|Musculoskeletal Disorders: Feet|
Two of the most common conditions to effect children's
feet are flat feet and pigeon toes .
- Flat feet . This refers to the inside arch
at the bottom of the foot. This arch is usually present when the child's
feet are off the ground, but it flattens and disappears once the child
begins to walk and bear weight. This shifts the child's weight from
the side of the foot to the middle, but rarely causes problems in walking.
Flat feet are fairly normal in infants and toddlers. Flat feet in older
children, for example over age 6, is usually an inherited characteristic
and tends to run in families.
- Pigeon toes . Also referred to as intoeing. Here the
child's toes point inward when walking or, sometimes, even at rest.
Intoeing can be caused by many different types of leg and foot problems,
including abnormal rotation of the leg bones (either internal tibial
torsion or femoral anteversion) or an abnormal curvature of the foot
( metatarsus adductus ).
Symptoms and Signs
- Flat Feet. Most children with flat feet
have no symptoms. The child's bare feet can be checked for an arch at
the bottom of the feet at rest, i.e. off the ground, or the child's
footprints while walking barefoot can be checked.
- Pigeon Toes. For pigeon toes, check for
toes that point inward abnormally when the child walks. Also, check
for an abnormal C-shape to the bottom of the foot.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Flat feet and pigeon toes are generally not of concern unless the child
is having problems walking or complains of pain anywhere in the legs or
feet. If a child's feet or legs curve abnormally inward or outward, a
doctor should be consulted.
- Flat Feet. Treatment is usually not indicated.
Symptoms associated with vigorous physical activity can be treated with
medical longitudinal arch supports. Custom-made arch supports or orthopaedic
shoes are usually not necessary.
- Pigeon Toes. Pigeon toes can be caused
by several different problems in the child's legs or feet. Some of these
problems are fairly common and require no treatment unless your child
is having frequent falls. But serious metatarsus adductus needs to be
treated with serial casting, possibly beginning as early as 2 months.
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
Intelihealth.com, Children's Health Section: http://www.intelihealth.com/
(def;articles & more)