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Sometimes children suffer from conditions where their feet may not be in proper shape or size, something that can affect their posture. Most of the times the disorders get corrected themselves as children grow up, but there can be situations where medical attention is required. These conditions can be normal variations in the anatomy as well which don't essentially require treatment. Some of the common orthopedic disorders found in children include:
- Flatfeet: While most babies are born with flat feet which develop arches as they grow, in some case the arches remain underdeveloped even after they grow older. Their feet may turn inwards while they walk due to their flat nature. There is no inherent problem in this condition unless it becomes painful. Doctors may recommend special footwear with arches inserted for support to reduce the pain.
- Toe Walking: Toe walking is not a disorder while your child is just learning to walk. Toddlers who continue to walk on their toes after the age of 3 may require medical attention. Toe walking on one leg or persistent toe walking can be due to other medical conditions like muscle weakness, cerebral palsy or autism. It is advisable to take your child to a therapist for casting the foot and ankle which can help stretch the muscles.
- Pigeon Toes: In toeing or pigeon toeing is common among babies when they are first learning to walk. Sometimes children above 3 years walk with their toes inwards which can be due to femoral anteversion. This happens when upper part of the leg bends more than it naturally should, causing inward rotation of the feet. Specially designed shoes and braces can help to correct this condition. Usually, the condition corrects on its own with age and does not interfere with sport activities which involve running.
- Knock-Knees: It is a common tendency among children aged between 3 and 6 to develop knock-knees (genu valgum), since their bodies go through natural shift in alignment. Usually, treatment is not required as the legs straighten out eventually. Knock knees on one side or persistent knock knees may require medical attention. Children with this disorder may suffer from pain hence in some cases surgery is recommended after the age of 10.