Suffering from worried parent syndrome?
Summary: Here's what you should know about your child's orthopaedic conditions to allay needless fears
By Dr Zaid Al Aubaidi, Special to XPRESS
Dubai: Many children are born with orthopedic problems that can seriously affect their lives if they are not treated on time. Orthopaedic conditions in children occur because their bones, muscles and joints are still developing. These problems are primarily of the bone, joint, spine and limbs and can be congenital, developmental or the result of trauma.
Most parents are concerned about normal physiological conditions that are a part of the natural development in the growing skeleton. We call these non-disease or non-concerning as they are not diseases but are physiological, normal conditions that you find in kids. We also refer to them as "worried parent syndrome" as parents are usually very concerned about them. Greater awareness about them helps relieve needless anxiety. Here's a list of the top non-disease orthopedic conditions which do not generally require medical treatment: Flexible flat feet : This is very common. The only thing you need to make sure of is that there are neither shortening of tendons nor fixation of the foot. If it is a flexible flat foot, it is usually pain free and doesn't need any treatment.
In-toeing: Kids usually walk with their feet/toes turned inside. This is called in-toeing. It's a physiological condition and it depends on the development of the hips and lower extremities, so it usually improves with time.
Bowlegs: It is a condition in which the knees stay wide apart when a person stands with the feet and ankles together, so the legs look like a circle. Most newborns have slight bowing and this continues till the age of a year-and-a-half after which it turns into knock knees.
Knock knees: Most kids in their walking stage have knock knees, a condition in which the knees angle in and touch one another when the legs are positioned like a triangle.
Parents should get their kids engaged in a lot of sports activities. Sometimes we see children with back pain and their parents taking them for physiotherapy which is not required at such a young age. Sports activities are sufficient to train their bodies in the right way.
- The writer is consultant paediatric orthopaedic and spine surgeon at Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery
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