Orthopedics For Infants And Toddlers: What This Specialty Does For Little Ones

Posted on: 1 May 2019

Children born with physical challenges and abnormalities, such as a club foot or "toe walking" Achilles tendon conditions, require orthopedics for correction and support. If these issues are present at birth, your pediatrician will refer you to a pediatric orthopedics doctor who can help correct and support these issues right away. If the conditions do not become apparent until the child begins to walk, there is still time to get your child some orthopedic assistance. Here is what this particular specialty does for infants and children. 

Correct Problems from Birth

In many cases, mild to moderate physical deformities at birth can be corrected. Your child can walk with a nearly normal gait and be able to adapt to daily self-care activities with the right supportive orthopedic devices. Infants are very, for lack of a better word, rubbery at birth because it is what helps them pass through the birth canal unharmed and heal quickly. As they grow, their bones get stronger, their muscles attach better, and the amount of cartilage in their bodies begins to dissipate as some of it hardens and changes. Ergo, starting corrective surgery and orthopedic supports from very early on really makes a huge difference in how your child will function as he/she gets older. 

Correcting Issues from Toddlerhood

Some orthopedic issues are not discovered or diagnosed until they begin crawling or walking. At this point, you may notice "toe walking" or extremely flat feet that cause the child's knees and/or hips to buckle backward. Devices to help the tendons in the ankles stretch can help correct toe walking (i.e. walking on tiptoe and never placing the heels squarely on the floor), and corrective inserts plus knee or hip braces are made to correct these issues. Additional problems with spines, such as spina bifida, require torso braces that can support the torso and spine while protecting the open areas of the spine. All milder to moderate cases of various physical problems can be corrected if treatment is sought early. 

More Severe Orthopedic Problems

The most severe orthopedic problems in children still require orthopedic supports. These children may never be able to walk on their own, sit up, stand, etc., but with proper supports all their lives, they can still lead quality lives. A pediatric orthopedist examines each child individually and analyzes the best course of treatment for each child. Then all supportive devices are made from casts taken of the physically challenged body parts before treatment begins. 

Contact clinics like Northern Care Inc Prosthetics & Orthotics for more information.