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Foot and Ankle Deformities Program

Care Custom-Made for Your Child From Experts in Children's Feet and Ankles

The Foot and Ankle Deformities Program provides surgical and nonsurgical care for babies, children and teens with conditions that affect the feet or ankles. Our experts carefully assess your child to pinpoint the problem and design a treatment plan to get the best possible results. 

We mainly see children who have a foot or ankle deformity, have a painful foot or ankle that gets worse over time, have been told by a doctor they might need surgery or are older than age 8 and have flatfoot that causes symptoms. You don’t need a referral to make an appointment. 

Conditions We Treat

It’s normal for feet and ankles to look different from child to child and from child to adult. It’s also normal for the shape of your child’s feet and ankles to change over time. If the differences or changes don’t cause problems and we don’t expect them to, they do not need treatment. 

But if your child has pain or other symptoms or has trouble being active or fitting into shoes, treatment may help. For babies with congenital foot or ankle deformities, it’s important to diagnose their condition and often to begin treatment right after birth.

The conditions we treat include:

Why choose Seattle Children's Foot and Ankle Deformities Program?

Seattle Children’s experts understand foot and ankle problems in children. We do a careful assessment to learn about your child’s foot and ankle and their exact symptoms. This allows us to choose the best treatment for your child — which might be different from the treatment for an adult or for another child who has the same condition but different symptoms.  

The foot experts you need are here
  • Our Foot and Ankle Deformities team includes experienced pediatric , , and nurses who know how to evaluate and treat all types of foot and ankle conditions.  
  • To restore or improve your child’s health, function and quality of life, we often use nonsurgical methods, like medicines, and braces or other . We have onsite orthotists and the largest team of physical therapists in the Pacific Northwest who specialize in the care of babies, children, teens and young adults.
  • Your child’s treatment may not involve surgery at all, or at least not at first. We recommend surgery only when we believe it will give your child the best results. For those who need surgery, we have pediatric orthopedic surgeons with expanded training in foot and ankle conditions. 
Treatment designed for growing bodies
  • Infants, children and teens are still developing, so they may need different care than adults do, like treatment that takes their growth plates into account. At Seattle Children’s, your child’s team has special training in the physical, emotional and social needs of young people. 
  • We understand your child’s body doesn’t stop at their foot and ankle. We see them as a whole person. For example, in our Foot and Ankle Deformities Program, we look at not only your child’s feet and ankles but also their legs, spine, strength, movement and other features that might play a role in their condition, such as nerve problems.
  • We have the largest group of board-certified pediatric radiologists in the Northwest. For imaging that uses radiation, we use the lowest amount possible (PDF) to make the best image. We have a low-dose radiation X-ray machine, called the EOS. It makes safer full-body images.  
Support for your whole family
  • Having a child with a foot or ankle condition can be stressful for the whole family. From the first visit to follow-up, our team will work to give your child seamless care and make your experience here as easy on you as we can.
  • Your child’s team does more than plan and provide care for your child. We also make sure you and your child understand your child’s condition and treatment options. We support you in making choices that are right for your family.
  • Seattle Children’s supports your family with a range of resources. Our Child Life specialists, Family Resource Center and Guest Services are here to help. 
Research to improve care
  • Seattle Children’s is active in the Pediatric Foot Research Group, an international group of researchers studying foot and ankle differences in children.  
  • Our growing research program is discovering better ways to diagnose and care for children with foot and ankle conditions. We are studying topics like the effects of clubfoot casting on the shape of bones in the foot and how to reduce the need for repeat surgery after removing a tarsal coalition. Our research program is funded in part by the Lynn Taylor Staheli Endowed Chair in Pediatric Orthopedics.
  • Outcomes research helps us know which treatments get the best results. For example, we use tools to ask children about their function after surgery for limb deformities. Asking children about their experience is essential to improving their lives.
  • We take part in several registries (databases that collect information about patients who volunteer) so we can work with doctors around the country and the world to better understand orthopedic conditions, such as foot, leg, hand and arm differences.
  • Learn more about current orthopedics research at Seattle Children’s

Meet Your Foot and Ankle Deformities Program Team

Members of our Orthopedics and Sports Medicine team will treat your child's foot or ankle. Providers in the Foot and Ankle Deformities Program include: 

Foot and Ankle Resources

Questions? Contact Us


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