As a child begins to grow, they may develop some unexpected problems that may be difficult to deal with. This is especially the case for any child who develops adult medical issues like bunions. While an adult may develop bunions because of the tightness of the shoes that they wear on their feet, a child’s bunions are often due to an inherited biomechanical weakness in their forefeet. Whatever the case, a child’s problems with bunions can be just as painful as an adult.
Thankfully, there is quite a bit of information available online from medical professions that address how these problems occur and how they can be handled to eliminate and minimize your child’s pain. With that said, here are some things that you need to know about children having bunions and the treatment that works.
Why do children have bunions?
As mentioned before, adult bunion and children bunion growth and formation problems are vastly different from one another. In fact, adult bunions are much more common since they are often due to poor choices in the shoes that an adult wears. For instance, one sure sign of poor choices is wearing a narrow, pointed toe box pair of shoes that jams the toes on the feet into a completely awkward and unnatural position.
Dissimilar from the adult bunions, the child’s bunions are usually inherited from genetics in their family. However, the cases of a child’s bunions can easily become exacerbated by also wearing shoes that are too small for their feet. In some cases, a child’s bunions may also be due to neurological disorders that are related to illnesses like cerebral palsy.
If left untreated, will the bunion cause any problems in the future?
It is very important that a child’s case of bunions is addressed with the proper treatment. Therefore, it is highly recommended for parents to seek out help from a physician that can diagnose and prescribe the best course of action. Since a child’s feet are still forming, physicians will take special care in looking for a solution to correct these issues.
If left untreated and not addressed, as children continue to grow, they may suffer from other conditions in the future. In some cases, bunions may lead to deformity of the second toe or issues like arthritis in the big toe joints.
Types of Treatments for Child Bunions
To eliminate pain and any future problems that these bunions can cause children, there are some specific recommended treatments that can help to minimize and eliminate these types of issues. Here are some of the most common treatments listed below.
1. Change the Types of Shoes Worn
When a child is suffering from bunions on their feet, one of the first recommendations is to change the types of shoes that they wear. Instead of wearing tight shoes that fit tightly to the form of their feet, parents should help their children select shoes that are wider. The wider width will allow their entire feet to spread a lot more naturally instead of forcing the toes to be crammed and jammed within a small constricted space in the shoe. Thereby, helping to correct a bunion problem by changing out the wrong shoe to a better fit for children that have bunions.
2. Change Activities and Increase Exercise
To correct severe problems with bunions, a foot doctor may recommend different changes in activities and specific types of exercises to assist with correcting these genetic problems. Here are just a few of the exercises and activities that may be recommended to the parents and their children.
3. Foot Exercises for Bunions
- Towel curls with a slipper on
- Picking up marbles
- Walking along the beach
- Stretching your big toe
- Resistance exercises
- Toe stretches helps keep the toes on the feet limber and offset foot pain
- Toe flexing and contracting
- Flat foot Ball roll
What is the Best Age for Treatment
When children have painful bunions that do not go away with all of the other types of treatments, a surgical option may be recommended. Before a surgical option is recommended, however, the child must have tried a variety of other methods for addressing their pain. Some of the most beneficial include wearing various kids of arch support, bunion relief socks, a special insole or a slipper for comfort. Each of these treatments is meant to minimize the child’s pain. If these things do not work, the physician may recommend a bunion corrector. However, these types of surgical options are usually not recommended until between 9 and 11 years of age.
Will wearing a bunion corrector cause any side effects?
Bunion correctors for kids are ideal for anyone who is looking to correct surgical procedures. There are many great benefits to using a bunion corrector, including using an inexpensive treatment to reduce and eliminate the size of the bunion. This is an all-natural way of correcting bunion in the feet gradually but steadily. Unlike surgical procedures, the side effects are minimal unless the child is already experiencing a lot of pain that irritates this area.
How long should my kids wear a bunion corrector, in order to see the result?
The answer to this question usually varies based on the individual child. However, because a child’s bones are more malleable than adults, the bunion corrector can assist in shortening the time period. And, hopefully, eliminates the need for bunion removal surgery.
Is bunion surgery suitable for kids and How do I know if kids require surgery?
Bunion surgery for kids is considered to be one of the last options for treatment. Because the child’s bones are still growing, this surgical procedure is reserved only for those that are in severe pain and nothing else works.
What is the best age for bunion surgery?
Most surgeons will not perform this surgery on kids when it only involves cosmetic reasons. Also, because the skeletal maturity for boys and girls are different, ages 13 – 15 are recommended for girls, while ages 15 – 17 are recommended for boys. In short, the growth plates children must be considered.
Do bunions come back after surgery/wearing a corrector?
For most kids, the recurrence is not always likely. However, if predisposed to excessive motion in the foot, the recurrence can occur.
If your child has problems with bunions on their feet, please contact us for an evaluation. Our trained professional staff will prescribe the best treatment plan to help to alleviate their pain.