At birth while the major bones in an infant's foot are beginning formation, there are still quite a few bones yet to begin the process. While not terribly common, there are some pathologies which may befall an infant. One of the more common issues is clubfoot which has to do with the positioning of the child while he or she is developing during pregnancy. The foot will most likely appear abnormally turned, often in a sideways position. Because infants have many bones yet to develop, and due to the pliable nature of their soft tissue, it is recommended that treatment start ASAP. Most recommended treatment starts conservatively, which includes serial casting or special shoes.
Children have most of the major bone in the foot developed (past a few years in age). Teenagers start to see some maturation of bones/joints as they get closer to adulthood. Commonly seen issues within children/teens include in-toeing, flat feet, ingrown nails and sports related injuries. Teens may start to develop more adult issues like bunions. Typically, these issues are treated conservatively with special shoes, custom orthotics, or casting/immobilization to name a few options. Occasionally, some surgical intervention might be warranted (ex. ingrown nail, and in some rare instances the bunion to improve joint alignment and reduce the chance of early onset arthritis).
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