Child Orthopaedics

Many parents are concerned with the normal development of their children’s feet making them amongst some of the most common conditions that doctors see. Some may be part of growing up and will usually self-correct. Others require treatment that may range from something as simple as special shoes to surgery.

Some of the more common conditions of the feet that we see are:

  • Flatfeet
  • Clubfeet
  • Abnormally shaped feet
  • Curly toes
  • Ingrown toenail
  • Extra or missing toes
  • Lumps and bumps over the foot
  • Foot pain

A doctor will be able to help differentiate between these conditions and advise treatment in a timely manner.

Conditions of the Legs

Parents have many queries on whether the way the child walks is normal and if the placement of the feet during walking is normal. Some of these variants in walking patterns can be part of development yet some may be a sign of growth abnormalities.

The way the leg aligns can also vary with age. But if the alignment is abnormal, early treatment may be required.

Some of the more common conditions of the legs are:

  • Bowleggedness
  • Knock knees
  • Unstable walking
  • Walking on the toes (tiptoeing)
  • Unequal leg lengths

Conditions of the Hips

Limping is a very common observation in children. Most times, limps are due to excessive activity and do resolve on their own. But at other times, depending on the age of the child, limping more often than not is usually secondary to problems in the hips.

Other than limping, hip conditions can present with different patterns of walking such as in-toeing and out-toeing. These patterns can be a result of normal development or it can be due to some underlying abnormality.

Newborns are also screened for a condition where the hip may be poorly or under developed or even dislocated. This is called Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips. It is important to diagnose this condition early, as treatment is simple in the early stages, requiring braces or casting. If the chance for early treatment is missed, these children may require more invasive methods such as surgery to remedy it.

Some of the hip conditions that are seen are:

  • Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips
  • In-toeing
  • Out-toeing
  • Painful and painless limps in different age groups

Osgood Schlatter disease
Irritation and inflammation of the growth plate at the top of the shin bone where the patella tendon inserts. This condition occursduring periods of rapid growth. It is treated by stretching and strengthening exercises of the hamstrings and quadriceps, and through activity modification.

Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome
Also known as Jumpers Knee, it is the inflammations and irritation of the growth plate at bottom of the patella, where the patella tendon inserts. This condition usually happens during periods of rapid growth. Treatment is similar to that for Osgood Schlatter disease.

Sever’s disease
It is the irritation and inflammation of the growth plate at the back of the heel bone where the Archilles tendon inserts. Treatment consists of rest, ankle stretching and strengthening exercises and heel pads.

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