What is a Pediatric Podiatrist?

A pediatric podiatrist, aka children’s foot doctor, focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle issues in newborns, infants, adolescents, and teens.

People commonly ask, what is a children's foot doctor called?
The answer is: a pediatric podiatrist.

The health and development of your child’s feet are the focus of pediatric podiatry. If your child’s feet or ankles are atypical, they may need specialist podiatric foot care from a young age.

Not all foot issues are immediately noticeable in young children; however, regular exams are the most effective method to diagnose and treat any issues that may influence your child’s development.

Dr Jarman showing foot model to a young patient
Dr. Mikkel Jarman diagnosing flat feet in children

Pediatric podiatrists have undergone additional training specifically in diagnosing and treating pediatric foot conditions. Common pediatric foot conditions include Ingrown Toenails, Sever’s disease, Pediatric Flat Feet, Toe Walking, and Heel Pain.

Foot issues in children can cause problems with how they walk and run, such as gait disorders,  and can impair the alignment of the child’s entire skeleton. As a consequence, kids may end up with bad posture, find it more difficult to exercise and play sports, plus suffer from chronic discomfort as they age.

Podiatry pediatricians specialize in treating these issues and other foot-related problems for children.

The Importance of Choosing a Pediatric Podiatrist for Children’s Foot & Ankle Problems.

Meet Dr. Mikkel Jarman, a Pediatric Podiatrist in Arizona that treats a myriad of children's foot conditions.

What Does a Pediatric Podiatrist Do?

A pediatric podiatrist, aka children’s foot doctor, focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle issues in newborns, infants, adolescents, and teenagers. Some foot conditions are exclusive to children, but many others are the same foot and ankle disorders that affect children as they do adults.

Because kids’ bodies are still developing, adolescents exhibit a variety of symptoms. Which means it’s beneficial to have podiatrists who specialize in identifying and treating foot and ankle issues associated with growing into an adult.

Furthermore, children and teenagers are more physically active than adults. Heel discomfort, ankle pain, and stress fractures are all typical foot disorders that kids experience.

How Are Podiatrists Trained & Educated to Treat Children?

Pediatric podiatrists in the United States typically complete four years of podiatric medical school and two to three years of residency training at a clinic or hospital, depending on state requirements.

Students studying podiatry learn how bones, muscles, and nerves work together to perform motions. Pediatric podiatrist students also study how to diagnose and treat children’s diseases affecting the lower extremities.

The American Board of Podiatric Medicine certifies medical students once they finish their residency and pass the requisite tests.

When Should I Take My Kid to a Podiatrist?

People of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, suffer from foot difficulties. It may not occur to parents to send their newborn to see a podiatrist, but early detection and treatment of common juvenile foot disorders may result in speedier healing and recovery.

In youngsters, foot discomfort is never a good thing.

5 Signs Your Child May Need to See a Podiatrist

  1. He/she regularily stumbles or falls
  2. He/she is susceptable to inherited foot problems
  3. He/she struggles to keep up with the other kids
  4. He/she is hesitant to show their feet
  5. He/she complains about foot, ankle, or heel pain

What Are the Most Common Pediatric Podiatrist Visits For?

While our pediatrician podiatrists see patients for a wide variety of reasons, here are the most common:

What Does a Pediatric Podiatrist Treat?

While certain foot disorders, such as clubfoot, or polydactyly, are visible from birth, most pediatrician-discovered foot problems are not. Any issues generally occur in the early stages of walking, between the ages of one and three.

Signs and symptoms will differ depending on the disease. While a doctor may see a problem, only a podiatrist can correctly diagnose and treat foot disorders in infants, toddlers, and children.

Pediatric flatfoot is a frequent problem in children. The arch appears in infancy, generally around the age of two. If an arch is not visible after this time, parents should see a podiatrist.

When children first start wearing shoes, they may get ingrown toenails and especially as they outgrow them.

While many children eventually grow out of gait abnormalities like toe-walking or pigeon-toeing, if the problem persists or the child complains of discomfort, parents should seek podiatric treatment.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Kid's Podiatrist

If you are in Arizona, Dr. Mikkel Jarman, DPM, FACFAS is the obvious choice since his is the only Pediatric Podiatrist in the state. While we greatly appreciate the opportunity to earn your business, we also want to help those who are unable to visit our facilities by providing some tips on how to choose a podiatrist that can see your kid sooner or one that’s located nearer to where you live.

Ask Your Doctor or Someone You Know for a Referral

When visiting a new doctor, it's always a good idea to get a recommendation from your general practitioner. If you know of someone whose child is going through similar foot or ankle issues, ask about their podiatrist. .

Read Patient Reviews

Review sites, like Google, Yelp, and Facebook, have made it easy for patients and parents of patients to report on their doctor's visit. While one or two negative reviews amongst dozens of good ones shouldn't dissuade you from visiting a practice, a trend of reviews making the same negative remarks should .

Verify the Doctor's Credentials

Conducting a background check on a doctor is a vital step in selecting the appropriate one. You should check a doctor's qualifications to ensure that he or she is qualified to care for you. Use the DocInfo.org search tool on the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) website to verify credentials. Board certifications, education, states with valid licenses, and any measures taken against the physician are all included. .

Ensure the Facility is Up-to-Date

Modern medical equipment and devices are an important part of healthcare and the advantages they give patients, and doctors alike, are growing as they're vital components in diagnosing, preventing, and treating injuries, illnesses, and diseases in a safe and effective manner.

Effective & Clear Communication

Clinical treatment is greatly influenced by physician-patient communication. The doctor's overall purpose is to enhance each patient's health outcome and medical treatment. Improved patient outcomes are linked to stronger physician and patient communication. So if you can't interpret your child's doctor clearly and concisely, you might want to look for another medical provider. .

Dr Jarman showing foot model to a young patient

Why is Children's Foot & Ankle Care Called Pediatric Podiatry?

To answer this, we need to rewind the clock a good few millennia to around 1400 BC when the language of the land was Greek – the same language that eventually led to the Indo-European family of languages the world uses today, including Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

We refer to the field of medicine where problems of the foot and ankle are studied, identified, and treated as podiatry. The Greek term, “pod,” means “feet” in English. Most likely, you’ve also heard the word “chiropodist” used in the same sentence as “podiatrist.”

The word “chiropody” is derived from the Greek for “hand and foot” since a chiropodist often provides care for both. In the UK, the words “chiropodist” and “podiatrist” had the identical meaning, but beginning in the early 1900s, podiatrists began to be used more often to refer to chiropodists. To keep up with the rest of the globe, the UK has largely increased the usage of the term podiatry.

Similarly, the term “pediatrician” originates from the Greek language.

“Pediatrician” comes from two Greek words that mean child healer. An appropriate title for medical professionals who treat babies, infants, kids, and teenagers up to age 18.

In more modern times, “pediatrics” has its origins in its first known written use, which was around 1850 and was written as “pädiatrik” in German literature and “paediatric,” then “pediatric,” in American literature.

In 1855, the British and American medical lexicographer Professor Robley Dunglison gave the first definition of “paediatrics” as “the treatment of diseases of children.”

In the USA, “pediatric medicine” was first marketed as a field of study in 1880.

The plaque that was affixed in 1950 to the tomb of Dr. George Armstrong, who died in 1789 and is known as the founder of the speciality of paediatrics, at Castleton Cemetery in Scotland, has the earliest monumental inscription in the UK establishing the term “paediatrics.”

By the middle of the 20th century, the terms “pediatrics” and “child healthcare,” with their significant semantic nuances, had become well-established in the English-speaking world.

If you’ve gotten this far and are still wondering why a child’s foot doctor is called a “pediatric podiatrist,” it’s because of the combination of two Greek origin words that described the doctor’s profession as it relates to the service the practitioner provides.

Your child’s feet are designed for life

Make an appointment today if your child has Pediatric Heel Pain.