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What are Pediatric Orthotics?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pediatric orthotics refers to any type of apparatus, such as a foot or heel insert or brace, meant to aid a child's limb. These implements are created to correct malfunctions that can affect the feet, knees, or lower legs of children. Many conditions affecting a child's feet may necessitate the use of pediatric orthotics, including flat feet, partial paralysis, or multiple sclerosis.

Pediatric devices meant to support the foot of a child with plantar fasciitis may include a type of heel insert. This is typically placed inside the shoe to provide extra cushioning and reduce inflammation often associated with the condition. It also is used to help diminish recurring heel pain.

These types of devices are known as plantar fasciitis orthotics. Certain types of pediatric orthotics provide extra arch support for these type of foot conditions. Children who require additional shock absorption for walking or standing often benefit from the use of pediatric orthotics.

Children suffering from deformities affecting the legs often require the use of pediatric orthotics. Such devices can strengthen muscles, while helping to promote proper posture while standing and walking. Typically, this type of leg brace with special reinforcements is created to keep the joints and bones properly aligned.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that affects both adults and children. When this disease strikes children and adolescents it is known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. In many cases, pain and inflammation from this condition can lead to difficulty in walking due to stiff and immobile joints. Pediatric orthotics in various forms can assist the needs of children afflicted with the disease.

Orthotic therapy is often used for children who require a specially fitted and constructed shoe. In such cases, a pediatrician may make a mold of the child's foot. This can be helpful in creating custom orthotics to accommodate the child's unique needs.

In certain cases of sports-related injuries, pediatric orthotics may be used to speed the healing process. This often works to alleviate pressure of the injured area. Sprains, strains, and fractures are injuries that can be treated with orthotics. In some cases, these particular inserts for the shoe, or specially created devices are available only with a pediatrician's prescription.

Some pre-teen children may develop a condition that affects the calcaneus area. This heel bone pain is known as calcaneal apophysitis or Sever's disease. Some methods of treatment for this condition involve physical therapy, medication, or, in severe cases, surgery. Many children can get relief from the inflammation and soreness by using orthotics. A special cushion placed in the shoe, which lifts the heel slightly and provides extra support, may be recommended.

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