Yes, children can develop bunions just like adults! The medical term for pediatric bunion deformity is “Juvenile Hallux Abducto Valgus (HAV).” It is usually an inherited condition meaning your parents or grandparents developed bunions as a child too. It has also been associated with neurological disorders as well as Austism, Turner’s syndrome and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Juvenile HAV looks similar to adult bunions in that there is a bump on the side of the foot that is prominent and the big toe slowly begins to deviate to the other toes. The most significant difference with children’s bunion deformity versus adults is that the actual bunion deformity in children is rarely painful. It does however cause pain or pressure from shoes, which is the most common complaint with Juvenile HAV.
Bunion deformities in children are not commonly corrected with surgery. Most parents prefer to wait until their child has reached adulthood to have the bunion corrected, usually the safer and less complicated route. Although you can correct a pediatric bunion, it is best to wait until the growth plates are fused or until they have reached adulthood. Splinting and use of orthotics or padding can alleviate pressure in shoes to decrease discomfort from the bunion until the decision for surgery is necessary.
So if you’re concerned about your child’s foot and think he or she may be developing a bunion at a young age, call Advanced Podiatry at 813-875-0555. Let Drs. Katz and Johnston discuss conservative treatment options with you and your child to alleviate pain associated with the bunion today!