Sunday, April 30, 2023

Common orthopedic problems in infants and children

Orthopedic problems in infants and children:

Common orthopedic problems in infants and children are always associated with some difficulty in walking or some abnormalities in the shape of the feet or legs. It usually resolves over time.
Orthopedic problems in infants and children are common. Some of these conditions correct themselves as growth progresses. Others persist or develop into serious disorders.

Parents should remain vigilant about common orthopedic problems in their children. However, there is no need to worry or panic. Many cases seem serious, but they are not.
The best thing to do is to see your doctor so he can advise you on what to do next. It is always better to wait for the time to solve everything. Next, we will talk about the most common orthopedic problems in children.

5 common orthopedic problems:

There are a number of bone abnormalities that can be present at birth or appear during the first years of life. However, some of them are very common. Five of them stand out and we'll talk about them below.

1- flat feet:

It is one of the most common orthopedic problems in children. In fact, almost all babies are born with flat feet, and the arch of the foot is formed only as they grow. However, in some cases, the arch of the foot is not fully formed and that is when we talk about flat feet in the strict sense of the word.

Flat feet are not a big problem. There is no evidence that it reduces a child's ability to walk normally or exercise. Only in cases where this condition causes pain, doctors recommend using a special insole in shoes.

2- Lifting the weight of the feet on the toes:

This abnormality occurs when babies lie on tiptoe. This is common when learning to walk, between the ages of 1 and 3. They usually give up this habit by the age of two. However, some children continue to tiptoe after this age.

If they only tiptoe occasionally, that's okay. If this is their usual way of walking, you should see your pediatrician. In this case, there may be a neurological problem such as cerebral palsy. If there is no further disturbance, treatment will be necessary to return the child to a normal gait.

3- Arched feet:

We talk about arched feet when they are curled inward. It is necessary to explain that children exhibit this condition when they begin to stand. This usually occurs between the ages of 8 and 15 months. If this abnormality persists, it is considered a disorder.

Usually, bowed feet are the result of rotating the hips inward. This is called femoral inversion. In most cases, this condition does not affect the child's normal movements or activities. Usually everything will return to normal over time.

4- The arched leg:

Bowed legs, also known as genu varum, is another common orthopedic problem in children. In these cases, there is an exaggerated curvature of the knee outward and downward. Often times, this problem resolves itself naturally.

If this abnormality persists after the age of two or affects only one leg, it may be a more serious problem: rickets or Blount's disease. Rickets is a problem with bone development caused by a vitamin D deficiency.

Blount's disease is a disorder of the leg bone that causes abnormal bone growth. In this case, specialized orthopedic treatment is necessary. Bow legs can also be hereditary.

5- The legs in the "x":

The "x" legs, or genu valgum, are present in almost all babies, but in a mild form. It appears between the ages of 3 and 6, because at this stage a natural process of aligning the legs takes place.

Usually the legs straighten on their own over time. Therefore, treatment is rarely necessary. If the "x" in the legs is very pronounced or persists after the age of six, it is essential to see a doctor regarding this.

How can these orthopedic problems be diagnosed?

Common orthopedic problems in infants and children are usually diagnosed by a physical examination at the pediatrician's office. Additional examinations such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, EMG or MRI are not required except in special cases.

The doctor will always examine the affected limb and sometimes ask the child to walk. In the case of flat feet, the child may be asked to stand on tiptoe. In the case of tiptoe walking, the child's natural gait will simply be observed.

Clubfoot is diagnosed by observing the shape and position of the foot. For bow legs, gait and stride are examined, and sometimes imaging tests are ordered. Imaging tests are the primary diagnostic route for "x" legs.

Pediatric consultation is the best option for orthopedic problems:

Common orthopedic problems also include other relatively common conditions, such as "outside foot," talus foot, or club foot, which is similar to a bow but is stiff.

For all these reasons, it is important to note in detail the development of walking in children. If in doubt, the best thing to do is visit a pediatrician to assess the situation. In this case, as in many others, early detection and care can be critical.