Our feet have about 26 to 28 bones and come in three parts: the hindfoot, the midfoot, and the forefoot. These three parts are held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They are a complex network that holds shape, creates balance, and allows for mobility on a daily basis. Our feet take up about a third of all the bones in our body and get some of the most intense use. Without our feet, we would not be able to employ biomechanics and move around as we do today. Although we all start with feet, there are vast differences between a developed adult foot and a fresh newborn foot.
Range of Motion
Infants tend to be more flexible when they are born. Adults usually become less and less flexible as time goes on. Do not be alarmed if your infant is flexible when you first bring them home. It is part of the development process and will change with time. Their ankles, toes, and other limbs can bend a little bit more than the typical adult body. Don’t think they can bend too much though, they can still be hurt easily.
End Point Range of Motion
Babies have a soft and subtle end point range of motion while adults have firm and defined characteristics.
The arch is made up of bones, ligaments, and fascia. These integral pieces of the foot give the arch its shape and help it keep the hindfoot and forefoot attached and flexible. A newborn’s foot has a flatter, less defined arch at birth. Over time the arch develops, and will eventually look similar to an adult around age three. An adult’s arch is fully formed, strong, and much more defined than a newborn’s arch. If you were to place a newborn’s foot flat on your hand, it would likely appear to have no arch.
A newborn is born with a lot more fat on his or her feet compared to that of an adult. Over time the fat will go away or turn into muscle as the body develops. The mature foot has less fat and more muscle to deal with. This means that babies have a weaker foot for the beginning of their lives. As they grow and learn to walk, the foot gains important muscles that it needs.
Although our feet look similar to a tiny baby’s feet, they have many differences. If your baby’s foot has a significant difference than one listed above, you should call a podiatrist right away and have your baby’s feet examined. At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, located in nature coast area in Florida, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales can help determine the condition of your infant’s foot and set up a treatment plan that is right for you. Call 727-868-2128 or make an appointment online to get the treatment you and your child deserve.