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~ Dr. Phil Pinsker



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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA, 15301

Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
(724) 225-9469 - fax

When Foot Pain Strikes the Young

There are many conditions and injuries that can develop over time due to the stresses on our feet as we age. Others however can strike children and adolescents and osteochondritis is one of them. We are equipped with the expert knowledge and treatments to help every member of your family. If you have a child or young adult complaining of pain or aching in their foot, visit our office in Washington, PA for diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Pinsker and his caring staff will provide the care needed to ensure your child’s feet are ready to tackle whatever life throws at them.

What is Osteochondritis?

Also called osteochondritis dissecans, this condition involves a lesion to the joint in the foot where the ends of two bones meet. It is common to be found in the ankle and typically happens after an injury in which a piece of cartilage comes loose from the end of a bone. In a normal joint, the two bones are able to glide smoothly against each other with the help of the surrounding cartilage. The detached piece of cartilage, which usually comes loose due to lack of blood flow, impacts the ease with which the joint can move and leaves it feeling stiff and painful.

This joint condition is commonly seen in young boys between the ages of 9-20 and is usually caused by stress to the bone or repetitive trauma. In addition to the foot, the knee and elbow can also be affected.

What are the symptoms?

Children and adolescents can be quite tough, resilient, and resistant to stopping for too long. This injury can vary in severity but prompt treatment is important to maintain foot health long term. The cartilage around the affected joint can continue to deteriorate and lead to further pain and swelling.

Keep an eye out for some of the common complaints associated with this condition. First, your child may experience pain that is trigged by activity. This could be after climbing a set of stairs or getting the mail. The joint may feel as though it is popping or getting locked into place. This can happen when the floating piece of cartilage gets caught between bones. It is also common to feel as though the joint is weak and could “give way” at any point. Lastly, tenderness in the area, swelling and limited range of motion could also be present.

How we can help

As soon as you notice the signs and symptoms mentioned above, make an appointment with Dr. Philip Pinsker for a thorough examination. With this condition, we often use X-ray, MRI or CT scan to confirm the presence of osteochondritis.

In most cases, a lesion such as this heals on its own over time as the child continues to grow. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and restore the health of the affected joint. This may start with rest and avoiding activities that put stress on it. Sometimes using crutches or a brace is necessary to keep an adequate amount of weight off the foot. Physical therapy is also beneficial in increasing flexibility and range of motion. We only entertain a surgical option after other methods fail to help and if the loose fragment of cartilage needs to be removed or reattached to the bone. Dr. Philip Pinkser will work with you and your child to find the best course of treatment.

If you or someone in your family is in need of foot and ankle care, our staff is ready to help! Contact our office in Washington, PA today to make an appointment. Call us at (724) 225-7410 or request one online