When we think about bunions, we think of our mothers and grandmothers. Their feet, deformed after years
of wearing inappropriate shoes and having bad feet. But would we ever think of our young daughters? Juvenile bunions affect children and teens, especially girls, between the ages of 10 and 15. For the most part juvenile bunions are without symptoms of pain because they do not have the degenerative changes adults face. The first sign that your child may have a problem with a bunion is they will have trouble putting their feet into shoes. Some children will feel self-conscious about their bunions. Other symptoms will include:
- A big toe joint that is red or swollen.
- Complaints of foot pain when walking, running, or playing.
- Problems moving the big toe joint.
- A thickening of the skin on the bottom of the foot.
Juvenile bunions are more severe as the onset of the foot deformity is earlier and it progressives very quickly. When left untreated, it can cause significant deformity and disability. They are typically treated aggressively to prevent recurrence in later years. Roughly 50% of juvenile bunions are associated with flexible flat foot, as the flattening of the arch and the large big toe are secondary to hypermobility of joints.
When it comes to foot wear and children, ensure your child does not wear ones that are too small or too tight. Young girls with juvenile bunions should stay away from heels and narrow/pointy shoes because this increases the risk for bunions to increase.
Treatment for a juvenile bunion depends on severity, degree of pain, and how quickly the bunion is progressing. Growth plates in children tend to close when girls are around the age of 16 and boys when they are 17. Closing of growth plates dictates when surgery can be accomplished safely.
Conservative treatment options for juvenile bunions include:
- Custom orthotics, which control excessive motion
- Changes in shoes, to take pressure off the bunion
- Padding/taping, use to relieve irritation and discomfort
- Anti-inflammatory medications to help with the pain.
- Physical therapy to help with pain relief.
If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT