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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

Like Finding Bigfoot: Identifying Rare Foot Conditions

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Bigfoot sightings pop up every now and again and send people everywhere out looking. People spend ages camping out and watching, but nobody ends up with anything better than a fuzzy photo. Sometimes trying to identify rare foot disorders that are causing your child pain can feel as frustrating as looking for Bigfoot. You see signs and symptoms that could signify multiple problems, but have a hard time catching the real thing. When your child’s foot pain isn’t one of the more common problems out there, it might just be one of these unusual conditions.

Children's Foot ConditionsThere are multiple rare foot diseases out there, from abnormal cancers to unusual infections. Three specific and rare conditions that affect the bones in the feet, however, are Kohler’s disease, Freiberg’s disease, and Maffucci syndrome. All three of these are most common in children, and aren’t “diseases” at all. Rather, they’re problems with the bones that develop for unknown reasons and can cause pain and foot stiffness.

  • Kohler’s Disease – This unusual condition causes a breakdown in an arch bone called the tarsal navicular. Your child ends up with significant arch pain, particularly when he or she is active. Often it causes limping. The arch may be tender to the touch.
  • Freiberg’s Disease – This disorder causes a flattening in a metatarsal bone where it meets a toe. This causes pain under pressure, as well as swelling, tenderness, and stiffness in the affected forefoot.
  • Maffucci Syndrome – This condition causes abnormal, benign bone tumors in the feet. This can deform the lower limbs and make your child more prone to fractures.

Actually diagnosing these conditions involves evaluating your child’s symptoms and using diagnostic images. X-rays are the most common. These images allow Dr. Darren Silvester and our team of experts at Next Step Foot & Ankle Center to see the changes to your child’s bones. Kohler’s disease will show a deterioration in the arch; Freiberg’s disease will show a flattened metatarsal head; and Maffucci syndrome will show multiple bony bumps. From there we can work with you to create a pediatric foot care plan to handle the problem.

If you’re concerned about your child’s foot pain, don’t give up looking for a culprit. Diagnosing rare foot disorders may be difficult, but unlike searching for Bigfoot, we have ways of identifying and ruling out potential causes. Make an appointment today by calling our Pleasanton, TX, office at (830) 569-3338.
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