Common Foot Conditions by Age Group

three peoples feet in a bed.

As podiatrists, we see patients of all ages – from newborns to the elderly and every age in between.

The conditions that can affect each age group are vastly different and need to be diagnosed and treated accordingly.

In this piece, we will provide an overview of the most common conditions that we see in each age group, along with a link to an in depth blog on our website that will be able to answer all of your questions!

Keep reading to learn about the various conditions that can affect your feet.

Babies and Toddlers 

Most people are unaware that babies and toddlers often need to see a podiatrist for a range of reasons.

From conditions that may have developed whilst in the womb to difficulty walking, it is important to bring your baby or toddler in to see us if you are concerned about anything regarding their feet.

Curly toes, extra toes and webbed toes

There are a few conditions where there are noticeable changes to the toes that may be considered ‘abnormal’.

This includes having an extra toe, (polydactyly), having webbed toes (syndactyly) or having ‘curly’ toes (clinodactyly).

All 3 of these conditions are present at birth and often do not require treatment. However, there are a number of potential treatment options available which your podiatrist can discuss with you.

To read more, check out our blog Curly Toes, Extra Toes, and Webbed Toes – Everything You Need to Know About Toes.

Toe walking

Watching your child begin to walk is one of life’s exciting moments! So, when you notice that they are walking slightly differently, it is completely normal to be concerned and seek advice.

Toe walking is a common condition that most children grow out of, however it sometimes needs to be addressed to prevent further complications down the track.

This article My Child Is Toe Walking, Is This Normal? covers everything that you need to know about toe walking, including when to seek us and what we can do to help.

Intoeing

Parents will often bring their child into the clinic and explain that they think that they are ‘walking like a duck’.

Intoeing, also known as being ‘pigeon toed’ is a condition that involves the toes pointing towards the midline of the body.

It does not always require treatment, however there are a number of treatment options available.

Check out our blog “Intoeing in Children” to read more.

Metatarsus adductus

Metatarsus adductus is a foot deformity that is often referred to as ‘banana foot’ due to the shape that the foot takes.

It is a condition that does often require treatment as it may cause issues with walking and shoe fitting.

There are a number of treatment options available, all of which we outline in our blog “Condition Spotlight: Metatarsus Adductus“.

Ingrown toenails

Most people are unaware that newborns and babies can also suffer from ingrown toenails.

It can be caused by a number of reasons including their position in the womb, wearing socks that are too tight or by incorrect nail cutting techniques.

They typically resolve with conservative treatments, however sometimes antibiotics are also needed to treat an infection.

Nail surgeries are very rarely necessary but may be an option in particularly severe circumstances. To read more on ingrown toenails in general, check out our article “Ingronw Toenails – What Can I Do?“.

Kids 16 & Younger

Warts

A common condition that we see in children is warts.

They are caused by the human pappilomavirus and are extremely contagious.

Being a virus, they typically tend to affect children more than adults as their resolution does rely on a person’s immune system which is still being developed in children.

Luckily, there are a number of treatment options available that can be administered by a podiatrist.

Check out this article “Your Guide to Plantar Warts” to read more about what they are, how we can treat them and what you can do to avoid getting them.

Osteochondroses

As we grow, there are a number of areas on the feet and lower limbs that can become painful when the bones and soft tissues increase in size.

Located at these painful sites are growth plates that go through large changes at different ages.

Thankfully these conditions tend to resolve as the growth plates harden and the bones become fully formed, however they can be quite debilitating and painful.

The 4 common osteochondroses that we treat are Kohler’s disease, Sever’s disease, Iselin’s disease and Freiberg’s infraction. To read more on these conditions, head to this article “Osteochondrosis: Growth Plate Conditions in Kids” to learn more.

Adults

Corns and callus

One of the most common conditions that we see at the clinic is callus and corns.

They occur on areas of the feet where there is too much pressure, causing the skin to harden and thicken.

If left untreated, they can lead to further complications and become very painful.

There are a number of treatment options available, and it is important that you seek the advice of a podiatrist before undertaking any at home treatments as they can often make it worse.

To read more on what we can do to help, visit our blog “Callus and Corns“.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition that podiatrists are able to treat.

It presents as pain in the heel, the arch of the foot or sometimes at both sites.

It is characterised by pain first thing in the morning that gets better as the day goes on.

It can be an extremely painful condition and ranges in severity from manageable pain to not being able to walk without a lim.

There are quite a number of treatment options available, and these will be discussed in depth with you by your podiatrist.

If you’d like to read more about plantar fasciitis and how we can help, head over to this article “Plantar Fasciitis – Heel Pain; What are Your Treatment Options?

Ankle sprains

Ankle sprains are a very common injury that we treat as podiatrists and can affect any member of the population.

They can happen during sport or by simply falling over and your ankle giving way.

Most people will have sprained their ankle at some point, ranging in severity from a light sprain that only lasts a few days to a significant sprain that can put you out of action for a number of weeks.

If not treated properly, an ankle sprain can lead to chronic ankle instability which may present a range of other problems down the track.

Want to know more? Check out “Ankle Sprains: Signs, Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention” to see how we can help you!

Bunions

Most people have heard about bunions or know someone who has had them, but often they don’t know how they happen or what can be done to treat them.

Bunions are a progressive bone deformity that can be caused by a number of factors including flat feet, wearing inappropriate footwear for extended periods, structural abnormalities or a genetic predisposition.

They can lead to a number of other conditions including callus and corns or hammertoes.

Treatment options are based on what ‘stage’ of bunion is present and is usually aimed at reducing pain and preventing further complications. Check out this article “Condition Spotlight: Bunions” to read more.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that involves the body’s immune system attacking the joints.

It can be present in children (known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), however it is most commonly diagnosed in adults.

It can sometimes be misdiagnosed as osteoarthritis and is correctly diagnosed through a blood test that looks for specific markers within the blood.

The main treatments involve medication, however there are a number of ways that podiatrists can help to manage symptoms and complications.

To read more on rheumatoid arthritis, head to this piece “Condition Spotlight: Rheumatoid Arthritis in Feet“.

Skin cancers

Most people are unaware that skin cancers can also occur on the feet.

In Australia, unfortunately skin cancers are quite common and can be life threatening, with statistics showing that 1 in 85 people will develop some form of skin cancer in Australia by the time they reach 85 years old.

So, what should you do if you notice an unusual spot on the skin of your feet or on your nails? Check out our blog “Can I have skin cancers on my feet?” to see how we can help.

Gout

Gout is a condition that results in joints becoming inflamed due to the build-up of uric acid crystals.

Symptoms include hot, red, shiny skin and significant pain in joints. The big toe is the most commonly affected area in the feet, and it can affect up to 6% of the population.

Whilst medication from your GP is usually the first line of treatment, podiatrists can help to manage the pain. Read this article “Condition Spotlight: Gout” to learn more.

Shin splints

People who participate in sports such as football, netball and basketball or running may experience a condition called shin splints.

Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), it involves an inflammation of the muscles that run alongside the shin bone (tibia). It occurs due to repetitive stress on the shins and if not treated properly, it can lead to a stress reaction or even a stress fracture of the tibia.

Want to know how we can help? Visit our article “Shin Splints: Everything You Need to Know” to read up on why they happen and how we can help.

Foot changes during pregnancy

During pregnancy, there are a multitude of changes that happen to the body.

The feet are no exception to this, with most women being surprised to experience these changes.

An increase in foot size and swelling can lead to a number of other complications such as corns and callus, ingrown toenails, cramping, varicose veins and plantar fasciitis.

Check out “What to expect when you’re expecting: foot edition” to learn more about what happens to the feet during pregnancy and how your podiatrist can help. 

Older Adults

Ageing feet

We all know that as we age, our bodies change significantly.

There are a number of changes that occur in the feet that need to be managed properly to avoid further pain or complications.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can maintain your foot health and we have listed them on our blog “Ageing Feet – What do I need to look out for?

Osteoarthritis

Current research statistics estimate that there are up to 2.2 million people living with osteoarthritis in Australia.

It is a common condition that affects the joints of the body by causing a deterioration of the cartilage within the joints. This cartilage is designed to lubricate the joints, so when it is damaged or deteriorates, it can cause significant pain.

There are a number of ways that we as podiatrists can help manage the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis including orthotic therapy, footwear modifications and tailored exercise programs.

Our piece “Condition Spotlight: Osteoarthritis” covers all you need to know about osteoarthritis, so head over and check it out.

Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet?

If any of the conditions we’ve described today sound similar to something you’re experiencing or you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort in your feet or lowers, book an appointment to see one of our podiatrists here at Watsonia Podiatry.

Our experienced team is here to help you and solve your foot pain fast.

Call us on 03 9432 2689 or book online here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *