There’s a lot of pressure being a kid these days. The way they look, act, play and develop tends to be over scrutinised, where any flaw is measured against a textbook ‘norm’ and imperfection a warning of potential problems that lie ahead.
It’s difficult for parents too, to understand when a pain or a foot that turns in or an ungainly gait is actually a problem. When to let things run or when to seek advice.
David Ferguson has over 24 years experience assessing musculokeletal problems in children, has worked as a specialist paediatric podiatrist in the United Kingdom, has published various articles regarding common paediatric conditions and has two active kids of his own. His approach is professional and conservative, with many patients specifically referred to see him for his honest and evidence based approach.
We assess children of all ages, with most children presenting from around the age of 7 or higher. As kids grow, the strength of the foot and its influence on more efficient gait and posture naturally improves. However during different stages of growth, the influence of increasing body weight, daily activity and sporting commitments can also contribute to specific growing pains or injuries with children. When required, treatments are aimed at improving specific gait parameters relevant to the presenting issues and based on the findings of the assessment.
We specialise in tailored orthotic management strategies and offer a variety of different orthotic types for children, ranging from simple ‘over the counter’ arch supports, gait plates, customised heat mouldable devices and highly detailed prescription devices. Whether an orthotic is appropriate for your child and if so, what type is carefully considered based on the findings of the assessment and openly discussed with parents.
Other management options may include footwear recommendations, strength and conditioning exercises, padding, heel raises, taping and splinting. When a successful outcome has been achieved, we will also advise when the use of orthotics can cease as we do not anticipate that most kids will need to use orthotics indefinitely.
Kid's gait assessments include a comprehensive lower limb physical review, video motion analysis and when appropriate, plantar pressure analysis. The assessment is used to identify, measure and record relevant findings to help educate parents as to what is a problem and what’s not, diagnose specific areas of mechanical interest, establish an appropriate management plan and to maintain a detailed record for future comparisons to assess how your child is naturally developing and improving.
The need for additional tests such as x-rays can be discussed at the initial consultation and referrals provided as appropriate. We work with a variety of Paediatric specialists including surgeons, rheumatologists, rehabilitation specialists and physiotherapists if the issues identified on examination exceed the scope of our own expertise.
With kids, most problems have a tendency of naturally sorting themselves out. But if you’re not so sure and want a thorough check-up, contact us and we’ll give you honest and evidence based advice.