invite you to bring us your questions about your infant’s shoes as well. Here are some general guidelines to consider.

baby shoes
Stride Rite is a well-respected, podiatrist-recommended shoe for babies and children whose feet are still developing. Image Source: Striderite.com

Baby Steps: 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Childhood Foot Development

Posted by on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The human foot is one of the most complex parts of the body, with 26 bones, 33 joints, along with an intricate web of more than 100 ligaments, muscles and tendons, supported by a matrix of blood vessels and nerves. Baby feet grow quickly during the first year — to nearly half their adult size!

What to Expect and What to Do When Your Baby Has Club Feet

Posted by on Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Clubfoot is a heart-breaking condition that affects 1 out of 1,000 babies, and ranges from mild to severe. Sometimes the heel is smaller than usual and the foot points downward. Other times, the front of the foot is rotated horizontally to face the other foot. In almost half of infants with the condition, both feet are affected. The causes for clubfoot in babies are not well known. Some believe it is a structural defect that occurs due to the positioning of the baby in the womb, while others suspect genetic factors are involved. Clubfoot may also be linked to spina bifida or traumatic injury. It is not the sort of deformity that can correct itself. Fortunately, doctors have seen success with early treatment that begins right after birth.

What to Expect and What to Do When Your Baby Has Club Feet

Posted by on Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Clubfoot is a heart-breaking condition that affects 1 out of 1,000 babies, and ranges from mild to severe. Sometimes the heel is smaller than usual and the foot points downward. Other times, the front of the foot is rotated horizontally to face the other foot. In almost half of infants with the condition, both feet are affected. The causes for clubfoot in babies are not well known. Some believe it is a structural defect that occurs due to the positioning of the baby in the womb, while others suspect genetic factors are involved. Clubfoot may also be linked to spina bifida or traumatic injury. It is not the sort of deformity that can correct itself. Fortunately, doctors have seen success with early treatment that begins right after birth.

Clubfoot: One Baby’s Story

In St. George, Utah, Kenzlie Kelton was born with a lung infection, heart murmur and clubfoot. After nine days in the intensive care unit, she was placed in a corrective cast to start her treatment. A casting technique called the Ponseti method is said to work in 90 out of 100 children with clubfoot. So, her cast was replaced once a week over the next eight weeks to realign the foot into the proper position.

A surgical procedure called “a tendon release” was performed on her Achilles tendon to decrease tension. She then went into a brace for three months. Two weeks later, the foot was not healing straight and the doctors had to perform another tendon release, followed by casting for another five weeks.

A third round of casting still awaits, along with weekly checkups over the next six weeks. From there, she will still require surgery and will need to wear a night brace for an undetermined amount of time. Baby Kenzlie won’t be able to walk until her tendon is fully healed, says her mother, Ashley. “I feel like we are at the doctor’s all the time,” she adds. The family hopes Kenzlie will be able to develop normally once the procedures are done. However, the surgery may not be covered by insurance.

When Casting Doesn’t Work: Should You Opt For Bracing Or Surgery?

Casting should alleviate the child’s condition within two or three months. However, if that doesn’t work, bracing is the secondary line of treatment offered to parents. The success rate is 95% — if the doctor’s instructions are followed accurately, but it’s a long and difficult road to recovery. This means the infant will need to wear a special brace 23 hours a day for three months and then at nighttime for three to four years. The most popular braces include the Markell Abduction Brace (top photo) and the Mitchell Abduction Brace (bottom photo). If the braces are not worn as directed, there is almost a 100% recurrence rate.

Clubfoot Surgery

Between six months and a year, surgical intervention becomes an option. Wires are used to hold the joints in place during this procedure. The likelihood of requiring additional surgery ranges from five to 50%, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Following surgery, the infant will still need to wear a long-leg cast with the knees bent at a 90 degree angle for six weeks. The cast will then be removed and the pins pulled. At this point, a short cast will be worn for another four weeks. Over the next few months, splints or special shoes may be required to continue healing.

Please note: Here at the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC, clubfoot deformity correction is one of our specialties.

 

Parents Take Note: Flat Feet and Club Feet in Kids

Posted by on Thursday, March 21st, 2013

There is nothing more precious than the tiny feet of a newborn baby. Those little toes that wiggle when you touch them, that soft skin, those plump heels—it’s enough to make even the staunchest among us swoon. In many cases, baby feet are perfectly healthy. In some, foot problems only appear later, when the child begins to walk. And sometimes, foot problems are apparent right away and require early treatment. Here are some of the most common foot problems in children, and tips about interventions that can help.

The First Pairs: Advice for Choosing Shoes for Young Children

Posted by on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Shoe shopping with kids can be a bit of a nightmare. Most kids loathe the word “shopping” unless it has the words “toy store” or “game store” involved. Shoe shopping does not involve games or toys but rather means time spent in front of shelves and shelves of extremely unentertaining shoe boxes. It means sitting still in a chair while your mom or a shoe salesperson puts on and takes off too many pairs of shoes. It means not getting the shiny pink sequined shoes you love because a parent says something like, “You don’t need them,” “Those cost too much,” or “They don’t have them in your size.” It means no fun.

Flat Feet in Kids: Four Signs That It’s Time to See a Podiatrist

Posted by on Monday, November 12th, 2012

When you have kids, you’re always on watch to see if there’s something wrong. Any deviation from the norm can make you suspicious that there’s some kind of issue that you need to catch now or risk ruining his or her life forever. “Is he hearing okay? Should she be reading now? Is his speech development on track?”

You may also worry about whether your child has flat feet (I know, like you need another worry).

If the Shoe Fits, Part II: Buying Children’s Shoes

Posted by on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Yesterday we talked about buying the right-sized shoes for you, an adult (I doubt many eight year olds are reading this, but if there are any, welcome future podiatrists!). Today let’s look at some helpful hints for buying shoes for children.

  • When should my child start wearing shoes? Babies’ feet will develop and strengthen best by going barefoot, so there’s really no need to buy them shoes until they begin to walk. Think the twelve-fifteen months age range, when you’ll be ready to go out and have some fun bonding time with your child.

This Little Piggy: First Steps to Foot Care in Children

Posted by on Friday, January 27th, 2012

Ten fingers and ten toes. They place your newborn in your arms, you kiss that sweet face, and then you count those lovely digits. When you take your baby home, you can’t get enough of those chubby little feet. You nibble on those toes, kiss and tickle, dress them in cute little booties, make impressions in clay, and capture them on film.