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Common Foot Problems in Newborns

Common Foot Problems in Newborns

Many parents are relieved to count 10 fingers and 10 toes when their baby is born, and fortunately, 10 perfectly formed toes are the norm. However, since your baby grows at such a rapid pace in such a short amount of time, there’s always the potential for foot problems. 

That’s where our pediatric podiatry expert comes in. 

Dr. Kelly Geoghan specializes in addressing a wide range of pediatric foot problems in a kid-friendly way. Here, she explores some of the most common issues newborns face once they’ve entered the world. 

A closer look at your baby’s feet

Two of the most common foot problems your baby can develop, metatarsus adductus and calcaneovalgus, have to do with the positioning of their feet. Many believe they stem from how your baby’s foot was positioned and pushed while they were inside the womb. Here’s a closer look at each.

Metatarsus adductus

Metatarsus adductus refers to a curvature in the middle of your baby’s foot, causing it to fold inward. Crooked feet on your baby certainly look concerning, but the degree of crookedness is actually much less important than the degree of flexibility. If your baby’s foot is flexible enough to be straightened out when you push on it, they have flexible metatarsus adductus, which usually resolves in 6-12 months. 

Though it hasn’t been proven as a cure, we recommend regularly stretching your child’s feet to help their feet find a normal position. In the rare event that metatarsus adductus doesn’t resolve on its own, we may recommend surgery to correct the problem. 

Calcaneovalgus

Calcaneovalgus is essentially the opposite of metatarsus adductus. It occurs when your baby’s foot is pushed up and out. Like metatarsus adductus, this foot condition typically resolves over the course of a few months, and surgical intervention is only needed in the most severe cases. 

Clubfeet

Another common pediatric foot problem is clubfoot — a condition that impacts around 1 in every 1,000 babies. Clubfoot in babies describes a range of abnormalities that are present at birth. If your baby has clubfoot, their foot appears twisted out of shape or position. This condition occurs when the tendons are shorter than they should be. 

Unlike metatarsus adductus and calcaneovalgus, doctors attribute clubfoot to the following risk factors:

For mild cases of clubfoot, gentle stretches and casting are effective treatments. If necessary, we may recommend surgery to completely address the problem and help your child continue to develop normally. 

Other pediatric foot problems

As your child gets older (and especially as they become more active), they’re at risk for other foot problems, including:

No matter what’s plaguing your child’s peds, Dr. Geoghan has the expertise to accurately diagnose and treat the problem. 

How to spot a foot problem in your child

There are few moments more exciting than watching your child take their first steps, but if they have a foot problem, they may not hit that milestone when you expect them to. Other warnings signs of a foot problem include:

If you notice one or more of these red flags, it’s time to make an appointment with Dr. Geoghan. You can do so by requesting a consultation online or over the phone at our Lutherville, Maryland, office. 

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