Common Orthopedic Conditions Affecting Children


  • Flatfeet: It is a natural occurrence since most babies are born with flatfoot. However, as they grow up, arches develop. There are some cases where these arches never develop fully as they are supposed to; described as ‘weak ankles’ by parents, this is similar to the condition of pigeon feet. Treatment is recommended only if it becomes painful for the child. Arch supports into shoes provide necessary backing for bringing then feet into position.
  • Pigeon Toes: Also known as in-toeing, this is characterized by children walking with their feet turned inwards. Infants have a natural turning in of their lower limbs during the age of 8-15 months, that is, when they begin to stand. As they grow up, it a noticeable phenomenon that their feet turn inward while walking; there is rarely any surgical methods for treatment of this, instead braces and special shoes are used to rectify this. At the age of 3-4 years, some children have their upper part of leg rotated inwards more than normal, which cause their legs to turn inward while walking. Cerebral palsy can also sometimes be related with the condition of pigeon toes.
  • Knock Knees: As the body goes through a natural alignment shift at the age of 3-6 years, many children experience the phenomenon of knock knees. Most of the times, this does not require treatment, as legs will straighten themselves on their own. However, severe knock knees may require use of braces shoe inserts or splints (though these are not quite as effective). Above the age of 10, if a child experiences pain while running or playing, surgery as a step is considered.
  • Toe Walking: As an infant learns to walk, it is pretty common phenomenon that they toe walk, which passes on with age. However, some children latch on to this way of walking. Occasional toe walking is not a concern, but if it is done regularly after 3 years of age, parents are advised to consult with a physician. Persistent toe walking can also be possibly linked to other diseases like autism, muscle weakness disorders, cerebral palsy or other neural problems. A physical therapist may ask to take some physical exercises like stretching; at 4 to 5 years of age, casting ankle and feet for 6 weeks may be required to perform for stretching of calf muscles.
  • Bowlegs: An exaggerated bending of legs outward, from the knees, it is also a common occurrence in infants. However, if it persists beyond 2 years of age, a bigger disease like Blount Disease or rickets may be at play. Immediate medical treatment therapy is advised if bowleggedness persists, or occurs only on one leg.

Since childhood represents an active growth stage, surgery is not recommended, as the bones tend to fix themselves. Only a little support externally does the needful. However, if the condition persists or becomes impossible to heal, surgery can be opted as a remedy.

Dr. Deepak Agrawal,  is today one of the best doctor for treatment and addressing of such cases in India.