Pediatric Limb Lengthening and Deformity
Lower limb deformities are a common cause of concern among parents since many are noticed in childhood. Luckily, Lee Health and Pediatric Orthopedics of Southwest Florida offer the expertise and care needed to help children grow comfortably and without treatable motor impairments. Whether your child’s condition is benign or requires corrective surgery, our exceptional staff and orthopedic surgeons will be with your family every step of the way.
What are common lower limb deformities and their treatments?
Limb Length Discrepancy (LLD)
When a patient’s legs have different lengths. Small discrepancies are relatively normal among the population, but a large enough difference may be cause for concern. Treatment depends on the size of the discrepancy. Custom shoe inserts or braces can be made to treat smaller discrepancies, while larger cases may require bone lengthening or an epiphysiodesis which slows the grow of the longer leg.
When a patient stands with their feet touching, but their legs bend outward at the knee. Among 2 year olds it's more common to have bowlegs than not. For most people, their legs will typically correct overtime without treatment. However, it’s important to have your child examined by a doctor. If the condition is the result of a birth defect or Blount’s disease, they may need additional care to improve. Caught early Blount is reversible with the aid of leg braces, a simple surgery called guided growth, or bone realignment surgery.
How we describe when a patient stands with their knees touching, but they have a notable gap between their legs. For most kids this is a normal part of their development, and their legs will straighten by the time they’re 6 or 7. If that’s not the case it may be the sign of an underlying condition that may require care by a specialist. They may recommend a simple guided growth surgery to straighten your child’s legs or bone realignment surgery depending on their age and the severity of their case.
Colloquially known as pigeon toeing, in-toeing is when a person’s toes point inward. The condition is rarely a serious cause for concern with no long-term consequences.
This describes when a person walks with their toes pointed outward. Though it may not resolve itself with time like the other conditions listed here, treatments are often simple. In most cases braces or orthotics can correct the out-toeing. Surgery is typically recommended only when the condition has a significant impact on the function of your child’s feet.
What should I do if my child is having trouble walking?
Speak with your child’s primary care doctor so they can identify any concerns regarding their condition. Depending on their diagnosis, you may be referred to a specialist who can accurately assess your child’s orthopedic needs. After that, they will communicate any of their concerns for your child’s development and recommend treatment options. Remember that while many of the conditions mentioned here correct themselves over time, only a trained physician can give you an accurate assessment of the issue.
Pediatric Orthopedics of SWFL Locations
Fort Myers: 15821 Hollyfern Court, Fort Myers, FL 33908
Naples: 3361 Pine Ridge Rd, Suite 202, Naples, FL 34109
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM