The study of the foot and ankles and the treatment of all conditions related to the feet and lower legs are all considered part of podiatry. As a specialized medical doctor, a podiatrist is able to help people of all ages address problems with the feet caused by disease, accidents, injuries or by specific conditions such as stress, incorrect footwear or genetic and structural issues.
Podiatry, and seeing a podiatrist, is particularly important for parents to consider if their infants, toddlers or young children are having trouble walking, if their gait is atypical, or if they are having other developmental issues related to the feet or lower legs.
A pediatrician or a general family physician does not have specialized training in podiatry and will typically make a referral for a child if issues with the feet or lower legs are seen as factors in the child’s development. However, parents can also choose to seek help from a specialist in podiatry on their own, even without a referral from a general practitioner.
Babies are constantly growing and all parts of their body are changing, including their feet. When parents notice changes in the way the feet are developing, including when the toes turn in or out significantly, podiatry can correct the problem.
This is essential as the child grows, as future structural problems can be avoided with gentle correction through the use of splints and additional supports. Other factors that podiatry can address include helping parents to choose the best shoes for their infants and even assisting with how to size shoes correctly.
Toddlers and Young Children
Once children reach the toddler stage, is essential to deal very quickly with more significant issues with the biomechanics, or the movement and gait. Children who have flat feet, or develop a walk that includes turning the toes in or out, or walking on the insides or outsides of the feet, should see a podiatrist.
The podiatrist may recommend braces that are worn at night and are custom fitted for the child. In addition, special orthotics for shoes can be instrumental in correcting the issue. For many children, early treatment results in solving the issue and eliminating the need for long-term orthotic use or physical therapy.
Parents need to be aware of the benefits of podiatry for any challenges a child is facing due to disease, structural malformations or trauma or injury to the foot, ankle or the lower leg.
Suburban Orthopaedics provides full podiatry services for patients of all ages. To learn more about our facility or staff, visit us online at www.suburbanortho.com.
1 person likes this post.