Children's Foot Deformities

Southern California Children’s Foot and Ankle Specialist doctors have specialized training and expertise that give them the ability to treat your children’s foot deformities. If you are looking for a Children’s Foot and Ankle Specialist, you have come to the right place. Click on the condition below to find out more information.


This is a rare congenital condition in which one metatarsal (foot) bone is much shorter than the others. It happens much more often in females, and can significantly throw off biomechanics and lead to unbalanced weight-bearing and pain. There are a couple of surgical methods used to correct the problem, using either bone grafting or a partial cut in the bone and gradual lengthening with tension.

Calaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease)

This physical problem in adolescents is due to varying growth rates between the heel bone (calcaneus) and Achilles tendon. Until the bone matures, it can be irritated and inflamed from repeated trauma, such as from pounding while running. That’s why it is the most common cause of heel pain in tweens and teens who are active in sports. Your child will eventually outgrow this problem, but there are ways to relieve pain in the interim—mainly through rest from activity and stretching exercises.


The abnormal joining of certain bones in the foot is already present before birth, but symptoms may not appear until adolescence. Then stiff, painful flat feet can keep children from common activities their peers enjoy. We can try conservative treatments, but if the issue persists, surgery to remove the bridge bone may be the best option.


Having feet that look flat is a normal part of a toddler’s growth pattern, but if the arch does not eventually develop by around 8 years of age, or it becomes stiff and painful, we may need to treat it. We will try stretching and may recommend gel supports, but don’t usually prescribe orthotics for kids. Problems that persist into the teens and adulthood may eventually require surgery to correct. If so, Dr. Spencer and Dr. Rodriguez are expert podiatric surgeons and can help your child find relief.

In-Toeing & out-toeing

Both of these gait abnormalities can be a normal part of a child’s growing up. They are caused by twists in the foot itself, the shin bone, or the thigh bone, and thought to be a result of positioning in utero. Most of the time the bones will straighten out by themselves over time—usually before the child is 10 years old.  In rare cases where the problem persists or becomes painful and limits mobility, it can be corrected surgically.

Juvenile Bunions

Bunions are not limited to adults. Children can also develop this common foot deformity, especially if there is a family history of this condition. Treatment for juvenile bunions ideally focuses on managing the deformity to limit its progression over time.


Also called metatarsus adductus, this is a foot deformity present at birth in which the front of the foot is bent inward. It may still be flexible, and will probably correct on its own. As your child grows and begins walking, the brain and muscle memory help train the foot structure into a straighter position.


The term refers to having more than five toes on a foot. It is considered hereditary, either on its own or as part of a genetic disease. The extra toe may not have bones, muscles or other tissues. If it is just a stalk, it can be clipped and fall off normally, as with an umbilical cord. Otherwise, surgery may be needed to remove it.


The condition involves characteristics of polydactyly (extra toe) and syndactyly (webbed toes) in the same foot. It runs in families and will likely need surgery.


This genetic condition causes two or more toes to be webbed together at birth. The webbing may be just skin, which is easily corrected. It can also be more complex, with bone and other tissue shared by both toes. This requires surgery to correct—usually during early childhood.

Vertical Talus

When the ankle bone (talus) beneath the two leg bones is in the wrong position, it can cause the foot to point up instead of lie at right angles. This is a congenital problem and could indicate neuromuscular problems. Conservative treatments like stretching and casting done early may help, but most cases require surgery to realign bones and fix the tendons and ligaments connecting them.

Contact Us

Robert Spencer, DPM

Nitza Rodriguez, DPM

Map & Directions

27800 Medical Center Road, Suite 110
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Tel: (949) 364-9255 (WALK)
Fax: (949) 364-9250
Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
*(Lunch 12 noon - 1pm)
Friday: 9am - 1pm