Pediatric orthotics for kids
Orthopedic device aiming to increase an organ’s physiological performance.
Pediatric orthotics are custom-moulded insoles inserted in a child’s shoes to help guide the feet during every stage of development and promote optimal posture.
Unlike in adults, children’s feet are constantly evolving, making it possible to affect their structures in the various stages of growth, correcting an issue rather than solely providing support.
The feet of children as young as 3 years old are sufficiently developed to benefit from orthotics. In fact, the development of the feet’s structures, such as bones, ligaments and muscles, will vary depending on the forces applied. If misaligned, these structures will continue to grow in this misalignment. The earlier orthotics are worn, the greater their effect will be on a patient’s alignment.
Orthotics can be beneficial to any child presenting one of the following:
- An abnormal gait or a gait with feet turning inwards
- A plantar misalignment (flat or high arches)
- Excessive wear and tear of shoes
- Frequent falls
- Difficulty running as fast as other children their age
- Pain in the feet, legs, knees or back
- Growing pains in the legs
- Premature fatigue when taking part in physical activities
- Deformation of the feet (bunions, early signs of hammer toes)
- Accumulation of calluses (hard skin)
- The development of bumps (e.g. Behind the heel)
- Crooked knees or ankles
- Potential to correct the misalignment instead of simply providing support
- Easily fit into regular children’s shoes
- Optimization of posture in general
- Reduction of muscle fatigue
- Improved stability and balance
- Corrective force applied at each step taken, therefore, thousands of times per day!
Patient history and comprehensive biomechanical exam
Assessment of foot function, posture, gait and plantar pressures using sensors connected to cameras.
3D casting in optimal position
This is a crucial step to accurately correct deviations and ensure the treatment will have the desired impact.
Prescription of orthotics based on results
A variety of materials and types of orthotics exist to meet the individual needs of each patient.
Follow-up and optimization of a unique technology
Pressure sensors are inserted into the patient’s shoes to measure how their feet respond to the orthotics. Precise adjustments can than be performed.
The prescription and manufacturing of the ideal pediatric orthotic require a comprehensive pediatric biomechanical exam and a thorough anamnesis. In fact, the prescribed orthotic will vary widely from one child to the next and must take into account the following factors:
- The patient’s age and weight
- The source of the biomechanical problem (e.g. feet, knees, hips)
- The positioning of the feet
- The activities practiced by the child
- The child’s medical and family history
All these factors have an impact on the choice of materials, degree of correction, positioning of the foot on top of the orthotic, flexibility and size of the orthotic, etc. Finally, to ensure the orthotics are the most appropriate given the child’s issues, his feet must be moulded with special care to ensure they are placed in the perfect axis.
At Cliniques Propulsion, we use a one-of-a-kind technology to validate the efficiency of orthotics by observing their impact directly in the person’s shoes. Pressure sensors are integrated to thin soles that allow us to see how the feet respond to the orthotics and to make meticulous adjustments when needed. (Find out more…)
Depending on the case, follow-up appointments are booked every 6 to 12 months to validate the results obtained thanks to the corrective orthotics. More importantly, these appointments serve to ensure that the orthotics continue to be appropriate in light of the feet’s development, as adjustments are sometimes necessary to adjust the orthotics in keeping with these changes.
A pair of pediatric orthotics can usually be used for two shoe sizes, so for a period of one to two years. Depending on how the condition progresses and at what age treatment began, some children can stop wearing their orthotics after a few years. In other cases, orthotics are required until the child stops growing. The earlier the issue is addressed, the better the chances for correction. It’s important to mention that certain problems will require the use of orthotics even in adulthood.
“I will have to buy special shoes for my child’s orthotics!”
The majority of custom orthotics are made to be worn in ordinary children’s shoes. However, your podiatrist can tell you more about the characteristics to look for in a shoe in order to optimize the effect of the prescribed orthotics.
“My child will find the orthotics uncomfortable and won’t want to wear them!”
On the contrary, children adapt much more quickly and more easily to orthotics than adults. In general, they wear them without issue on the very first day!