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Pediatric foot and ankle care

Pediatric foot and ankle doctors treat issues affecting the lower leg structure. These bones and joints may still be developing in children and teens, so treatments range from complex surgery to physical rehabilitation and are adapted to the unique needs of their growing bodies.

Pediatric foot and ankle doctors in Denver

We create a kid-friendly environment for your child throughout their diagnosis and treatment.

At Rocky Mountain Pediatric OrthoONE in the Metro Denver area, our pediatric orthopedists understand the complexities of the foot's musculoskeletal makeup — especially in children, whose bones are still growing. From sprained ankles and falls to congenital foot differences, we treat your child's condition with warmth and compassion.

Childhood foot and ankle conditions we treat

Our care team of physicians, surgeons and specialists can diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions, including:

  • Accessory navicular
  • Amniotic band syndrome
  • Congenital clubfoot
  • Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia
  • Fibular hemimelia
  • Fractures
  • Haglund's deformity
  • Hallux rigidus
  • Limb length discrepancy
  • Morton's neuromas
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Tendinitis
  • Tendon tears

Our pediatric foot and ankle care

Your child's feet are vastly different from an adult's because they are still developing and will continue to develop well into adolescence. It is crucial to see pediatric foot specialists and surgeons who know this, to ensure your child can heal and grow.

Congenital foot abnormalities care

We would like to ease some of your fears about congenital foot differences — also sometimes called birth abnormalities — and what they might mean for you and your child. Many different treatments are available, including physical therapy, orthotic device support and surgery. Whatever treatment plan we create for your child, we strive to help them adapt and experience a functional life.

Clubfoot treatment

Clubfoot is a congenital difference that affects the whole foot and can involve one or both feet. With all types of clubfoot, the foot is twisted out of its normal position in some way. Without treatment, your child will face many movement challenges as they age. Fortunately, we can begin treatment for clubfoot within your child's first week of life.

To treat this condition, our orthopedists use a technique that involves stretching and progressively casting the affected foot with semi-rigid removable casts. Over the course of many weeks, the position of your child's foot will change.

After casting, we determine if surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon is necessary. Following surgery, we use an ankle foot orthotic (AFO) device to help keep your child's foot in the correct position as it heals.

We understand this can be frustrating or worrisome because the treatment for clubfoot is slow and long. However, this unhurried pace allows for true, lasting healing to occur for your child. Just know that we share the same goals as you: to see your child walking, running and playing pain-free.

Treatment for toe abnormalities

Our pediatric foot and ankle doctors are highly specialized with experience and knowledge in treating toe differences in children. We can treat a number of conditions affecting the digits of the foot, including:

  • Brachydactyly — Shortened toes
  • Polydactyly — One or more extra toes
  • Syndactyly — Webbed toes

Sometimes these conditions appear together, such as having both shortened and webbed toes (symbrachydactyly). Our treatments vary with every child and their unique development. If a condition is mild, it may be treatable in the office or with outpatient surgery, while other conditions might require multiple surgeries.

Some of our diagnostic and treatment options include:

  • Clamping or suturing
  • Ligament transfers
  • Skin grafting
  • Web space reconstruction
  • X-rays and radiograph

No matter the treatment plan, our doctors are here to answer your questions and help your child feel safe while they are in our care.

Sports-related foot and ankle treatments

Injuries to the feet often occur during sports practice or competitions. Our sports medicine specialists can diagnose and treat minor injuries as well as severe ones that require surgery. We are here to support your whole family as we help your child get back to playing the sports they love.

Treatment for Achilles tendon injuries

Achilles tendinitis is inflammation in the Achilles tendon. It occurs when a person does a lot of running or jumping, especially if there is a sudden increase in the amount or intensity. Even with short rest periods, the pain along the tendon returns after activity resumes.

We use a conservative approach to treatment. The first things we will try typically include rest from aggravating activities, ice and pain control. We may also recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicines to treat both pain and inflammation. Regardless of these treatments, physical therapy or a doctor-approved home exercise program is crucial to your child's recovery. The programs we offer will include exercises that stretch and strengthen your child's leg muscles.

When your child is ready to return to activity, it is important to gradually increase the amount and intensity of the exercises to prevent relapse. Most teens with Achilles tendonitis do well and recover without long-lasting problems.

Ankle sprain treatment

An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments that stabilize the ankle. Ankle sprains cause varying amounts of pain, swelling and bruising over the joint. Often mimicking an ankle fracture, ankle can become chronic without proper treatment.

Our initial treatment plan for a sprained ankle includes five key elements: stabilizing the ankle, resting, using a cold compress and keeping the foot elevated. We offer different stabilizing orthotics depending on the severity of your child's sprain.

We provide other treatments for sprained ankles, including:

  • At-home exercises
  • Casting (in more severe cases)
  • Crutches
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Splinting or bracing (most common)

We recommend rehabilitation exercises to regain the ankle's normal range of motion, strength and balance. Since recurrent ankle sprains are a common problem it is very important that you and your child remain dedicated to their exercise program.

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