Podiatry & Foot Surgery: How Young is Too Young?

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Have you ever heard this homespun advice?

“Oh, don’t worry – it’s just growing pains! Wait a few days and it’ll probably feel better.”

FALSE! According to Houston’s Foot Doc, Sherman Nagler, DPM, FACFAS, a child should NEVER experience foot pain.

Discomfort is the body’s signal that something may be wrong and, while occasional cramps are normal for kids, pain lasting more than a day should not be ignored. In addition to their effect on feet and ankles, foot problems may even cause pain in the lower back, hips, knees, or legs and will often lead to other issues. If your child complains of foot or lower body pain, trips often, has flatfoot or an uneven gait, schedule an appointment with The Nagler Foot Center.


As most parents can attest, a child’s development from infant to toddler to active youth is rapid. While surgical intervention in pediatric podiatry is rare, corrective surgery for children with serious flatfoot or bunions may be necessary to avoid any resulting structural deformities as the child’s feet continue to grow. Podiatrists will typically employ corrective orthotics or physical therapies to treat flatfoot or clubfoot deformities first, before recommending surgical options. Surgery is the only cure to effectively treat bunions, however. Dr. Nagler’s special bunionectomy procedure appeals to Houston parents (and his young patients) because it leaves little visible scarring. He is one of a limited number of foot surgeons who employ a unique surgical incision on the bottom of the foot, instead of the top, minimizing the impact on still-growing feet.

Sadly, kids’ foot health is often neglected and problems may have far-reaching consequences. Foot pain might cause a child to feel awkward and avoid athletics or other social activities, while also unintentionally isolating themselves from their peers. Dr. Nagler and Houston’s foot specialists at the Nagler Foot Center recommend regular foot check-ups every two to three years for kids’ optimal foot health: as they begin to walk (9-15 months), when they develop a “heel-toe” gait (3 years), at the start of school (6 years), and again, prior to participating in organized sports.

If your child is due for a check-up, or if they are experiencing any foot pain or discomfort, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sherman Nagler immediately. Contact the Nagler Foot Center with any questions, or to request an appointment, by email, by calling 713-893-5620 or visit.