As children grow their feet and legs can suffer from a range of conditions. Some conditions are only experienced when a child is growing, other conditions are lifelong. Future complications can be avoided in some lower limb conditions with early identification.
Parents, teachers and even other health professionals can delay podiatry referral and state that a problem is just related to growing. This can prevent a child receiving appropriate pain management and a speedy return to physical activity. Issues addressed early can improve function and avoid future pain.
When to bring your child to a podiatrist
-There is a report of pain in the feet, ankles or legs
-You think your child is walking differently to their peers. This may be tip toe walking, excessive intoeing, flat feet or asymmetrical.
-Frequent tripping and falls
-Uneven shoe wear
-Difficulty fitting shoes
Conditions that benefit from a podiatry assessment
-Foot, ankle, leg, knee, thigh pain
-Reoccurring ankle rolls
What happens during a podiatry paediatric assessment?
1. History taking
Pre/post natal, developmental, medical and the nature of the injury or pain
2. Musculoskeletal assessment
Joint range of motion studies, muscle length, muscle strength and reflex testing
3. Standing/walking/running assessment
Foot posture, skeletal alignment and compensations evaluated
4. Functional assessments
Hopping, jumping, balance and sport specific movements
Appropriate fit and style for the child’s activities
6. Results and management plan
The above findings and relevant treatment options are discussed
Your child’s management plan may consist of advice and a ‘watchful waiting’ approach. This direction is taken when we need to monitor your child’s development. In the case, 3, 6 or 12 monthly intervals/appointments are scheduled.
Referrals to specialists are provided when required. Reports will be forwarded to referring practitioners.
Treatment options available
-Shoe advice and referrals
-In shoe devices such as orthotic therapy, cushioning, padding and heel raises
-Stretching strengthening and balance exercise prescription
-Advice on what physical activities should be reduced such as jumping or hopping
-Taping which will be demonstrated to the parent/carer/trainer for at home replication
-Hands on techniques such as massage and mobilisation
-Icing and other forms of analgesia