Common Childhood Orthopedic Conditions
As time passes, you may notice that your child's growth isn't occurring completely on the straight and narrow. Many kids exhibit flatfeet, toe walking, pigeon toes, bowlegs, and knock-knees in their first years of life.
Some of these conditions correct themselves without treatment as kids grow. Others that persist or become more severe may be linked to other conditions. Many orthopedic conditions, just like dimples or cleft chins, are just normal variations of human anatomy that don't require treatment.
Most babies are born with flatfeet and develop arches as they grow. But in some kids the arch never fully develops. Parents often first notice their child has what they describe as "weak ankles." The ankles appear to turn inward because of the way the feet are planted.
Flatfeet usually do not represent an impairment of any kind, and doctors only consider treatment if it becomes painful. They also don't recommend any special footwear, such as high-top shoes, because these do not affect arch development.
Parents sometimes report that their flatfooted kids are clumsier than other kids, but doctors say that being flatfooted isn't a cause for concern and shouldn't interfere with playing sports. Sometimes, doctors will recommend inserting arch supports into shoes to reduce foot pain.
Toe walking is common among toddlers as they learn to walk, especially during the second year of life. Generally, the tendency goes away by age 2, although it persists in some kids.
Intermittent toe walking should not be cause for concern, but kids who walk on their toes almost exclusively and continue to do so after age 2 should be evaluated by a doctor. Persistent toe walking in older kids or toe walking only on one leg might be linked to other conditions, such as cerebral palsy or other nervous system problems.
Persistent toe walking in otherwise healthy children occasionally requires treatment, such as casting the foot and ankle for about 6 weeks to help stretch the calf muscles.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2009 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
WORKBOOKSMay Workbooks are Here!
WE'VE GOT A GREAT ROUND-UP OF ACTIVITIES PERFECT FOR LONG WEEKENDS, STAYCATIONS, VACATIONS ... OR JUST SOME GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN!Get Outside! 10 Playful Activities
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Bullying in Schools
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction
- First Grade Sight Words List