Paediatric Podiatry Questions & Answers

Can Podiatrists treat children’s (paediatric) feet?

Podiatrists undertake training in order to be able to assess and manage paediatric conditions. No referral is required for a comprehensive paediatric assessment at The Foot Clinic Point Cook. Often the first appointment involves a thorough assessment including, in depth history taking, full biomechanical assessment, VGA (Visual Gait Analysis), range of motion testing and neurological assessments. These assessments can often include assessing gross motor skills including running, jumping, hopping, playing to determine what factors can be changed to treat your child’s conditions.

Can a Podiatrist treat in toeing?

In toeing can be treated by our Podiatrist if deemed necessary. Our Podiatrists try to be as conservative as possible while ensuring nothing is missed during the manufacture of your child’s treatment plan.
Treatment options from your Podiatrist usually includes addressing any muscular imbalances and correcting and biomechanical abnormalities. Specific orthotic devices exist to treat in toeing however these are not for everyone and will only be prescribed when indicated.
Come and have a chat to one of our friendly Podiatrists at our sports Podiatry clinic. We are the premier destination for sports podiatry in Point Cook, Williams Landing, Hoppers Crossing and surrounding areas.

What is pigeon toed?

Being Pigeon toed is another term for having an in toeing gait pattern. It is where the toes face each other when standing and walking.

Is it normal for my child’s feet to be angled in?

Your child’s feet will change their angle throughout childhood. Generally Podiatrists at The Foot Clinic Point Cook consider something abnormal if it is either: causing pain, causing clumsiness or at risk of being an issue later in life. Assessment can be carried out and explained further during an intial consult with one of our friendly Podiatrists.

What is in toeing?

In toeing is the appearance of the feet pointing towards each other during walking. There are many reasons for a child or an adults feet to appear to point towards each other during walking, sitting or standing.

What are knocked knees?

Knocked knees are when the knees are angled towards each other. This condition is called Genu Valgum and is often characterised by the inability to touch the feet together while the knee’s are straightened. This appearance is considered normal in some age groups such as kids but if this does not correct itself within the expected time frame your Podiatrist may be able to

How can a Podiatrist treat curly toes?

Podiatrists can treat curly toes by first of all identifying the cause of the curly toes and then treating the cause in the appropriate way. This can be as simple as stretching the appropriate muscles and tendons or a simple toe taping technique.

What are curly toes?

Curly toes are the non fixed retraction of the toe towards the foot. There are many causes of curly toes and treatment is usually not required as often there is no associated pain or limitation involved in the curling of toes.

What is hypotonia?

Hypotonia is the presentation of loose ligaments and low muscle tone that is often associated with pain and fatigue. Often people with hypotonia will have flat feet and will get tired feet and legs at the end of acitivty this is because it can take an above average amount of energy to control the joints in the legs. Podiatrists usually treat on the basis of adding strength to the muscles surrounding a joint or reducing the effort needed to control the joint with orthotics or footwear.

What is congenital hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is where the hip bone is not sitting in the pelvis correctly. It can often present as a painful or clicky hip. As babies and children’s hips are made of a higher amount of soft cartilage and smaller amount of solid bone the hip can dislocate causing pain or limping.
It is usually identified with x-ray and can cause an early onset of hip arthritis. Assessment and treatment is usually designed to prevent any arthritic complications and can range from casting/ bracing to surgery.

What is a tarsal coalition?

A tarsal coalition is the abnormal joining of the bones of the rearfoot and ankle. The presentation is varying degrees of pain and movement reduction. This condition is usually confirmed with imaging such as x-rays or MRI if needed. See your Podiatrist to discuss the long and short term management of a tarsal coalition.

What is slipped capital epiphysis?

Slipped Capital Epiphysis is the most common source of hip pain in kids and adolescents it is a fracture through the head of the femur which can cause complications. This is a condition that often presents as hip or groin pain with an obvious limp. It can affect one or both hips and unfortunately is often a trip to the surgeons for assessment and fixation.

What is avascular necrosis?

Avascular necrosis is a condition where there is a temporary interruption to blood supply to a bony prominence which leads to the break down of the bone and eventual flattening of the bone. In it’s acute stages it usually presents as night time pain. It is usually aggressively offloaded to ensure the least amount of damage is done to the bone. If your child has foot pain, make an appointment for an assessment¬†here.

What is Kohler’s Disease?

Kohlers disease is an inflammatory condition of the navicular. The navicular is a bone in the midfoot, it usually occurs between 3 and 6 years old. Kohlers disease can come with or without an avascular necrosis of the bone due to its limited blood supply to the growth plate.
Offloading this pathology is often through a knee high cast or in some cases a CAM walker. An assessment of your kids feet will ensure no pathologies are missed to the feet that can cause long term issues.

What is Iselin’s disease?

Islen’s disease is a source of pain in kids in the outside section of the middle of the foot. It is an inflammatory condition of the long toe bone or metatarsal on the 5th (smallest) toe.
By treating in the usual way such as resting, icing and stretching as well as correcting any biomechanical abnormalities it can often be treated without any time away from sports. This is important with Islen’s disease as it is often seen in active kids who find giving up sports difficult.

What is osgood schlatters disease?

Osgood Schlatters disease is the inflammation of the growth plate just below the knee cap. The Patella tendon attaches into this spot and can cause traction on the growth plate causing pain and inflammation. Osgood Schlatters disease is often a stubborn pain that can cause pain and inflammation until sufficiently rested. Podiatrists can offer assistance by completing a biomechanical assessment to determine if some traction can be reduced by improving gait efficiency.

What is severs disease?

Severs disease or calcaneal apophysitis is heel pain in kids. It is caused by excessive traction from the Achilles tendon on the growth plate. Conservative treatment options include icing, resting, stretching and footwear options. If your Podiatrist identifies a biomechanical abnormality that may be seen to be causing the pain then a pair of foot orthoses may be combined with any of these treatment regimes.

What is apophysitis?

Apophysitis is the inflammation of a growth plate or apophysis. This is usually caused by trauma or traction and is seen often by Podiatrists due to the high traction from ankle muscles on the delicate growth plates of the foot.
Apophysitis is normally only seen while the growth plates are open, so apophysitis is almost always seen in males under 21 or females under 16. Apophysitis of various points in the foot ankle and knee can usually be settled down without decreasing activity with aggressive offloading or biomechanical correction.

How do Podiatrists treat children’s (paediatrics) feet?

Podiatrists that assess and treat children’s feet look at all of the muscles, joints, tendons and muscles that are present at each stage of growth. Looking at the foot and ankle with appropriate knowledge of the growth patterns of kids feet helps to gain the correct diagnosis and treatment regime for a range of conditions such as in toeing, toe walking, pain and growth plate inflammation.

What are growing pains?

Growing pains are a pain that are very common in kids, the most common is in the calf muscle. It is characterised by pain that is worst at night and gone in the morning.
The pain is usually caused by tightness in the muscles due to the bones being able to grow at a much faster rate than the muscles and tendons. This causes pain as the muscles are put into an ineffective position to contract and generate force.
If you are worried that your kids is more than growing pains or wondering what can be done, Book an appointment with one of our friendly Podiatrists.

What causes heel pain in children’s (paediatrics) feet?

Heel pain in kids feet can be caused by many different pathologies, however due to a kids relative flexibility and relative strength they are less likely to get a tendonitis/ muscular pathology and more likely to get a problem with their growth plates.
Growth plate inflammation in the heel is called Severs disease and comes with pain and discomfort usually during and after sport it is caused by anything that can be seen to increase either shock/ trauma or tension on the growth plate. Kids most at risk are either those very active or overweight.
Treatment is usually offloading of the tissue or correcting any biomechanical problems.
For a full assessment of your child’s heel pain book an appointment online now!

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